Hypocrisy, a word we hear very often but one that surprisingly has nothing to do with Hippos or any crisis they face. It is like the pineapple of the political world. Hypocrisy is defined as claiming to have higher moral ground or standards than is actually the claim. An individual loves to label other people or opponents as hypocrites with no inclination for introspection of any kind. Hypocrisy is seen as a bad word or label to give someone but the fact is that when you really think about it, it’s not as bad as some people make it out to be.
Before we delve deeper into what hypocrisy is, we need to understand what an opinion really is. Anything which is not a part of core science is open to opinions, whether supportive or contradictive. Core sciences like mechanics, mathematics, kinematics etc. have no place for any opinion because they are set in stone and until we get a well researched, well documented proof saying something different, we can’t really give it the same weight as the current facts. Everything apart from this is an opinion. The opinion on any subject can have two extremes and the majority likes to believe that the truth always lies somewhere in between the two extremes. Although not always true, this is something that is followed by the mass. Take 2 extremes and whatever you have in the middle is the appropriate answer. Sometimes, this is known as the middle-ground fallacy. If the option is between not eating a bar of soap and eating a whole bar of soap, you don’t eat just half of it because that makes more sense and keeps everyone happy. Generally, if we plot any opinion against the number of people who believe in it, we will get a bell curve graph where in most of the people lie in the middle and the extremes seem to taper. This is how opinions on a subject are generally distributed. Now coming to where hypocrisy comes in here, we all set our opinions based on boundaries or limits that we have decided for ourselves or are based on the things we have been taught since we were kids by our parents and teachers. The thing now is that we have nearly 8 billion people in this world. Everyone is brought up differently, in different cultures and under different circumstances. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to get people to agree on things and could lead to people labelling others as hypocrites or immoral or other such stuff. I’ll try and explain this with an example. Let the straight line show the progression of opinions on a single subject to move from one extreme to the other, assume a person A has a limit which lies more towards one extreme and another person B has a limit more towards the other extreme of the subject. When discussing this issue, A would seem too sensitive to B for having a limit close to the other opinion whereas if something happens which exceeds the boundaries of B, he would voice his discontent. This may lead to A considering this hypocrisy as A was called over-sensitive by B before hand. This is mostly how hypocrisy works. All of us have limits and boundaries that we have set for ourselves. A corollary of this statement is that every human being who does not have an opinion which lies on the extreme can be considered a hypocrite. Since we have a bell curve graph, this would put most of the people under the label of being a hypocrite.
This leads to two possibilities, either we promote having extreme opinions which may not always be the best idea, or we accept within ourselves that being a hypocrite is not that bad when you think about it. People currently demonize hypocrisy as something which makes every other opinion of the said person invalid but that is not really the case. We could either keep trying to justify why we have the boundaries we have or we could simply accept that the place where we draw the line may not be rational but it is what it is. The one thing we must be careful of is that we must always be open to rethinking our boundaries. Every time we meet new people and discuss things with them, we expose yourself to views that may differ from our own and that is a very important step in developing our personality and thinking process as a whole. Ignoring people you disagree with them, calling them names helps no one and makes you seem close minded. As I said previously, unless something is based in core scientific fact, it is just an opinion. Be patient with people of differing views, talk to them, try and understand them to get to know these people better. It is going to be worth it and it will open your mind to new views. Remember calling someone a hypocrite doesn’t change their view, understanding why those people think what they think is always better.