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The Definition Of Hypocrisy?

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Rihana, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The term 'hypocrisy' is as casually used, abused, and misused when assigning to others as 'depressed' is when assigning to self.

    What is the definition of hypocrisy? A casual search revealed:
    It is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another. In moral psychology, it is the failure to follow one’s own expressed moral rules and principles
    Is the above accurate? If not, can you provide or point to an alternate definition?

    And, which of the following are examples of hypocrisy?
    1. A person joins the public protesting the ban on burkinis, says women should be free to wear what they want on a beach. The same person holds and expresses an opinion that burkinis are impractical or unsuitable attire for a beach.

    2. A parent joins students and parents protesting a school's new restrictive dress code imposed by a new principal. School withdraws restrictions. Parent tells daughter school might allow a certain top, but she is not allowed to wear it.

    3. A person is a vocal supporter of LGBT rights, and legalization of same-gender marriage, but when it comes to own child, hopes that child will not opt for a same-gender partner.

    Please share your opinion on the three examples. Consider such sharing to be crucial to my personal growth. : )

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
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  2. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    1. This one speaks to the rights of individuals, freedom of expression, and in my opinion it isn't hypocritical. You can fight for someone's rights to their beliefs without subscribing to those beliefs yourself.

    2. To some extent the school does have a right to impose a dress code in the interest of maintaining decorum. As long as the restrictions are reasonable and don't target a specific ethnicity, religion, gender, subgroup etc., I wouldn't protest. Say they were discriminatory, then it brings us to example 1. You can protest discriminatory policies without compromising your personal code. As long as your child is a minor, you have the right to set boundaries for them. Of course, you have to consider the impact on your relationship with your child, but that is more a parenting dilemma than a moral one.

    3. This is the only one that comes close to hypocrisy in my opinion. Hoping your kids aren't born gay, is a moral gray area. On the one hand, if you 'hope' your child isn't born gay, then it is logical to assume that you believe being 'LGBTQ' isn't 'normal'. What would be the point of supporting LGBTQ rights, without accepting their existence as a natural fact? However I can understand wishing your kids aren't gay. We all have hopes and dreams for our children; Things we wish they wouldn't do. It would be ideal if we lived in a world where such feelings didn't need to arise, but for various reasons one might have such a preference. But what you do when your fears become a reality will determine whether or not you are a hypocrite. If you support your child's right to marriage equality, then despite your reservations you aren't hypocritical. However if you wear a rainbow t-shirt to a pride parade, then disown your son for bringing his boyfriend home, shame on you.
     
  3. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah Finest Post Winner

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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for the detailed response, Gauri. Each time you take the time to type up such a response, I lose some argument for qualifying online fora as frittering away of time.

    That's what I was thinking too. The 'may disapprove, but ...' goodness popularly ascribed to Voltaire. I may disapprove of a certain garb, such as a burkini at a beach or a nightie in public view, but can fight for the right of women to wear those when and where they please.

    I give myself 3/3 on the Hypocrisy Apgar based on Gauri's response. : )
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  5. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    What a delightfully irreverent piece! Took me to many tabs in the browser, including Salinger and The Catcher in the Rye. Nice.
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  6. SunPa

    SunPa Platinum IL'ite

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    My thoughts, except I could not have articulated with this much clarity and thought.
    Just to add my experience
    This sentence sums it all up
    "But what you do when your fears become a reality will determine whether or not you are a hypocrite."
    And by that, I am the very definition of hypocrisy.
    Like when I tell my children - marks do not matter , it is the effort and attitude that counts. On the last day of exam, we celebrate all that hard work - dinner, books, gadgets - all. Then they get the scores - the genuine grin on my face for that perfect score, or the trying to mask the grim face for a not good score tells a different story. Even as I mouth measured the words the real message is obvious to the child. Marks matter. Winning matters. They bring happiness. Good effort makes mom happy because it is highly likely to get a good score. By itself hard work is useless.

    Working hard on this but failing again and again. But I do fail better each time. So I guess there is hope. By the time the grandchildren come along, I will truly mean what I say. :thumbup:
     
  7. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl IL Hall of Fame

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    I would go with principles rather than morals in the definition.
    Corporations are not spared either. Classic case Google.

    Now to ur cases
    1) To honestly evaluate whether we are being hypocritical I would always start with why?
    Why am I protesting the ban and why do I think its not a suitable attire for the beach.
    This leads to many permutations of answers .

    If I am protesting a ban because I believe in the principle that a woman or man has the fundamental right to dress according to ones comfort level (I draw the line at running around naked but thats me u can have a diff line) and then turn around and make a statement that burkhini is not right attire for me/or my daughter at a beach because its hard to swim /it might get too hot/sand could get in .etc etc.then no its not hypocritical.

    But if I think its not the right attire because it makes rest of the people on the beach uncomfortable or because burkhini is an eye sore to others in bikini then yes I am hypocritical.

    No a hypocritical advocate does not take away the validity of an argument but it helps to be aware our own limitations and fallacies.

    The other 2 cases are left as hw to OP. :)
     
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  8. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I was chewing on this... and have some thoughts.. but no time today to post and follow-up. Maybe tomorrow.

    True.
     
  9. Sparkle

    Sparkle Platinum IL'ite

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    Is hypocrisy always a bad thing?

    1.
    Joining a cause so someone else could benefit. The belief may be from a public figure or an organisation. The person is believing that belief that 'women should be free to wear what they want on a beach'.
    Self-belief that burkinis are impractical and unsuitable attire for the beach. Self-belief is not causing any issue to anyone in a burkini. - No hypocrisy

    2.
    Belief is laid out by the other parents/students. Parent participates to be part of the crowd. Restricts daughter from wearing certain outfits - Hypocrisy present in a good way.
    May be the parent had a bad experience dressing that way when she was her daughter's age, may be she is being cautious in a dangerous society. Her restrictions are acceptable.

    A person who has experienced depression (self or seen from a close one) identifies the signs/symptoms in a friend or a relative. The person can talk about it with or without that experience just to create awareness or to help someone. Does that make the person a hypocrite? A good one I believe.

    Think of an elderly parent who talks a lot about exercising to his adult children, but who doesn't exercise himself/herself. They talk and don't walk the talk because they care more about their children, may be they don't want their children to spoil their life/health the way they did. Are they hypocrites? If yes, it is a good and acceptable form of hypocrisy.

    3.
    A vocal supporter represents what a lot of people believe and practice. To be the voice of many, one should practice it. Hoping his/her own child will not turn out to be gay secretly will not just let down the own child but also everyone in who is believes in his/her voice. - Hypocrisy, yes present here.
     
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  10. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Sparkle, a good question, and I like the use of examples to explain. Really appreciate the detailed response.
     
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