Confess your Hypocrisy

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Khethil
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 04:51 am
Good Morning,

Subject: Inconsistencies between Philosophical Principles and Actions

Intro: No matter what you think, to some greater or lesser extent, you're a hypocrite; we all are. The realm of the philosophical and the realm of the real don't always mesh as they should. What's more, the more you've thought these issues through, the more you're likely in conflict. Think about it; no matter how much you try, it's likely you're not quite as 'authentic' as you'd like.

Questions:

  1. What are your inconsistencies between your philosophical principles and what you actually do?
  2. How do you resolve such inconsistencies?

Examples: To give an idea where I'm coming from. Here are some of mine:
  • I'm glad that more people are able to live longer lives but I also think we have too many people on the earth.


  • I love my house, but no one needs this much room. I wouldn't give it up, but the materials and resources involved in it's building and upkeep doesn't justify two people.


  • I have a car and enjoy the independence of being able to go where I want - when I want. I also think that automobiles (manufacture, disposal and emissions) are one of the largest sources of environmental destruction there is.


  • I value life. I believe that no form of life should unnecessarily be pained or destroyed. Last night our neighbor's dog wouldn't shut up; I don't think it would have taken much encouragement to actually choke it to death.


  • Material "things" in my life - from the vacuum cleaner to our crock pot - has made living easier, giving me time to pursue what's more important. It's also undeniable that what's "easier" isn't better; that some physical labor or 'want' is a good thing.


  • I've toured factories where the jibbering guide boasted at length on his factory's level of automation; football-field sized buildings where now only 2 or 3 people can be seen. I think about the jobs lost but also realize that this level of automation keeps that place in business; and in so doing, produces much of what I want and need.


  • I love vegetables; I also know what types of labor practices are used to bring these to my local store. I'm not inclined to grow them myself, but I buy them nonetheless.


  • I count the invasion of Iraq as one of the most unjustified, immoral things my country has ever done. But through it all, I've dutifully paid my taxes, obeyed the law and didn't quite make that move across the border.

I believe we ALL are riddled with inconsistencies between our philosophical positions and actions we take every day. I also believe it's important to somehow recognize and resolve such inconsistencies; even the acknowledgment can have some benefit. Some of this has been covered in this thread.

Anyone up to a confession?
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 06:30 am
@Khethil,
Father confessor , i admit my sins are almost the same as yours.How do we receive redemption, how do we ease our conscience? On the plus side i do grow a few vegetables and we have only one little 1000cc car.Government, its all their fault...Iraq ,the war for oil.My friend in oil asked me how long i would be prepared to queue at a petrol,gas, station? He said like it or not we go to war to secure our supplies of oil as the west would stop overnight without it.How long would you queue for, before the Iraq war appears a brilliant idea?.
 
thysin
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 06:54 am
@Khethil,
Our value system is extremely commercialized and that, in my opinion, leads to the dissonance you feel with those examples. You know it would be logical and in sync with your point of view if you did not continue to partake in the offensive action but since as a whole society has applied values to frivolous items that have no real worth in a utilitarian point of view.
Hmm, now that I think about it a bit more...is that a measurment of status possibly? The more things you own that you don't need the higher your status? Seems like it sometimes. Well either way it seems to be that we know what feels right and that usually does not coincide with the ideals of society because the more you can convince someone they NEED something, the more likely they will be to buy it and in turn that ensures future paychecks.

thysin

edit: Forgot to say this can be applied to all of your examples in some fashion. Why does it feel good to drive around? Because everything we've seen supports that thought. On nurture vs nature my opinion is that it's probably a bit of both which might be given some validty by the idea of this post. Nature(instinct) says one thing and nurture(society) says different.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 07:17 am
@Khethil,
Khetil, those only contain hypocrisy if you present them as false dichotomies. In reality they're all much more nuanced issues, and when regarded as such not one of them is a hypocritical position.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 07:32 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Khetil, those only contain hypocrisy if you present them as false dichotomies. In reality they're all much more nuanced issues, and when regarded as such not one of them is a hypocritical position.
Sorry how can you say they are all not hypocritical, ide give you that opinion on the population but not on say buying cheap imported goods, knowing the source and hardship that got it to my table.Worrying then moaning about the rain forest being destroyed and then going out and buying new mahogany wardrobe is nothing but hypocrisy.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:42 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Khetil, those only contain hypocrisy if you present them as false dichotomies. In reality they're all much more nuanced issues, and when regarded as such not one of them is a hypocritical position.


