Posts Tagged ‘hypocrisy’

what should be, what should not be, and condemning hypocrisy

June 15, 2012

what should be, what should not be, and condemning hypocrisy

Say no to bribes (probably in Chipata), Zambia

Say no to bribes (probably in Chipata), Zambia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you condemn hypocrisy? You may have noticed that it can

Politeness, n.  The most acceptable hypocrisy....

Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy. ~Ambrose Bierce (Photo credit: Foto_di_Signorina)

be very popular to condemn hypocrisy. It seems quite natural and normal, right? Don’t you think that other people should condemn hypocrisy, too?

I propose something that may be unusual to you: that people should not condemn hypocrisy (at least not unless they have practiced hypocrisy themselves). Not only do I propose that the only people who should condemn hypocrisy are people who have practiced hypocrisy, but I also propose that the only people who would ever condemn hypocrisy are themselves practicing hypocrisy right in that very instant.
“If you show hypocrisy -- even to animals-- th...

“If you show hypocrisy — even to animals– they know, oh my owner isn’t really sincere.” – His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, Speaking on Ethics, Delhi University, India, 3/21/2012 (Photo credit: Wonderlane)

Let’s focus on something simple next. When someone asserts what should be, I am calling that a proposal. That is the proposing of what should be.
Here are some examples of proposals of what should be. People should be kind. Politicians should be honest. Fire should be hot. Ice should be hot.
We could call those proposals an assertion or a claim or a declaration. All of those words are consistent with the label of proposal.
I propose that how people should label a statement about what should be is to call such a statement a proposal. Of course, other people may disagree with that ro decline to do that. I can invite them to label any statement about what should be as a proposal. I can request that they label any statement about what should be as a proposal. Or, perhaps I would agree to label any statement about what should be as fundamentally only a statement.
There is such a thing as a statement. One kind of statement is a proposal. One kind of proposal is an invitation. One kind of invitation is a request. One kind of request is a threat. Another kind of request is a bribe.
So, I propose that there are various kinds of statements. If I propose “what should not be,” I am stating an exclusion. I am specifying a specific thing and then excluding it from what should be.
Here are some examples of exclusive proposals of what should not be. People should not be unkind. Politicians should not be dishonest. Fire should not be cold. Ice should not be cold.
So, there is such a thing as an exclusion. Statements of exclusion can lead to the activity of withdrawing. Withdrawing can lead to attacking the excluded pattern. One form of attacking an excluded pattern is to condemn it.
Consider the following statement: “People should not exclude what should not be.” It is an exclusive statement. As an exclusive statement excluding exclusive statements, it is ironic. If someone does not recognize the irony and makes an exclusive statement excluding exclusive statements, that is hypocrisy.
Further, if someone condemns hypocrisy, that could be another way of saying that they are making an exclusive statement that people should not make exclusive statements excluding exclusive statements. That is also ironic.
If someone does not recognize the irony of condemning hypocrisy and makes an exclusive statement excluding exclusive statements, that is hypocrisy. Therefore, I propose that the only people who would ever condemn hypocrisy are themselves practicing hypocrisy right in that very instant.
I further propose that the only people who should condemn hypocrisy are people who have practiced hypocrisy themselves.
People who are practicing hypocrisy by condemning hypocrisy should be doing what they are doing. People who do not condemn hypocrisy should not be excluding hypocrisy or attacking hypocrisy.
I propose that whatever people are doing, they should be. I further propose that whatever people are not doing, they should not be.
However, if someone says “people should do what people are not doing,” that is also valid. That is a proposal. That is an invitation. That is a request.
People should make proposals and invitations and requests whenever they do, including bribes and threats. People should also exclude exclusions and withdrawal and attacks as well as proposals and invitations and requests and bribes and threats.
People should practice hypocrisy. I only say that because, in my experience, sometimes people actually do practice hypocrisy. Furthermore, people should condemn the practice of hypocrisy. It is entirely natural and normal.
Eventually, people may recognize the irony of condemning hypocrisy, but probably not until they condemn it and attack it for a while first. I invite you to condemn irony, though I request that you do not condemn hypocrisy.
Furthermore, I condemn the condemning of irony. Finally, I propose that there is nothing so holy and heroic as to condemn hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy Thy Name is Obama

Hypocrisy Thy Name is Obama (Photo credit: wstera2)

Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal...

Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy by Peter Schweizer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who can we trust?

December 14, 2011

Who can we REALLY trust?

Our elders?    Mine taught me to believe in Santa Claus
Churches?      Besides Santa, one church taught us that the sun goes around the earth
Doctors?        They taught us that scurvy was incurable (and that smoking was safe)
The Media?   They did not warn us about economic instabilities
Politicians?   Right, as if our politicians are more trustworthy than politicians in general!

Beware of trusting tradition. Traditions come and go. Respect them, but do not worship them.

Copernicus and Galileo both noted that the earth revolves around the sun, but only Galileo attracted the wrath of the ruling Empire of organized coercion by proudly challenging tradition. Nearly two thousand years before them, Aristarchus, Seleucus, and even Archimedes had also publicly referenced the idea that the earth revolved around the sun, though Archimedes simply acknowledged the model while rejecting it as false.

English: Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition,...

Galileo facing the Holy Roman Inquisition- Image via Wikipedia

So, it is one thing to merely reference something like Archimedes did, another to confirm it, and yet another to openly disrespect tradition by advocating a model contrary to popular superstition and even publicizing the error of egomaniacal dictators. Galileo was emphatically warned that aggressively publicizing his model (of an earth that revolves around the sun) would result in personal punishment and then he openly risked that punishment, resulting in his conviction as a heretic by the Inquisition. He was spared the typical death sentence of ritual human sacrifice of the Holy Roman Empire‘s Inquisition and was even spared imprisonment or torture, instead only being placed under “house arrest” for the rest of his life (9 years).

Two priests demand a heretic to repent as he i...

"Two priests torture a heretic and demand that he repent." Image via Wikipedia

Now, there are many popular beliefs which may be myths, from Santa Claus to geocentric models of astronomy to political intolerance, like the theatrical anti-communist purges headed by US Senator Joe McCarthy. Ironically, that anti-communist purge was rather similar to any other purge, including communist purges. The McCarthy purge was rather like it would be to organize a counter-Inquisition to purge all Catholics as punishment for the historic Inquisition by a few Catholics centuries before: a replication of the thing it is alleged to oppose or prevent, a mere hijacking of the prior tradition, a clear hypocrisy.

Some people shout and scream and rage each time that a politician is exposed as a hypocrite. Eventually, one may notice a pattern: a high proportion of the politicians in world history have condemned behavior patterns that they were practicing themselves at the time, especially deception (but also coercion).
But why condemn spies for practicing deception? Why condemn assassins for practicing violence and terrorism? Why condemn commercial advertising propagandists for cultivating distraction, disinformation, and confusion?

That is the clear function of mainstream media and education, and what would actually be really odd would be frequent disclaimers warning the masses that commercials are designed to influence perception and behavior. So, have we been trained to condemn certain practices primarily in order to discourage us from practicing them- or at least openly practicing them?
Historically, there have been many social institutions that have cultivated antagonism against their own institution and then punished the rebellion. Courts need crimes (and criminals). Armies need enemies, like in the US Civil War in which the Union Army invaded and occupied the people living in territories that wished to basically get a divorce from the USA.

However, could any individual or group in the governments of those states legitimately speak for all of the people of those territories? While several leaders of the Rebel Confederacy may have favored secession, which sectors of the population favored or opposed secession? How about Native Americans? (Oddly enough, various groups of Native Americans and even slaves may have fought on both sides of the Civil War.)

Some people may say that the sacred principles of property rights were being defended by the Confederate soldiers: the legal right to own another human being as property. Many of the “moral justification ideologies” of politicians that are popular within a particular group at some time are later relaxed or even reversed. Even the Roman Catholic Church officially reversed it’s position on Galileo’s heliocentrism in 1992 (which was 359 years after his trial, conviction and sentencing for the crime of heresy).

