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April 17 2014 edits[edit]

I made several edits to reflect recent studies, while keeping prior text (mainly in footnotes). More than 20 new Notes & References - details in History. I removed the Cleanup flag. Please edit as you see fit. Thanks; LeoRomero (talk) 08:52, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

The opening statement is clearly written by a drunkard[edit]

The person who wrote the 'opening statement' is obviously a drunkard. I feel that hypocrisy is "cut and dry" in the sense that somebody who does not practice what they preach is a hypocrite. I feel that this a logical conclusion and I think that the 'opening statement' misleads the public. Let us not be temperate in correcting this please! After all, we're only doing what we do in an effort to help humanity are we not?

You can feel all you want, but the definition of hypocrisy includes the requirement that the hypocrite be deceptive. Without that requirement, anyone trying to warn others off vices that entangle them would be called hypocrite. Such people don't deserve that reproach. A drug addict cautioning others against drug use isn't a villain and is simply trying to help others. The secret drug addict pretending to moral superiority by denouncing other drug addicts, though, is a hypocrite. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Definition in error?[edit]

It appears to me the definition of "hypocrisy" given on this page may be in error. Especially the exmple given about smoking tobacco reflects a widely spread misunderstanding about what hypocrisy is. Smoking is an addiction, and the parent telling his or her child not to smoke may honestly wish to stop him- or herself. The fact that they do not is simply weakness; if one were to go about charging every weak person with hypocrisy, the term would soon lose its meaning. Hypocrisy actually goes one step further than this: it criticises another for smoking, but maintains that there is some reason that the fact that one smokes oneself is somehow not open to criticism ("that one is allowed to smoke in order to relax, because one works harder", for example, which arguments are thus generally false in any case). One is thus less critical of oneself than of others, hence "hypo-" ("under-"/"less than") "critical". The parent admonishing the child not to smoke does not perform this second part. It is the person charging the other with hypocrisy who claims that this part is implicit in the admonition, which is actually not true, and is technically a straw man-argumentation.

Samuel Johnson wrote "Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions without having yet obtained the victory as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others those attempts which he neglects himself." (I do not have the reference for this available, but it should be possible to locate it.

I think there also exists some research into how the erroneous definition of the term hypocrisy has becoe common, taking into account social factors from the 1960ies onwards. However, I have no way of locating this research at the moment. The general argumentatino was that with more personal freedom, it became less socially accepted to criticise others for their conduct. The only way people could criticise each other in an accepted fashion was by saying that thir actions were not in accord with their beliefs. To this was then applied the word "hypocrisy", as a sort of buzz-word.

Chifelus (talk) 12:54, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The definition is definitely wrong. Hypocrisy is all about pretense. It has less to do with being inconsistent and more to do with the fact that the hypocrite is lying about their belief system. Consider this, suppose a smoker is trying to quite smoking. He has COPD or lung cancer as well. He goes around preaching to people that they shouldn't smoke because, "look at what it did to me". Is he a hypocrite? Definitely not. In fact, you can make an appeal to authority argument instead. He is only a hypocrite if he tells people that he doesn't smoke, and he believes people shouldn't smoke, but in reality, he's a closet smoker. That is a true hypocrite. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:38, 27 February 2013 (UTC)


The spelling hypocrit, at least in American English is a minority spelling at best, and possible just wrong. (It's not in the American Heritage or Random House Dictionaries, for example.) Britian's Cambridge Dictionary also spells it hypocrite, with no alternate. Unless someone can document that someone uses that spelling somewhere, how about leaving it out? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Can someone clean up the footnote references in the definition?[edit]

I'm not sure how it's done; I tried to fix them myself but only made it worse Wardanuclear (talk) 07:20, 6 April 2008 (UTC)


What is the use of a page on hypocrisy without examples? When substantiated facts regarding public exemplars meet the definition, they should be cited.

We can't say "XYZ acted hypocritically", we have to say "ABC said that XYZ acted hypocritically." Pcb21| Pete 22:28, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Why not? Afraid of being "politically uncorrect"? Go on man, shout it out and stop having others "saying" it for you, as mariotte figures. If it's just an example, we should drop the "neutral" tone and just SAY IT OUT STRAIGHT. I doubt anyone would be offended 'tho, and if so, we can always set up an NPOV for these articles.--OleMurder 09:20, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Type of Hypocrisy[edit]

Let's say that I talk bad about people all of the time and expect it's okay for me to do so, but the moment someone does the same to me, I freak out. What would you call that in only a few words?

