Hypocrisy and Human Nature

Hypocrisy Hypocrisy is prevalent part of our present day society as well as societies of the past. It is a part of human nature that most do not want to admit they possess or practice. Many people profess their beliefs, feelings, and virtues whole heartedly convinced that possess and assert those beliefs, feelings, and virtues in their daily lives. Although people usually have the best of intentions, they often times find themselves in situations in which they are not engaging in activities comparable to what they declare, it is part of our nature as human beings.

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Religious beliefs are where a large number of people find themselves declaring that they possess certain beliefs, but yet fail to live up to what attest to be true and right. Muslim theology teaches in the Quran that all who believe in God in the last day and do right, they will be rewarded by God, no matter their religious affiliation. Yet in today’s society we see a widespread distortion of those beliefs. The Muslim extremists and terrorists groups claim to posses the beliefs contained in the Quran, but fail to live and practices the teachings contained inside it.

Another example is Christianity which teaches that a Christian should exemplify in their lives the teachings of Christ and that they should live their lives as Christ lived his. They believe that Christ lead a life of service and humility, yet many who claim to be Christians today cannot be bothered to help someone in need, they care more about what they need than what someone else might need more. Yet another example of religious hypocrisy is Catholicism.

Catholicism teaches that in order to be saved that they must believe that God exists and that he rewards the good and punishes the bad, yet how many times has there been instances where Catholic deacons, priests, or bishops accused of heinous acts and yet been allowed by the church to continue in their present duties within the church, if Catholics believe that the bad should be punished why are they allowed to continue in their roles within the church? Another area in which hypocrisy is extremely prevalent is in politics. During election campaigns each candidate claims to have certain beliefs and irtues, but once they are elected are most often times those beliefs fail to be practiced, the beliefs that the people whom which elected them believed the candidates to posses. President Barack Obama stated several times while running for the President of the United States that he was believed that U. S troops abroad needed to be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, yet since he has been in office not only has he failed to follow through with those convictions and beliefs, he has sent approximately 200,000 troops to both Afghanistan and Iraq since he has been elected.

Although he has professed his belief that the troops need to come home he hasn’t developed plans for a complete withdrawal from the area. Another example of hypocrisy in politics are the candidates that base their election campaigns on family values, honesty, commitment, but months later are found to have had affairs outside their marriage. Constant news media has surrounded people like John Edwards, Bill Clinton, John Ensign and countless others who have claimed to have possessed these beliefs, but have failed to live them in their daily lives. Not only hypocrisy part of today’s society it is part of our history as well.

There are many examples throughout history as well. As a country our forefathers professed to have certain beliefs and convictions that we as a country failed to live or follow through with. One of the most notable examples of our hypocrisy as a nation was the slavery of African Americans. In 1776, when the nation was created congress wrote and signed the Bill of Rights which stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. When the nation was established congress guaranteed these right to all Americans, yet slavery and the slave trade that took place within the United States remained part of our culture until the mid 1800’s. Another example of hypocrisy in our history was the treatment of the Native Americans. The first settlers left Europe to escape religious persecution; they had experienced many atrocities in the name of God and his presumed religions.

The Founding Fathers wanted to prevent the settlers from conflict and misery, and instead create a tolerant society that would allow all citizens to believe or disbelieve any religion, theology, or philosophy they wanted without fear of state religious favoritism, prejudice, coercion, or retribution. Shortly after arriving in the United States though, they began to force their religious beliefs on the native people of the land. The same people that came here to escape religious persecution forced the Native Americans into what they considered civilization and forced them to adapt to their beliefs thru Christian education.

Not only did they enforce their religion and religious view point on the Native Americans, they passed laws preventing them from practicing their own beliefs. Throughout all of these examples of hypocrisy there has remained on thing that has been constant, that although people profess to believe and encompass certain attributes they do not always live up to those attributes, not because they do not have good intentions, but mostly because it is part of our make up as human beings to fall short. When people profess their beliefs to others, they do so intending to live up to those beliefs and to the convictions they have.

They believe in their heart of hearts that they can live and apply their beliefs in their daily lives, this is best described in what Laurence Stern wrote, “Most of us are aware of and pretend to detest the barefaced instances of that hypocrisy by which men deceive others, but few of us are upon our guard or see that more fatal hypocrisy by which we deceive and over-reach our own hearts. ” Although our intentions are pure by default, it is the nature of human beings to be imperfect and one of the most abundant examples of our imperfections are the hypocritical situations we as humans often times find ourselves in throughout our daily lives.

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