The government of the US has famously reversed it’s position on such issues as slavery, the right of women to vote, and the criminalization of alcohol. In fact, what was once a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment, speaking the Navajo language, was later a famous “secret weapon” of US Military in World War 2. Also, about two hundred years after the religious freedom at least of certain white males was protected in the US, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 was passed (yes, even protecting religious practices that included the use of the Navajo language).

Traditions come and go. Respect them, but do not worship them. Beware of trusting them.

Jesus apparently taught “cease condemnation and forgive.” Obviously, not everyone who may appreciate something about the story of Jesus is aware of that specific teaching, and further not all who are aware of it are equally developed in the practice of forgiveness or humble repentance from condemnation.

Shall we condemn them for even only a recent history of condemning? Shall we add to the already long history of religious hypocrisy? We could. We could even simply condemn all people who condemn people, or at least condemn some of the people who condemn people.

We could also condemn the media for doing what they have always done, or condemn the politicians for doing what they have always done, or condemn any of the traditionalists for resisting alternative theoretical models, like by condemning those models. So we could condemn some or all traditions and traditionalism.

We could even condemn being respectful of traditions and traditionalism rather than contemptuous. We could make contempt in to a new tradition to champion.

“Contempt is next to Godliness,” we could shout. We could write it on signs: “What we need is more contempt! Okay, maybe I don’t need more contempt, but obviously you do!”

Beyond the cult of heroic martyrs

October 16, 2011

Who is remembered fondly for dying for the cause of a rebellion, like for the rejection of a particular idea or phrase in language? What popular fictional characters? How about the founding fathers of US Tea Party movement heroes like Patrick Henry (who said “give me liberty or give me death!”) or even the once-violent Malcolm X?

Malcolm X may have felt guilty about his prior advocacy of violence. So, he acted to compensate for his guilt- speaking out against the advocacy of “political violence” – as in the phrase “by any means necessary”- and soon he was killed and many have glorified him as a hero or martyr.

So many of the heroes of our culture have been martyrs who lived (and often were killed) for some rebellion against some conformity: Jesus, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr. (who was named after the man who inspired the first seven letters of the word Protestant: Martin Luther), as well as Gandhi, former “terrorist leader” Nelson Mandela, a protesting Chinese college student in Tiananmen Square who stood in the path of a tank, the Vietnamese monk who burned himself alive in protest to warfare, and so on. Do these heroes actually serve as models of our behavior or do they mostly just remind us of the possible consequences of non-conformity?

Given that virtually none of the people who glorify the heroism of Jesus follow his actual life choices to become a wandering ascetic, consider that these heroes are not so much models of behavior as reminders and warnings. We may use these martyrs to produce guilt within ourselves, with the idea being that we should not conform as we actually have been, but that we should become a wandering ascetic like Jesus or the Buddha and so on.

Focusing on that ideal perhaps creates and sustains the experience of tension and guilt and shame, if believed.

Jesus, according to popular versions of his life story, publicly rebuked the religious leaders of his day as hypocrites, apparently resulting in his death. That pattern of action is actually rather distinct from simply developing inner peace and promoting a spirit of cooperativeness. 

Was the story of Jesus the first ever story of the rebuking of hypocrisy? Even Moses is well known for condemning the behavioral traditions of “his people,” though he was not killed for it by the people he rebuked. Further, Jesus frequently quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, dramatically referencing the distinction between the activity of simply using words such as “peace” and “respect” as distinct from an actual experience of peace and respect.

Can one be peaceful and respectful while rebuking someone? Does rebuking imply animosity and resentment and antagonism and aggressiveness?

Also, should people experience shame for behavior patterns that could be labeled as selfish? Should people keep certain behaviors secret, at least from inquisitors who threaten torture and execution? Should people lie about selfish behaviors and rationalize them as actually having been unselfish? 

Should people always conform? Should people always condemn conformity? Should people always condemn hypocrisy? Should people discontinue the condemning of other people? Should people condemn condemnation?

My experience has been that I have repeatedly condemned other people (whether particular people that I personally know or remote groups even from distant times), and further that I have eventually noticed that I have sometimes done very similar things to much of what I have condemned. I can accept that the intensity of my condemnation of something may be proportionate to the extent of my own practice of that thing. I can also accept that the intensity of my glorifying of something may be proportionate to the extent that I avoid practicing that thing.

