Sunday, December 11, 2005


In politics today the ultimate insult seems to be hypocrisy. I guess it is the triumph of relativism.

I think Hypocrisy is FAR from the worst thing you can do. For example if you made a mistake once that is no excuse for you to continue making the same mistake. And if you know you would make the wrong decision in a certain situation that is no reason to argue that that is instead the right decision.

For example if the US created Sadam (maybe they did) that is no reason to support him now that we know he gassed Kurds and so forth. If it is hypocritical then hypocrisy is better than flat out evil. Similarly just because you deny human rights to one person (for whatever reason) is no decent argument to deny them to everyone. Treating that man with human rights in mind is the BEST solution but hypocrisy is second best and a VERY distant third is denying everyone those rights.

Since various goals constantly conflict with each other (and people mostly behave based on habit) everyone must be hypocritical on various issues to function in the world

A classic example is the bridge controller where his son is stuck under the bridge and will be killed if it is lowered but the people on the train will die if he does not lower it.

The RIGHT answer is that he should lower the bridge and save 100 passengers instead of one son. The decision many people would make is to save their son and let the other people die. But no matter what the average person would do it makes no difference to which is Right or what should be encouraged.

If "but I would do the same thing in the same situation" was an excuse then no one would ever be guilty of anything because you WOULD do the same thing in exactly the same situation. what matters i what we can do to encourage reasonable people (such as ourselves) to behave in a reasonable manner even when under stress (for example not hitting a person just because we are angry because we don't want to go to jail).

Everyone is the result of their experiences - so this is both an excuse for everything and proof that there is no excuse for anything.


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