Humans developed a sense of morality when they evolved to care about the well-being of others. According to Robert Kurzban, we are all hypocrites. But don't worry, he says. Hypocrisy is a natural human mental condition. When this equilibrium is broken, people frequently form contradicting views. For example, someone may believe that murder is wrong but will do it if it increases their chance of survival.
Kurzban argues that hypocrisy is essential for social cooperation. If everyone was honest there would be no point in having conventions or laws because they could not be trusted.
In addition, hypocrisy allows us to express diverse opinions without conflict. If I believed everything I said and did not cheat on my spouse, I would have only one opinion on most issues. However, since I can see things from different perspectives, I am able to accept that others may feel differently about some things.
Finally, hypocrisy allows us to forgive ourselves and others who have wronged us. If I truly understood what someone else was going through, I might not be so quick to judge them.
So, yes, hypocrisy is an innate human trait. It is necessary for social cooperation and understanding other people's points of view.
People act irresponsibly when they are hypocritical. Our judgment is frequently obscured by the acts of others who influence how we act. Thus, hypocrisy is a form of social behavior where an individual exhibits two different and apparently contradictory attitudes toward a same object or situation.
Hygiene is one of morality's most important principles. It states that every person should conduct themselves in a civilized manner so as not to harm other people even if they disagree with them or their actions. However, many people do not follow this principle because it is inconvenient to do so. There are two types of hypocrisy: open and hidden. Open hypocrisy is when a person admits to being dishonest or immoral. Hidden hypocrisy occurs when a person claims to be honest and moral while behaving otherwise. Hidden hypocrites may believe that they are doing the right thing by keeping their opinions to themselves or by acting contrary to their beliefs.
Hidden hypocrisy can be found in all levels of society. High-level examples include Hitler and Mussolini. They were both considered great leaders until it was discovered that they were very hypocritical individuals. Even after becoming infamous, they continued to act the part of a leader by making speeches and ordering things around.
Low-level examples of hypocrisy include saying one thing but thinking another.
Kurzban claims in his book Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind that the human mind is made up of numerous specialized units that do not always act in unison. One side of your brain can see one thing and the other side sees something different. This gives people room to be honest with themselves about what they think about certain issues.
For example, if you believe that animals are just machines without feelings, then it makes sense that you would eat them. If, however, some part of you believes that animals deserve respect, then you should never hurt them or eat them. This conflict inside me makes me a hypocrite, but it's a useful hypocrisy since it allows me to have my cake and eat it too... I can still enjoy myself while being aware that other people don't. This understanding comes from evolution. Our brains were designed by nature to help us survive and reproduce, so if we all behaved according to how we really felt most of the time, we would not be able to function as a society.
People tend to be hypocritical when they're thinking about two things at once. If I'm cooking for my family and watching my favorite television show, I might say something nice to my spouse or child even though I know they can hear me through the door. Since their hearing is more important than my honesty, I am a hypocrite.
Because this circumstance causes pain, the individual tries to adjust one of his or her ideas or behaviors in order to avoid being inconsistent. Hypocrisy is a type of cognitive dissonance that occurs when a person willingly decides to advocate a behavior that they do not practice themselves.
Cognitive dissonance is the psychological tension that people feel when their thoughts and actions are different. This tension can cause them discomfort, which drives them to reduce the difference between their thoughts and actions. For example, if someone believes that lying is wrong but lies under certain circumstances, they may feel uncomfortable/dissonant about this contradiction and reduce its significance by rationalizing that it was necessary or helpful to lie. Another example would be if a person wanted to change a negative habit but was afraid of failure- so they decided not to try at all. The more important something is to you, the more likely you are to put effort into changing your attitude about it.
People tend to avoid situations that cause them stress or anxiety, so it isn't surprising that they will also try to reduce dissonance through self-deception. For example, if someone thinks that lying is wrong but lies under certain circumstances, they may decide to tell the truth even if it puts them in an awkward position.