Friday, July 27, 2007


Today's post (cut & paste ..!) is all about hypocrites in our midst...see if you can identify or relate this post to someone...anyone ?-(extracted from Wikipedia-HERE). Read on ...this is educational and enlightening for all !

The word hypocrisy derives from the Greek ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which means "acting out"; the word hypocrite is from the Greek word ὑποκρίτης (hypokrites), the agentive noun associated with hypokrisis, i.e. "actor." Both derive from the verb κρίνω, "judge, assess," presumably because the performance of a dramatic text by an actor was to involve a degree of interpretation, or assessment, of that text.
Nevertheless, whereas hypokrisis applied to any sort of public performance (including the art of rhetoric), hypokrites was a technical term for a stage actor and was not considered an appropriate role for a public figure. In Athens in the 4th Century BC, for example, the great orator Demosthenes ridiculed his rival Aeschines, who had been a successful actor before taking up politics, as a hypokrites whose skill at impersonating characters on stage made him an untrustworthy politician. This negative view of the hypokrites, perhaps combined with the Roman disdain for actors, later shaded into the originally neutral hypokrisis. It is this later sense of hypokrisis as "play-acting," i.e. the assumption of a counterfeit persona, that gives the modern word hypocrisy its negative connotation. In all this, we do not find the modern idea that the hypocrite is unaware of that his performance or argument stands in contradiction with his self: on the contrary, a hypocrite in antiquity was someone who intentionally tried to deceive others.

Defining hypocrisy
In an act of hypocrisy the aim is to condemn another person or people, not to condemn an act. To preach against an act of which one is oneself guilty does not in itself constitute hypocrisy, even if one takes efforts to conceal one's behaviour. It becomes hypocrisy when it involves verbal attacks or demands of punishment against perpetrators of the act that one practices oneself. Hypocrisy can be, simply put, the pot calling the kettle black.
Concealment or evasion is not necessary for hypocrisy; hypocrisy can involve the open practice of a behavior for which one condemns others. If there is a salient difference between the critic and the criticized that makes the criticized person reproachable for the act, but the critic not, it is not hypocrisy; e.g. a parent condemning his child for using a dangerous implement that the parent himself uses is not a hypocrite. If the difference in status appealed to by the critic is bogus, it is indeed hypocrisy. The term double standard is used, confusingly enough, for both cases, as a simple descriptive phrase in the case of the parents, and as a pejorative phrase for open hypocrisy in the second case. [2]
Whether the criticism is based on the absence of a behavior or on the practice of a behavior, the same criteria for hypocrisy apply.
An accusation of hypocrisy may be considered a logical fallacy (specifically that of argumentum ad hominem) because the person carrying out the condemnation is not relevant to the argument used as the basis for that condemnation. A parent who instructs a child not to smoke cigarettes, but who himself smokes, could be making an argument that is valid in and of itself, regardless of the parent's behavior.

Hypocrisy and morality
Hypocrisy has been described alongside lack of sincerity, as a characteristic which attracts particular opprobrium in the modern age. [3]Many belief systems condemn behaviours related to hypocrisy. In some translations of the Book of Job, the Hebrew word chaneph is rendered as "hypocrite," though it usually means "godless" or "profane." In the Christian Bible, Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites in the passage known as the Woes of the Pharisees. [4] In the Buddhist text Dhammapada, Gautama Buddha condemns a man who takes the appearance of an ascetic but is full of passions within.[5] In Islam, the Qur'an rails against the munafiq - those who claim to be believers and peacemakers, thinking they are fooling Allah and others, but only fool themselves. [6]
Cheers and have a great "guilt-free" week-end !

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