Question: What Causes Hypocrisy?

[cite] Carl:[/cite]
1) As a test, notice how emotion precedes thought. When you feel good, good thoughts bubble up. When you feel crappy, crappy thoughts bubble up.

(2) So are we are lumping "thoughts" and "feelings" into the same language based phenomenon? Thus, if a living thing has no language it doesn't feel? I know you don't mean that, or is suffering not a feeling?

1) Yes, but what about when you forget about feeling bad and start thinking about something else and suddenly start feeling good? Sometimes thought precedes emotion. In fact, other than physical suffering, which can be pretty compelling, I think all emotion is preceded by thought.

2) "Thought" I used to refer to language based talk that goes on in our head; not instinctual brain activity that requires no language. Speech is just spoken thought; though some of it is animal-like, instinctual reaction. I think that most of the emotion we assign to animals is an attempt to humanize them and is misdirected. However, I also consider that maybe they have a rudimentary language that allows them to have some thought and emotion. Their reactions might not all be instinctual. I don't really know for sure.

Dogs don't suffer as much as humans because they can't keep the story of their suffering alive without language. Most of human suffering is in the story about it after the actual events. Of course, if it turns out that dogs have as much or more thought than humans but just don't have speech, then my whole theory goes out the window.


  • edited December 1969
    The lack of self [chref=10]knowing[/chref] that embodies hypocrisy sure contributes to humanity's 'problem'. We all recognize hypocrisy in others when we see it, but what causes us to be hypocrites? Here is a hint: other animals aren't hypocrites. So, hypocrisy is uniquely human. But not completely. Human babies are not hypocrites either, nor are very young children. Full blow hypocrisy may not even kick in until adolescence. So, what makes we adults so curiously different from children in this regard?

    Give up? The link to 'knowing' above hints at the cause. Hypocrisy is a symptom of not [chref=32]knowing when to stop[/chref]. Put another way, hypocrisy is a natural offshoot of beliefs and the [chref=1]names[/chref] and [chref=23]words[/chref] that form them. Simply said, belief causes hypocrisy. Furthermore, the more we profess and push a particular belief, the more likely we will be hypocrites in that field of belief. The rest of the animal kingdom lives without the disconnect that belief and the ensuing hypocrisy causes. [chref=55]New born babes[/chref] are like other animals in this regard, but are steadily brought into the beliefs (paradigm) of their culture. Even though young children may hang onto a few beliefs, like to Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, they are largely free of them until 'educated'.

    Of course education is not the real problem, [chref=71]not to know yet to think that one knows[/chref] is what causes all our difficulty. Though, from a symptom point of view, we can't help but cling to our beliefs - 'thinking that we know'. Fear and its milder cousin insecurity compel us to hang on for dear psyche life. The 'I' needs to be 'know', or at least 'think that it knows'.

    So this begs the question, do I believe this 'stuff', and am I being a hypocrite now by professing and pushing it? Well, of course not! :lol:

    Seriously, I don't know. I don't really regard my observations as beliefs; they just pop into my head, like 2+2=4. 'Suspecting' that belief (beginning with the belief 'I am') is a figment of human imagination is not a belief, any more than a gopher 'suspecting' that it can't fly. What make a thought into a full blown belief is the emotion behind it (e.g., passions like, anger, fear, contention, hate, love, pride), and the actions which follow - war being the most dramatic.

    Of course I 'push' underlying themes, like my sense that all beliefs are illusion. So, am I saying that I believe that belief is an illusion? Is this some weird [chref=78]paradoxical[/chref] kink? Probably not. I feel I'm just reporting what I observe empirically. Simply put, I see no empirical evidence that supports one belief being true, or more true, over any other. I can only guess this means that belief, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and as such, is simply a symptom of each 'beholders' emotional state - needs and fears. So while a belief feels real in the mind of its believer, in the end it is only a reflection of that person's mind. This qualifies it as an illusion. In this regard certainly, everything I think or write is also an illusion. But, it is this very observation (confession?) that takes at least most of the belief and hypocrisy wind out of my observational sails.

    So why do I post this stuff, I ask myself? A social instinct drives me - "Hey, watch out, there's a hungry tiger among us!" What is the danger I'm pointing to? The 'tiger' I see among us is simply the certainty we place in our beliefs. This unquestioned certainty blinds us to ourselves - and hypocrisy continues. In short, belief causes hypocrisy; hypocrisy blinds us to ourselves; in our blindness we stub our toes. Groan... :(

    But hey, in the end, I'm just nailing this down in my own mind. There is nothing that drives home something like spreading the word to others. Mmmm... now we know what makes evangelical people tick! Maybe when I truly 'get it', I'll just do like [chref=52]Mother[/chref] Nature and [chref=65]use the way to hoodwink[/chref] us! Of course, maybe I'm unwittingly doing that already,... :? But, I'll save that story for next time.
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