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Thursday, April 30, 2009

What makes a hypocrite?

A question for you all.

If you voice one opinion on a matter once, or even more than once if that's the case, and then later if you post another post, maybe even on a different topic but contradicting that opinion, would that make you a hypocrite? Pardon me if that sentence was too long, but I am genuinely wondering about it - not the length of the sentence but what I said about hypocrisy. Or let's say, you voice one opinion on your blog, in one or several posts but when commenting on others' blogs you take a different view. Are you being a hypocrite, or are you free to voice different opinions in different places when it comes to blogging?

What made me ponder on this is I have seen this happening many a time in the Lankanosphere. Do not misunderstand - I'm not pointing fingers here at anyone, because more than anything else, I myself don't have an opinion on this.

Oh wait, does that make me a hypocrite?

What say you fellas?



  1. Sach - I think this is a highly interesting question, but with no definitive answer, as one man's definition of a hypocrite may be different to another's.

    I believe that people should be entitled to change their opinion, which is something we see often in the Lankanosphere. Perhaps they form one opinion based on the facts they know at one time and then change that opinion based on more knowledge at a later date.

    But many in life as well as blogging may appear as hypocrites when they are seen to change their opinion to suit the "flavour of the month" or when it's very obviously to fit in with a new set of circumstances.

    Some may see that as hypocritical but others might just see that as weak or egotistical.

    Thanks for the post, a thought provoking one.

  2. RD, you're welcome.

    I agree with you when you say that people should be entitled to change their opinion on new knowledge they gather. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of respect for people who do so, for people who are willing to change their opinions when they are presented with facts that contradict what they believe, rather than hanging on to their beliefs blindly.

    But I was more referring to the set of people who change their opinions when they suit them. I don't want to name them, but I have seen some say one today, totally different thing a week later and revert back to the former opinion again when they want to. I was just wondering is it ethical?

    Specially this happens when people comment on others' posts.

    Maybe it is not hypocrisy, specially when you consider many bloggers are anonymous - meaning they do not have an identity - well they do have an identity of sorts, but not like in real life. So... maybe you don't need to just have one opinion?

    I wonder...

  3. I think all humans are hypocrites in nature we cannot deny it.
    If you have a different opinion later, you should tell what was your stand in the matter earlier and reason to change the opinion. most of the people don't do that.

  4. Kusal, good point.
    Yes, openly admitting that you've changed your mind is indeed a good point, but as you said how many of us do that?

  5. Hypocrite, now you got me thinking rather than being a hypocrite! All those comments I left! :)

  6. I would say someone who changes their beliefs without credible evidence. There's much more to say...but I'm tired and I have a long day tomorrow:)

  7. Kalu, time to go back and delete them all?

    N, yeah pretty much right.
    Hope you'll get through the day alright.

  8. "The pot calling the kettle black"

  9. Umm... Anon, thanks for the very detailed and insightful input.
    Very much appreciated.

  10. Hypocrisy is a form of lying. We're the only animal on the planet capable of deception, so we're all hypocrites because no human being's interaction with any part of the world is EVER completely honest. We just don't have it in us.

    No matter how strongly you believe something is "right" and rail against people who do the opposite, "wrong" thing, you yourself either directly engage in or passively condone the behavior you condemn, making you just as guilty as "those" people.

    It's not your fault, really. You're an evolutionary mistake. You had the misfortune to be born a member of a failed species unable to face the realities of the world it's a part of. We're on our way out, and the world will be a better place when we're gone.

    If any of us were capable of true honesty, we'd immediately commit suicide. The only solution to the problems of humanity is the end of humanity itself.

  11. Anon, interesting thoughts but too grim for me all the same.

    For one, I find it hard to believe that we are the only species capable of deception. The likes of Chimps or Gorillas have complex societies much like ours, so it is capable they too are some sort of liers. I dont have data so I'll have to look into it.

    We are a mistake? Well, we haven't done everything right, but neither are we a complete failure. Every few decades someone gravely predicts the humanity is in danger and "we are on our way out" just as you put it, and they've been doing it for centuries, yet we are here aren't we?

    I think we'll be here for some more time.

  12. i was think this before i saw this and decided to google it to see if anyone else shared the same opinion. i honestly think almost every person is a hypocrite. including my self, i wont deny that