“Wouldn’t it be great if people completely stopped being involved in commercial activities and just donated all their wealth and all their time to other people?” I may say things like that, implying that such a pattern of action might be great or greater than some other pattern, but I might not really know if it would be great or not because I may not have actually done it and I may not ever, even though I may talk a lot about how great it allegedly would be.

What if what I really meant was this: “wouldn’t if be great if EVERYONE ELSE EXCEPT ME simply donated all their wealth and time TO ME?” I might experience that the competitiveness in the commercial economy in my midst is challenging for me. I might really like the idea of government benefits received by me that are derived from the collection activities of governments that result in me effortlessly having what used to be other people’s wealth or productivity.

“Government mercenaries, please go and find some rationalization to condemn or criminalize some behavior of other people and bring me the spoils of the conquest. Please hurry!”

“If the spoils come from a distant nation or from traffic tickets and confiscations from convicted local drug dealers, just keep these roads well-maintained and these medical services free. Do not betray me by leaving it to me to be responsible for my own finances, my own welfare, my own health, my own family, and my own experience of inner peace and respect.”

“If people insult us and disrespect us and threaten us, punish them. If people refuse to do business with us at the prices we consider fair, conquer them. If they have values and cultures distinct from ours, like if they decline to commit to pacifism (as in us having a monopoly on nuclear weapons), then give them an ultimatum between unconditional surrender and us bombing them to ashes, but please do not enlist me to be directly involved in the bombing, because that sounds rather dangerous… plus, military drafts are undemocratic, and our militant, imperialist bombings are the most democratic in human history so far, though we only bomb civilians when we are absolutely forced to do so by the majority voting for it and only in order to promote and demonstrate loving-kindness, peace, the combined compassion of Christ and Buddha, and of course the inalienable right to life of all people everywhere, except of course for those who do not recognize and worship the ideal of the inalienable right to life.”

So, do these words sound like the jokes of Charlie Chaplin or the ramblings of a mental patient or the typical statements of politicians and religious leaders throughout history? How about all of the above?

Remember, a martyr is someone who dies for identifying with a cause. Identifying with something involves language. Martyrs die for their language.

Should all people everywhere glorify the ideal of dying for a particular linguistic ideal? Uh, well, if that appeals to you, then you can go right ahead and “march on the Vatican to protest the inquisition” or “occupy wall street” or “march on the pentagon to protest bombs and propaganda and imperialism.” 

By the way, consider that no one is going to march on the pentagon because, for one thing, there is no open physical space there to make that convenient. Further, the popular conception that the US is a democracy does not fit with the idea of marching on the pentagon (or on to a military base or occupying a federal courthouse). Those who believe that a particular government is a democracy are more likely to march on the great temple of the elected senators (and the lobbyists who fund them).

If you think that you can go conduct a public demonstration on a military base or at the pentagon or in a federal courthouse (or a police station or fire station) simply because you live “in a democracy,” you may soon find that you are conducting demonstrations in a jail cell… if you are that fortunate.

Democracy is a component of many political processes. So is organized coercion. That is not a contradiction. Not every government in human history has involved any democratic procedures, from the governing of a household to an empire. However, has any government failed to use the procedure of organized coercion?

Should we be ashamed about a particular government’s use of organized coercion? Should we keep it a secret? Is there a general pattern of punishing with organized coercion those who directly reference organized coercion? 

Or, is there only a specific pattern of the punishing of those who directly antagonize the agents of organized coercion? Wouldn’t you be wary of populist campaigns to occupy the pentagon or even occupy to an airport in China? Your coercion is probably not even close to organized enough to successfully accomplish that kind of result!

Be realistic. In other words, if you like, for an interesting afternoon, go ahead and gather up a few thousand friends to occupy wall street. 

Further, if being a martyr especially appeals to your pride, then identify some linguistic ideal and commit to dying for it. If your idealistic sacrifice attracts enough publicity, then you may even be remembered fondly as one of a rather long list of trailblazers in the promoting of other people’s right to make themselves in to martyrs, too.

