Have you ever noticed that accusations of hypocrisy are almost always levelled by those desiring to loosen rather than to tighten standards of behaviour? If all standards were suddenly to evaporate, it would save accusers the trouble of identifying people as hypocrites because there would be no norms to hold them to. Of course it would also deprive them of the pleasure of assuming a position of moral superiority while likely changing many people’s behaviour for the worse. This suggests that, one way or another, too quickly charging others with being hypocrites carries a certain long-term risk for the accuser as well as for the larger society.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 3:40 PM