Hypocrisy, the Tribute

Oct 18, 2013 by

“Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld


How often in our society do we condemn the hypocrites?  A politician who preaches morality but cheats on his wife is discredited.  Thomas Jefferson was a hypocrite because he preached that all men are created equal but kept slaves.  We discredit those people whose actions do not match their words.  However, this, in my opinion, is a flawed position to take.  For, as Rochefoucauld stated, this “is the tribute vice pays to virtue.”  When we look at people, we have to keep in mind that they are, in fact human.  As humans, they make mistakes.  As humans, they cannot always do what they want.  Have you ever been in that position where you wanted to do something, but some part of it kept you from doing it.  A kid who is afraid to go on a roller-coaster but is afraid.  A person who wants to help the poor but can’t spare the money.  Believing that lying is wrong, but not wanting to tell your friend that she looks ugly in that dress.  We should all be able to think of a time where we held a principle or a desire, yet, because of something all too human about us, we could not fulfill it.  This is where Hypocrisy comes in:  You cannot always live up to what you believe is reasonable.  Thus, when you give way to your vices, you still cannot bring yourself around to saying that what you do is right.  Thus, you hold the principle of truth, you merely lack the will to enact it.  Thus, hypocrisy should not be a reason to discredit an idea, but merely say that a person is not as good as one who is able to enact the right principle.

Related Posts


Share This

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.