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Is hypocrisy human?

Stephen Colbert 2012/07/11 14:14:23
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It seems wherever you go - Entertainment, Politics, etc - people lash out at others for being "hypocrites" when it comes to moral standards and practices. Yet nearly every Religion on Earth admits that Humans are morally imperfect creatures that strive and attempt towards perfection but admittedly have their faults. Even non-religious moral philosophers understood that "goodwill" (Immanuel Kant) or the desire to act right in every situation was the highest moral calling rather than the success of one's actions every time.

Each time I hear politicians or celebrities called out as "hypocrites", I wonder how people would react if they applied this logic elsewhere. Would it be OK to call someone who is trying to quit Smoking and who morally understands smoking is wrong and criticizes smoking a hypocrite if they lapse back into an addiction? Would it be OK to call a fat person a hypocrite for sneaking a hamburger while on a diet?

And let's not forget that people's opinions and emotions change. Is a Smoker a hypocrite if they turn away from smoking? As a good friend of mine put it once: Why do people expect politicians to stake the same position 100% of the time over their entire life? I don't even agree with myself 100% of the time.

So, given that humans are morally imperfect, can change and have conflicting views, is hypocrisy just human?
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  • Piper 2012/07/12 22:59:32
    Yes
    Piper
    "Even non-religious moral philosophers understood that "goodwill" (Immanuel Kant) or the desire to act right in every situation was the highest moral calling rather than the success of one's actions every time."
    I would agree, that most people, even those striving to live by their own personal ethics, struggle with whether they are sometimes 'hypocritical'. The word is thrown around loosely, and those who use it the most, often don't recognize their own.
  • Jackie G - Poker Playing Pa... 2012/07/11 16:46:10
    Yes
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    +1
    Sure, I suspect we all are hypocritical about something
  • Sister Jean 2012/07/11 15:13:21
    Yes
    Sister Jean
    yes
  • Dan 2012/07/11 14:28:19
    Yes
    Dan
    Hypocracy being human is no excuse for the "do as I say not as I do" mentality. Your analogy is flawed as well. There is a big difference between someone who is struggling with a chemical addiction saying the addiction is bad and someone who thinks they are above the standards they set for you.

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