Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Random Musing on Hypocrisy

It will never cease to amaze me how people who don't want government in their wallets, their churches, their homes, their gas station, their workplace, their hospital, or their local stores, will nevertheless push for government to get involved in the bedrooms and bodies of Americans everywhere.


Tragedy101 said...

And this is where I take my bow.

Miss Liberty, there are two types of people (who are not God) in this world: Professing hypocrites and liars.

If my government wasn't so opposed to me correcting these problems myself, I wouldn't want them to do anything at all.

The Golden Eagle said...

I know! It's frustrating . . .

Liberty said...

Tragedy- once again, I fail to see your point. How does our government prevent you from witnessing to people and spreading your faith, if you do indeed so desire?

Liberty said...

Eagle- it is indeed very frustrating. Unfortunately, most of my Christian friends fail to see just how frustrating. ^.^

Tragedy101 said...

Hipocrisy is a personal attack on an individual's character and, while true, a common fallacy of logic.

It is a little insulting, perhaps; but it is usually stated by another individual that also indulges in the same.

Consider: As long as a rape occurs in the bedroom, the government should not get involved. What you find hipocritical in other people's stances is that they push for government involvement regardless of the location of a rape?

This is an extreme example to express my position. Do you understand my position?

Liberty said...

From your first sentence, it looks like you're thinking of an "ad hominem attack", which is an attack upon a person's character and personality rather than their stance or issues. That is unethical. Hypocrisy is completely different.

To really explain my full reasoning behind this short musing would take quite a bit of time- more than I have here, anyway. For the quick version- rape infringes upon the rights of another individual (liberty, and also pursuit of happiness, not to mention freedom of association, etc.). Completely different than say, consensual homosexual sex, which is mainly what I was referencing.

Of course, there is the other side to this argument, which states that government shouldn't get involved in bedrooms, but should get involved in churches, etc. I happen to think they're both wrong.

Tragedy101 said...

[A]n "ad hominem attack", which is an attack upon a person's character and personality rather than their stance or issues. That is unethical. Hypocrisy is completely different.

Miss Liberty, you make me laugh.

It is hard to see how you view hipocrisy. The term hipocrisy cannot be used against a specific issue or stance. It is a term used against the oponent personally.

Liberty said...

Hypocrisy is where one accuses another of something, while also doing the same thing or a variation. For instance, Jesus accused the Pharisees of hypocrisy quite often in the Bible. Another instance of hypocrisy is people not wanting their freedoms to be infringed upon- in fact, quite vociferously attacking any person who dares to even suggest an infringement upon certain rights- but is perfectly okay with another person's rights being infringed upon, whether it be in the interests of "charity" or "safety" or "morality."

I fail to see how, by pointing out the hypocrisy of certain policy views held by sects of America, I am attacking anyone. My aim was to expose the fallacious thinking inherent in that idea, not to attack anyone.

suntzusays said...

Tragedy: I assume by hipocrisy you're referring to urban hipster trends and the false use of them. And thus the entire argument has been one of sarcasm... or...

You've definitely and certainly conflated the meaning of "hypocrisy" with "ad hominem" logical fallacies. Or maybe with psychological projection as a defence mechanism. One of those two. Ad hominem is a direct attack at someone's character as means of somehow defeating their argument by making the person who makes it seem less worthy of trust or of lesser character. Hypocrisy is the inconsistent application of one's principles toward others and towards one's self (or those of a group, as Liberty is suggesting here). Accusations of hypocrisy, where inaccurate, could be considered as ad hominem attacks, but they're almost never the same thing. If someone is being hypocritical, by acting one way while professing to act another, it makes their arguments on those points almost by definition seem rather weaker and flaccid. You don't need to use ad hominem at that point. The people involved do all the attacking themselves to weaken their own argument.

As to your example: If a rape occurs in the bedroom, then yes the government should get involved. If consensual but "weird" or "deviant" sex occurs, then I don't see what the issue is that a government must be requested to oversee such conduct.

The underlying justification for involvement is that there is a compelling harm (a rape would be considered a very considerable harm in my view) that needs to be settled and adjudicated through the impartial arbitration, generally the role of the courts. If there is no reason for such arbitration, then there is no need for a government to be involved in monitoring or regulating private conduct that occurs with our bodies or in our bedrooms, just as we would prefer that we have minimal intrusions in our other daily affairs.

One assumes that the preferred methods then of handling such unjust intrusions, as you are proposing they are in this hypothetical, would be for either "mortal" harms to go unmolested and unpunished (on the theory that they will be "judged" for them at some other time) or for "mortal" justice to take matters into its own hands rather than act through impartial review of the evidence. If we are talking in extreme analogies, these would seem to be the preferred choices you are posing as our alternatives as opposed to a minimal intrusion of government to review facts and evidence and resolve the matter as impartially as is possible. Governments should have a very simple role, but a role which is to be final and consistent. Tampering with that role in areas which it is not needed or requested is not ideal and creates more problems than it solves by imposing our views upon others without justification (that is: that they were not in harm or danger of harm).