Of course, such a path of drama, pride and possible fame may not be the path of inner peace. If inner peace appeals to you, then dying for a linguistic ideal may not be of any relevance to you. You may find it more inspiring to question the nature of all linguistic ideals, including the ideal of the heroic martyr.

As-Salamu Alaykum. Aleichem Shalom.

free from beliefs… about liberation

October 14, 2011

free from beliefs… about liberation

People are inherently free. People are even inherently free to train other people with punishments and rewards. People are free to influence behavior, like imposing inhibitions:

“keep your fingers away from the hot oven”


“only cross the street after you stop and look both ways to make sure that no cars are coming.”

Small punishments can be imposed to avoid more severe natural consequences. Punishments presumably would always be intended to promote the best interests of the one exerting attention and energy to impose the punishment. For instance, if a parent trains a child to avoid a certain danger, that is an expression of the parent’s interest in a certain kind of relationship with the child, like with a certain level of well-being for the child being essential to such a relationship.

Attention is interest. Punishment, therefore, is a form of interest. Reward of course is also a form of interest.

Further, the publicizing of punishments and rewards is a form of interest. The energy involved in making several reports of a single punishment (or reward) may be much less than the energy involved in implementing a single punishment (or reward). Note that reporting something may be conducted falsely or in a misleading way.

In advertising, people may advertise that a certain kind of activity is favorable, like an ad for a casino or for a lottery or for an insurance company. For instance, certain possible rewards may be exagerrated.

An ad may not reveal that the insurance company is in financial trouble and may be very unlikley to pay on all of its policies and liabilities. The ad may present the company and a particular investment as secure and safe and so on. The ad may not warn about the risk of inflation or warn about a major lawsuit in which the insurance company may lose at great expense. An ad may present an investment in the insurance company as if it is better in all ways than buying a lottery ticket. That is what the people who design ads are hired to do: influence behavior with emotional associations and, if relevant, rationalizations.

Will the mainstream media, funded by things like insurance companies and real estate advertisers and casinos, emphasize to the public the risks of the public doing business with those companies? That is just not what they are hired to do! If they did that, they would be fired.

So, people are inherently free. They are free to punish and to reward and to indoctrinate or propagandize.

Each capacity (as in capability) is a freedom. Each capacity to influence the attention, language, emotions, thoughts, and behavior of other people with a reward is a type of freedom. Each capacity to influence the attention, language, emotions, thoughts, and behavior of other people with a punishment is a type of freedom.

Since freedom is inherent, it is not provided from others, like from governments or from churches. Of course, people can influence other people’s capacity to perceive clearly and to thrive.

People may be trained to be easily manipulated (at least by certain influencers), stressed, cynical, unhealthy, poor, depressed, angry, afraid and so on. People may be trained to be dependent on certain psychological “essentials” which may offer diminishing rewards but severe punishments for withdrawing from a particular behavior or “psychological crutch.”

In accord with commercial interests, systems may be put in place to promote certain kinds of diets which may be metabolically detrimental or at least expensive to purchase. In accord with commercial interests, people may promote certain kinds of health care services and products over others (like pharmaceutical interventions designed to efficiently interupt and inhibit the functioning of the immune system).

People may be trained to rebel only through certain methods presented as legitimate or patriotic. They may be trained to focus on particular issues for arguing with others.

They may be trained that governments promote the freedom of all people. However, legal rights including civil rights refer to an artificial system of punishments. Violators of rights are threatened with punishment. For instance, the inheritor of a wealthy estate is protected from the masses by the hired guns of the court systems. The legal rights or property rights of the wealthy are not intrinsic, but are created through the governmental systems of organized coercion, which then legitimate the criminalizing of “trespassing” through whatever systems of propaganda, if any.

In simplest terms, the poor are provided the “civil right” to complain through government channels about how governments systematically favor certain people and certain interests over others. All governments redistribute resources to particular beneficiaries in particular. Those resources are acquired through coercive taxation and confiscation.

People may be encouraged to debate over political issues like how much more funding should special education students receive beyond regular students: twice as much, four times as much, half as much, etc? Or how much money exactly should be taken from productive members of society (the working classes) to pay to the unemployed, to unproductive retirees and to unproductive people with various disabilities? Further, exactly how much should be spent to kill foreigners near and far?

