Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hypocrisy and cynicism

Here in Michigan, we have lately been treated to yet another political sex scandal. Two members of the state legislature, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, have been accused of an inappropriate relationship. They are social conservatives. Meanwhile it has also been revealed that a relatively high number of professors at the socially conservative colleges of Liberty and Oral Roberts Universities have accounts on the cheaters website Ashley Madison. What hypocrites those folks be.

They are of course. It is shameful that they should commit such acts while attempting to defend right morals. Not only are such things wrong in themselves, they hand ammunition to those who do not support proper mores. This does not help the cause of social conservatism.

Neither however does it make the positions of social conservatives wrong. Gay marriage is still a moral affront even should supporters of marriage as one man to one woman themselves stray. It is intellectually shallow to imply that that hypocrisy makes any given philosophic point wrong, and nothing short of sophomoric to take pride in anyone's failures.

Unless that is you believe that hypocrisy does in fact make a stance on an issue wrong. If that's the case then you may as well go all the way and condemn everyone because we're all hypocrites to one degree or another. None of us live completely in sync with even our own codes much less that of real right and real wrong. If hypocrisy is your measuring stick for good and evil then we're all doomed. You condemn yourself the instant you condemn your adversary.

It is surely a rare man who does not believe lying wrong. Rarer still perhaps is the man who has never lied. We all fail, yet failure does not disprove our beliefs. It is only the cynic who asserts as much, and we wonder whether cynicism is a worse disease than simple human frailty.

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