I think so, but I see where you're coming from. How about "inconsistency" or "conflict between ideals and actions", or anything else similar.

Come Aedes, confess! It's good for the soul Smile
 
Joe
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 12:52 pm
@Khethil,
The only hypocrisy I'll acknowledge is the overall attachment I have to any belief. I am curious about everything and yet I know that every time I say I believe this or believe that, I'm lying.

Without getting to deep or perhaps depressing, anything I articulate is hypocritical within the present. I think that is why many people I know who embrace the moment at hand are particularly frivolous and take everything as an amusing joke. To ask why is pointless, and it makes sense that way.:whistling:
 
Henrik phil
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 04:16 pm
@Khethil,
My confessions:

1
About six months ago i went to a chistian H.S. I wasn't really a christian at that time, but my subconscious wanted desperately to keep my faith. I went to this school(it's a boarding school) mainly to get better social skills and get away from my annoying little brother. After a month i found out that I was an agnostic/atheist. Most of the people on this school are naive creationists.

I feel that it's difficult to tell my friends that I'm not a christian any more, and most of all my parents. I just cannot tell them! If I'd been a bit more strong, I would probably shouted out "I'm an infidel!" and got rid of a lot of problems.

I have started to tell people now(they asked me, so I can't hide forever:bigsmile:), and next year It'll be a hell of a job to defend my views in philosophy class (a subject I'll not get until next year).
I still don't feel like telling my parents though. It's like telling them: "Hey mom and dad, I've now decided to rot in hell for all eternity!" :bigsmile: They'll get very sad, they're both deeply religious.
How to solve: Tell your parents dumbass!:brickwall:

2
I want to be an agnostic, but my emotions turn me into an extremist atheist sometimes. I even feel joy in my heart(brain) when i watch clips made by biased atheists on youtube.
Sometimes I even dream of exterminating religion by force :eek::letme-at-em:
How to solve: Not let my emotions take control

3
Due to my Christian background, I often favor Christianity rather than for instance Islam.
How to solve: Maybe i should get to know people with other religions?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 05:17 pm
@Henrik phil,
Even if there is hypocrisy...

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

Know your Whitman.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 05:19 pm
@Henrik phil,
I am god, I am a hypocrite. "Thank god".... nobody's perfect people, just admit it.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 07:54 pm
@Khethil,
I don't think I have hypocrisies. This is because any difference between my actions and my beliefs is a statement only about either my weakness or my lack of commitment to that belief. It doesn't make me disingenuous.
 
Joe
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:10 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
I don't think I have hypocrisies. This is because any difference between my actions and my beliefs is a statement only about either my weakness or my lack of commitment to that belief. It doesn't make me disingenuous.


Aedes,Smile

Now we bring up the issue of what characteristics fall under hypocrisy? Weakness and non-commitment? Wouldn't these just be traits under a different description.

I would say that to be hypocritical is to be: dishonest, deceptive, coy, misleading, transparent, etc..., none of which I think are always conscionable.

there could be so many descriptives, but I agree that the act of hypocrisy is somewhat of a muddled action in itself and so I don't think it should largely play a role in someone's honor or genuineness.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:23 pm
@Joe,
Joe;52430 wrote:
Now we bring up the issue of what characteristics fall under hypocrisy? Weakness and non-commitment? Wouldn't these just be traits under a different description.
I'm highly in favor of recycling. But I don't pick soda cans out of the trash so that I can bring them to a recycling center; and while I usually recycle my own cans and bottles, if I'm in a place where I know there aren't any recycling bins, I usually use the trash instead of bringing a bottle home to recycle.

Is that hypocritical? Or is that just a matter of deciding that my commitment to recycling is not strong enough to outweigh the inconvenience of carrying trash around or the indignity of picking things out of the garbage?

As for weakness, I occasionally eat foods that I know are bad for me (and given my job, I know exactly what's bad for me and what isn't). Is it hypocritical, or is it just that I lack enough self-control under certain circumstances?


I think of true hypocrisy as arising when someone has sanctimony that they don't live up to -- like they have an inappropriate double standard.
 
Joe
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:36 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
I'm highly in favor of recycling. But I don't pick soda cans out of the trash so that I can bring them to a recycling center; and while I usually recycle my own cans and bottles, if I'm in a place where I know there aren't any recycling bins, I usually use the trash instead of bringing a bottle home to recycle.