That is probably the point Liberty is addressing here. I don't see how this is particularly hypocritical or funny or that it constitutes an attack on people that is uncalled for. There are many Americans who do precisely this every day, demanding that their personal misgivings and prejudices as viewed through the prism of their faith be given legal force and to command the obedient behavior of others through that force rather than to argue and thus disabuse others of these perceived mistakes.

Tragedy101 said...

Miss Liberty:

Jesus called the Pharisees a name or a title of hypocrite. It is an attack against one's character. It was an attack, by Jesus, on the character of the Pharisees.

It is the law that rape is a crime. Once in America, homosexual sex was a crime. Anyone who thinks homosexual sex should still be a crime should seek to have it criminalized by their government. This is not hypocrisy, but a desire through due process to create rule of law.

I, as a Christian, know that homosexual sex is wrong. Not through my own understanding, but because the word of God declares it to be wrong. If I do not condemn it as wrong, I choose to trust my own wisdom over what God has revealed.

Miss Liberty, this has been very enlightening, perhaps one day I shall be prepared to give a better defense of what I believe.

Liberty said...

If I were attacking an individual- say, you- and called you a hypocrite for no reason, then yes, it would be a personal attack. But in my original post, I was not attacking anyone. I was merely exposing a hypocritical stance held by many people.

It is this, and let me reiterate: people don't want government in their lives- their wallets, their churches, their stores, their businesses, etc.- but are perfectly happy for government to get involved in the bedrooms and bodies of Americans everywhere. They don't want government to mess in their lives, but so long as it's somebody else the government is harrassing, it's perfectly fine.

Like I said, to give a full explanation of my thoughts on the issue of moral legislation would take much more room than I have here. If you'd like to see it, somewhere in my archives, I think somewhere around October or September of last year, I wrote an essay concerning issues like gay marriage, etc. :)

Ashtyn said...

Right on.


someone needs to speak the truth.

love your blog, by the way. i have one too! =]

suntzusays said...

If you as a Christian know something to be wrong by revealed wisdom then you are perfectly free not to engage in it yourself and thus maintain your presumption of moral purity.

What you don't get to do, because we have a country governed by laws rather than by deities, is determine that your belief should govern the behavior of others. Not only does that seem decidedly un-Christian, it is an impractical law. Homosexual acts of sexuality can be engaged in by consenting adults of a heterosexual nature for example. Nowhere in Christian theology that I am aware of are these acts themselves declared sinful or immoral. That is an inference, not a revealed wisdom, and has been subject to repeated adjustments by theological study of dogma. Besides that point, we are governed by secular institutions of the state and nowhere should the state be granted the power to regulate the private consensual activities of people in their bedrooms (or as Liberty noted, many other places).

Essentially the power you are asking for is for all people to have sexual relationships only in the approved methods you proscribe for them based on your private interpretation of your religion rather than in whatever methods may be mutually enjoyable with their partners (and that this power be enforceable by penalty of law), a power which was lately and finally overturned by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v Texas.

That is vastly different than regulating mere homosexuality out of favor, which you could, in theory, achieve by simply denying equal rights to homosexual couples and agitating against them in a discriminatory fashion. If that's where you want to go with that, fine. I (and many others, many of them Christian or calling themselves thus, perhaps on the basis of love the sinner but hate the sin) will oppose you on that point because of its discriminatory nature before the law acting against a person's essential and often private features in the same way that I act against it when I see people opposed because of their religious or non-religious beliefs (both matters of choice far more so than human sexual orientation). You will remain free to agitate on this point, to express your opinions and beliefs, to perhaps proselytize to those you think will accept or need this great wisdom you feel you've found, but you don't get to discriminate based on it for public policy purposes unless you can demonstrate some rational basis of harm that is being caused to you by it. I don't see any harm being caused by other people doing things to each other and ignoring your condemnations of it.

Liberty said...

Ashtyn- thanks for visiting. :))

SunTzu pretty much said my thoughts, too. :))

Tragedy101 said...

Thank you, Suntzusays, for again correcting me with such great patience and precision.

Sorry to have taken up so much of your time, Miss Liberty and Suntzusays.

Tragedy101 said...

Oxford Dictionary 1988:

Hypocrisy: [Greek] hypocrisis the acting of a part on the stage, feigning, pretence hypocresthai to answer, to play a part, pretend hypocrenein to decide, determine, judge.

The assuming of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, with dissimulation of real character or inclinations, esp. in respect of religious life or beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham.

Now you can see my error was the definition of hypocrisy rather than your assumption that Hypocrisy is the inconsistent application of one's principles toward others and towards one's self.

Hypocrisy is the pretence of holding one belief while practicing contrarily, inconsistency of character. Everytime it is used correctly, it is an attack on a person's or a group's character as being a pretend character.