Everyone is a fucking hypocrite. How can they not be? Everyone thinks too much and says too much to possibly have all of their actions sync up with these thoughts and words. I am a hypocrite. You are a hypocrite. Gandhi and Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King were all hypocrites. How could they not be? They were just human.
This is, however, not an excuse for anyone. Just because it is inevitable that we are all hypocritical does not mean that it is not a bad thing. Hypocrisy IS a bad thing. It is bad like hurricanes are bad: just because they are unavoidable does not mean we cannot and should not deal with them. We can. We should. Hypocrisy is an inherit facet of our species, but it is a blight on our society. It does not harm the individual, but it destroys the group. Some people carry their hypocrisy around unknowingly and its effects are relatively benign, but at any time it can rear its ugly head and cause disastrous consequences on everyone around. It is a disease, albeit one that seems to be written into our DNA and tied into every nerve ending in our brain.
Hypocrisy exists in a spectrum. That is the good news. If it simply was and was not—if people could be hypocrites or could exist as pure purveyors of truth—then we would be fucked, because there is no way we can not be hypocrites. At least evolution has not come up with a solution—maybe modern science can engineer a horrific genetic freak that is able to live within consistent principles. That would truly be the dawn of transhumanism. But until that day, we must learn to deal with the hypocrisy that we all carry around with us. That is why it is good that there exists a spectrum, because we—as a society, as a species—can strive to keep our hypocrisy down to the lowest possible levels. We can establish acceptable thresholds for hypocrisy and ridicule, reprove, and punish those who exceed these levels.
The specifics would be tough to hash out, no doubt about it. What is an acceptable level of hypocrisy? Preaching against animal cruelty while eating factory farm meat? Posting on social media about your dislike for everyone else’s need to share their thoughts with the public? Torturing terrorists to save hypothetical innocent lives? Shit…that got harsh fast. So, yes, it would be difficult, maybe even impossible to establish society-wide definitions for hypocrisy and appropriate levels for it. But even without actualy defined levels, we could still greatly improve our lives, spirits, souls, et cetera, by simply striving towards such a beautifully unatainable goal. How? By going for it! Decrying hypocrisy, standing against its malicious hold on our society, and stoning the malefactors! Ok, maybe not quite to that level (let he who is without sin…yeah, yeah). But broadcasting PSA’s, rewarding those few individuals who approach the sanctified level of non-hypocrisy (it’s about time we started giving Nobel Prizes to monks and hermits), and generally promoting the battle against hypocrisy as the noblest of fights would all be notable steps towards diminishing its terrible effects.
There is one unfortunate phenomenon that will inevitably result from this crusade. It will come about because hypocrisy is no ordinary beast, but a terrible hydra with many deadly heads. If we attempt to slay one, another pops up, stronger and more fearsome. If we attempt to stomp out hypocrisy by shaming the worst hypocrites we will create more hypocrisy. What?! How?! Why?! Because we are all fucking hypocrites! Have you not been listening? Anyone that shames someone for their hypocrisy is being a terrible, filthy, shame-worthy hypocrite themself. It takes a particularly eloquent accuser to shame someone for a sin they themselves are committing without getting their words stuck up in all the hypocrisy that drips off their tongue. That is the beauty of hypocrisy. The beauty and the terrible extent of its curse; it will never be gone, and the more we try to fight it, the greater chance there is that we will simply be extending its rule.
Yet we have no choice. If we do not fight hypocrisy, then we would have to do something much worse: ignore it. Accepted as an inevitable part of humanity, hypocrisy could fester and grow in the shadows without ever being talked about, until it was regarded not as a disease of the fallible human species but as an integral part of who we are. Something to be proud of, maybe. That future is possible, so very possible, and closer than you may think. It is even enticing, in a way; to simply accept our failings and ease ourselves into the comfort of wallowing in our own shortcomings. But that must not happen. We must not let fear, nor laziness, guide us in this quest. We must battle hypocrisy and stave off the hypocrites…ourselves included. Just because we are all fucking hypocrites does not mean we do not have the ability to change; we can and we must.