Is that hypocritical? Or is that just a matter of deciding that my commitment to recycling is not strong enough to outweigh the inconvenience of carrying trash around or the indignity of picking things out of the garbage?

As for weakness, I occasionally eat foods that I know are bad for me (and given my job, I know exactly what's bad for me and what isn't). Is it hypocritical, or is it just that I lack enough self-control under certain circumstances?


I think of true hypocrisy as arising when someone has sanctimony that they don't live up to -- like they have an inappropriate double standard.


Your totally right Aedes. When i said "traits under a different description" I should have detailed my thoughts more.

So, its easy to claim someone is hypocritical if they dont follow through with every single thing they like to believe in and hold important. As you pointed out, Humans cannot possibly be perfect in their "Actions" related to their intent. If we could I would spend 24 hours a day picking up garbage. But wait! then I couldn't Recycle the garbage if I spent all my time cleaning up. Theres to many contradictions within accomplishment and so forth.

Anyways, My main point that I wanted to make is that our consciousness also cannot cover everything within our thought process because we store so much. We are efficient, but not perfect. You may be able to recognize your intent most of the time but, I'm sure you've said things you've regretted before. If you have then technically you were hypocritical. Saying something that you normally would criticize and consider beneath you.

Mostly people dont like to regret things for to long though so its harder sometimes to remember if you've ever been hypocritical.Smile
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:42 pm
@Joe,
Oh so are we saying that hypocrisy requires intent? Thus in calling another a hypocrite, it is out of making the other feel remorse or guilt from that value judgment labeled hypocritical.

I messed up in thinking that ignorant innocence and hypocrisy were the same.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:45 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;52438 wrote:
Oh so are we saying that hypocrisy requires intent?
No -- I certainly never said anything like that. Hypocrites may or may not be aware of hypocrisy, but it's guaranteed that there is either denial or some self-protective rationalization going on.
 
Joe
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:55 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Thus in calling another a hypocrite, it is out of making the other feel remorse or guilt from that value judgment labeled hypocritical.


Maybe. I'm not sure. Possibly I think I'm saying that is you have an opinion on things and act on those opinions in a society that allows differences to interact with each other, then its likely that everyone is a hypocrite. I think. Makes sense at this moment Wink
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 05:48 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
I don't think I have hypocrisies. This is because any difference between my actions and my beliefs is a statement only about either my weakness or my lack of commitment to that belief. It doesn't make me disingenuous.


Well, try this (if you're wanting to participate): Forget about the word hypocrisy; no need to get wrapped around the axle on it. We're talking about the inconsistencies wherein the principles which we profess or adhere don't *quite* jive with the actions in our daily life. Unless, of course, you're above such human error :p

Thanks
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 07:07 am
@Khethil,
Hypocrisy is having pronounced values and then not acting on them.If you value the environment and complain about others destroying something you value and you then act in the same manner ..you are a hypocrite..This disputing and diagnosing a simple word is philononsense.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 08:23 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Hypocrisy is having pronounced values and then not acting on them.If you value the environment and complain about others destroying something you value and you then act in the same manner ..you are a hypocrite..This disputing and diagnosing a simple word is philononsense.


Quite true, yet I can also understand the distaste some words conjure.

The whole point (which I fear now lays dead) was this: Philosophy is not/should not be a 'dead' endeavor. In its best iteration, it is a part of our everyday life - our every day actions. The extent to which we separate "just talking" from the behavioral implications such talk might have is also the extent to which we marginalize it.

Now, within the context I've framed the OP, no one who's given much philosophical thought can live such a completely-pure and consistent life. The complexities make it nearly impossible in this modern day. Do I *know* the labor-practices used, 3 years ago, on that curtain that now hangs above my kitchen sink? Might I deign to DRINK this coffee, understanding what might be done deep in those forests? Such absolute purity is virtually impossible - that's the extreme.

But let's not diminish the point's worth: Aren't there degrees of "Principle/Action" consistency? This is the whole point; this is what I've asked; this is wherein the value lies. To what extent are we, as individuals, consistent in our actions towards principles which we've all extolled and heaped praise upon here?

If we believe that individual introspection and a critical self-thinking mindset its at all beneficial, I think it important we dive into just such self-examinations. Thus the term; confess!

These ideals are very hard to enunciate; always there is emotion lurking behind many of the words we use. Once triggered, the point can be lost - as seems to be the point now; and will be again, watch the next few replies (if there be any).

... just something to kick around guys, nothing more Smile

Thanks
 
 

 
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