Notice that various groups of people may systematically answer these questions differently, such as depending on whether someone works in a particular field or has a particular circumstance themself. The disabled retired military veteran with no children may have a personal bias that is distinct from a couple of young working class parents with several children that are generally healthy.

So, there is no such thing as an inalienable right. There are just various capacities as in capabilities. These can change dramatically and quickly, such as in the first few years of a child’s life.

Also, no two people are created equal. No legal systems provide or promote aboslute equality. All legal systems provide various kinds of rewards and punishments.

While government propaganda may refer to a right to life for all people, governments are widely known to do things like conduct ambushes of enemy soldiers and to even surprise civilians with things like bombs and chemical weapons like Agent Orange. That might be enough to make some of the surviving civilians consider becoming soldiers.

In the case of the Declaration of Independence of thirteen united States, there was a reference to an inaliable right to liberty. However, in how many of those thirteen states at that time were a slave owner’s legal rights over their slaves established and promoted?

Court systems protect inequality. They do so using coercion and “hired guns” (deputies).

Some people may argue that court systems should not do that. However, the argument that court systems should not do that was established and promoted by court systems to obscure the simplest realities of the nature of their operations.

People are inherently free. People are inherently free to form court systems to establish and promote certain inequalities. People are inherently free to indoctrinate others about how and why those inequality-promoting court systems were established.

People are also inherently free to promote their own commercial interests, such as promoting certain kinds of foods and diets and health care services and investments. People are inherently free to invest their attention and resources in operating a business or being a customer of a business, whether that business is a casino, insurance company, health care business, or a court system and so on.

So, people are inherently free. However, people are only inherently free to exercise their actual capacities.

In contrast, people are not free with the capacities of a bird or of a fish. A bird is only free as a bird, not free to be swim as a fish or free to be a person. A fish is only free as a fish, not free to fly as a bird or free to be a person.

Any creature or organism has only and exactly whatever capacities or freedoms that it has. However, no one else makes anything else free or makes anything else be what it already is. Everything is already inherently free, but only in the exact ways that it is already inherently free.

People are even free to claim that some people can make others free as in set them free. One can certainly act to restrict someone else’s capacities and freedom, then later withdraw the restrictions. Withdrawing active restrictions may be called “setting free,” but whatever it may be called, it is simply the discontinuing or withdrawing of a punishment or restriction. You are inherently free.

stages of adaptive appreciation

October 14, 2011

The above audio contains a lot more clarification and information than the text below.

First, people begin innocent. Then, they are trained in how things should be and so become naively presumptive, though that is adaptive relative to the first stage.

Then, if the presumptive way does not work very well, some slight revisions are made in regard to the updated idealism of how things really should be, and now the reformed and refined presumptiveness becomes arrogance (as in self-righteousness). Again, that may be adaptive relative to the prior stage- using a more adapted model of presumptiveness.
Next, after perhaps a few distinct idealisms have been tried and have all failed to correspond to reality, a cynical perfectionism may develop. This is a reaction against all forms of presumptiveness, all models. This is a criticism against all forms of what allegedly should be. This can be called hypocrisy, for it is presuming that presumptiveness about how things should be is what should not be, which implicitly presumes that an innocent naivete is all that should ever be. Again, that may still be more adaptive than prior stages.
However, once that does not work well either, then humility and grace may eventually develop. Then there is an appreciation possible for every stage: naive innocence, naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, arrogant cynicism, and humility.
These stages of adaption can be regrouped in to three distinctions: innocence, perfectionism, and humility. Perfectionism includes naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, and arrogant cynicism.
We can even look at these as stages of appreciation. Initially, everything is equal. Then, various priorities and values are identified, learned and refined. Then, there is an appreciation for all models and all values and all priorities- just one at a time.
In other words, all of the models and presumptions are recognized as similar in that they are just models and presumptions. In any particular case, one or more models may be most relevant or useful. There can be an appreciation for each model as unique and for all models as only being models. There can be an appreciation for the creation of new models and discarding of old ones and naively or arrogantly clinging to certain ones or rejecting certain others.
Humility and appreciation may be two words for a single adaption. We might even call it “maturity.”

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