Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy; affectation, part of the chosen trappings of folly! the one completes a villain, the other only finishes a fop. Contempt is the proper punishment of affectation, and detestation the just consequence of hypocrisy.
Samuel Johnson, p. 335.
When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it he keeps a very small stock of it within.
Charles Spurgeon, p. 335.
In sermon style he bought,And sold, and lied; and salutations madeIn Scripture terms. He prayed by quantity,And with his repetitions long and loud,All knees were weary.
Robert Pollock, p. 335.
Hypocrisy is a sort of homage that vice pays to virtue.
François de La Rochefoucauld, p. 336.
If you think that you can sin, and then by cries avert the consequences of sin, you insult God's character.
Frederick William Robertson, p. 336.
Men turn their faces to hell, and hope to get to heaven; why don't they walk into the horsepond, and hope to be dry?
Charles Spurgeon, p. 336.
Hypocrites do the devil's drudgery in Christ's livery.
Matthew Henry, p. 336.
Woe unto thee if after all thy profession thou shouldst be found under the power of ignorance, lost in formality, drowned in earthly-mindedness, envenomed with malice, exalted in an opinion of thine own righteousness, leavened with hypocrisy and carnal ends in God's service.
Joseph Alleine, p. 336.
No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, p. 336.
is the state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.
Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...
made this point when he wrote about the misuse of the charge of "hypocrisy" in Rambler No. 14
Thus, an alcoholic's advocating temperance, for example, would not be considered an act of hypocrisy as long as the alcoholic made no pretense of constant sobriety.
The word hypocrisy
comes from the Greek
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
), which means "Jealous" "play-acting", "acting out", "coward" or "dissembling". The word hypocrite
is from the Greek word ὑποκρίτης (hypokrites
), the agentive noun
In linguistics, an agent noun is a word that is derived from another word denoting an action, and that identifies an entity that does that action. For example, "driver" is an agent noun formed from the verb "drive". The endings "-er", "-or", and "-ist" are commonly used in English to form agent...
associated with υποκρίνομαι (hypokrinomai
κρίση, "judgment" »κριτική (kritiki
), "critics") presumably because the performance of a dramatic text by an actor was to involve a degree of interpretation, or assessment.
Alternatively, the word is an amalgam of the Greek prefix hypo-
, meaning "under", and the verb krinein
, meaning "to sift or decide". Thus the original meaning implied a deficiency in the ability to sift or decide. This deficiency, as it pertains to one's own beliefs and feelings, informs the word's contemporary meaning.
applied to any sort of public performance (including the art of rhetoric), hypokrites
was a technical term for a stage actor and was not considered an appropriate role for a public figure. In Athens in the 4th century BC, for example, the great orator Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...
ridiculed his rival Aeschines
Aeschines was a Greek statesman and one of the ten Attic orators.-Life:Although it is known he was born in Athens, the records regarding his parentage and early life are conflicting; but it seems probable that his parents, though poor, were respectable. Aeschines' father was Atrometus, an...
, who had been a successful actor before taking up politics, as a hypokrites
whose skill at impersonating characters on stage made him an untrustworthy politician. This negative view of the hypokrites,
perhaps combined with the Roman disdain for actors, later shaded into the originally neutral hypokrisis.
It is this later sense of hypokrisis
as "play-acting", i.e., the assumption of a counterfeit persona, that gives the modern word hypocrisy
its negative connotation.
The word hypocrasy is often confused with hypcracy, also known as hypocrinia, is an abnormal condition caused by insufficient secretion from a gland, especially an endocrine gland.
Hypocrisy and vice
Although hypocrisy has been called "the tribute that vice pays to virtue", and a bit of it certainly greases the wheels of social exchange, it may also corrode the well-being of those people who continually make or are forced to make use of it. As Boris Pasternak has Yurii say in Doctor Zhivago
-Original creation:*Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak, published in 1957**Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago, a fictional character and the main protagonist of the book Doctor Zhivago-Adaptations:There are several adaptations based on the Doctor Zhivago book:...
, "Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike... Our nervous system isn't just fiction, it's part of our physical body, and it can't be forever violated with impunity."
The over-attribution of hypocrisy, however, could lead to excessive tolerance of deceit and destructive behavior.
Jung on the General Hypocrisy of Man
C. G. Jung a few times referred to the hypocrisy of people who are not aware of the dark or shadow-side
In Jungian psychology, the shadow or "shadow aspect" is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus and the persona...
of their nature.
Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing them upon his neighbors under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious
The unconscious mind is a term coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge...
urges to personal power (Jung, 1966:5).
It is under all circumstances an advantage to be in full possession of one's personality, otherwise the repressed elements will only crop up as a hindrance elsewhere, not just at some unimportant point, but at the very spot where we are most sensitive. If people can be educated to see the shadow-side of their nature clearly, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more self-knowledge can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures (Jung, 1966:par. 28).
In New Paths in Psychology
(1916) Jung pointedly referred to the "hypocritical pretenses of man".
Dream-analysis above all else mercilessly uncovers the lying morality and hypocritical pretences of man, showing him, for once, the other side of his character in the most vivid light (Jung, 1966:par. 437).
Jung omitted this characterization from his later essay On the Psychology of the Unconscious
(1943), which developed out of the former.
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/ethic of reciprocity
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- Tu quoque
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- Moral absolutism
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