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.
- What are your inconsistencies between your philosophical principles and what you actually do?
- 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?
Khethil, the stoic philosophers may be of interest to you, particularly The Enchiridion (The Handbook) by Epictetus, if you have not read any of their work already.
Hypocrisy (as it is defined in this thread) is intrinsic to human nature.
The simple conclusion to draw from it is to recognize that philosophic principles do not determine actions, they determine intentions.
Confessing one's hypocrisy is meaningful only if some radical step is intended to resolve it.
How are all people necessarily hypocrites? Is it possible to never act hypocritically?
.I do find it interesting though being a lay philosopher watching the academic reasoning behind what most would find a point of dictionary definition.