And does anyone else think that maybe the Individual's thing is not so good of an idea? --Aviatophobiac 02:46, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Answer: What you referring to is called a "Double Standard". For detailing the "types of hypocrites", consider adding this as an external link to the main page: Are You A Hypocrite? by Lonnie Lee Best


Religion is rife with examples of hypocrisy and no one religion can be said to be immune from it. The Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal among supposedly celibate priests is a recent example.

This is hardly an unbiased statement. Although hypocrisy can be readily attributed to the "celibate" priests who molested children, calling the entire church hypocritical is a stretch.

Is it? They denounce the use of contraception yet also are against abortion, they denounce violence yet also do not believe in divorce (even if the partner is violent against them), they preach being open and honest and following the commandment "thou shalt not lie" and yet in cases regarding this child molestation they purposely cover up this information, pay off people to keep quiet and 'act' as if they still have morals while only trying to keep their image. Sounds very much like a doctrine of hypocracy to me ;) Enigmatical 02:33, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

They denounce the use of contraception yet also are against abortion,

Your point being? So the Catholic Church doesn't want birth control, but neither do they want the baby to be aborted, also birth control. Hmm... gee, I can't figure it out. Maybe they're...against birth control? Just throwing that out there.--Agent_Koopa 17:13, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

So what is the message they are trying to send/teach by being against birth control? What is the doctrine behind it? Enigmatical 22:31, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
As I recall from when the Catholic Church came out against "The Pill" in the 1960's, their position was that it prevented the creation of a human life. Is it any wonder, then, that they're also opposed to ending a life that has been created? The only "approved" birth control method involved abstinence. JimH443 —Preceding unsigned comment added by JimH443 (talkcontribs) 04:14, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Since "The Pill" prevents the creation of life, this I guess is to say that it is a must that everyone brings fort a child into the world; what is the stand of the Chatolics on barrenness, do they have a solution to it?

Cited examples[edit]

I also note that the examples of political figures listed, with the exception of Gary Hart for whom no offense is listed, are all conservative Republicans. Airing out ones own political agenda on a supposedly unbiased knowledge database... another example of hypocrisy?

I wonder if there is any need to cite examples in what is really just a definition of the word? Perhaps these should be spun off into there own lists to be argued over? e.g. hypocrisy - Religion or Hypocrisy - US Politicians etc. --Markb 10:56, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've removed a few examples which I don't believe to be relevant to the subject of the article. Examples with Congress, if anything, demonstrate double standards rather than hypocrisy ( can this word be used at all with regards to an organization? Do organizations have morals, virtues and feelings? )

When Kenneth Lay was encouraging employees to buy more stock, although he knew the price was going to fall, it was fraud, not hypocrisy.

  • why not both? they are not mutually exclusive. His actions contradicted his beliefs, ergo QED.

Perhaps this page is its own example.[edit]

Although not explicitly saying so, this article seems a tad hypocritical on its own. The article doesn't require itself to be unbiased, but it is somewhat expected, and it clearly is not. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Exactly. I mean, honestly. Can we please stop airing out our own agendas on the wiki? This is ridiculous. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

I second that. Start of the article was biased and needs editing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 12 January 2013 (UTC)


Okay, apparently we can't have examples in a hypocrisy page without them degrading into a biased political platform, so I'm deleting them. The Wiki is a source of information, not a soapbox. Lets try to be adults here. If you have political baggage, start a blog like everyone else. I don't have a username to sign my edits and posts with, so I'll just give my email address.


This article has a lot of problems. Although, the article gives a good definition of "hypocrisy," it soon devolves into unsupported POV writing. For example, all the allegations of hypocrisy among particular people need to be qualified as there is no way we can ever tell if a person is objectively a hypocrite. Since a "hypocrite" is a person who professes to hold beliefs he doesn't actually hold, in order to know that someone is a hypocrite, one would have to know what is going on in that person's mind. This is impossible. Thus, we can only say that a person has been called a hypocrite or has been suspected of hypocrisy.

Further, some of the examples given are highly questionable. First, Gary Hart is listed with no explanation given whatsoever. Also, William Bennett is listed as a hypocrite due to his gambling problem. This overlooks the fact that Bennett is Catholic, and the Catholic Church does not consider gambling sinful. -- Temtem 02:42, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

I have reverted out the examples. I don't feel we should list any examples because labelling something as hypocritical is not objective. Jgardner 08:28, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)
Well done. I agree 100% with your removal and your argument for it. Shanes 06:08, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I moved the Dr Stanovich paragraph to its own article and cleaned up the paragraph on hypocrisy and the church. I think this is a good article now. It manages to stay NPOV throughout and is very informitive on the subject.

hypo christ?[edit]

hypocrite "is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion" according to Britannica online. May be the word is related to Christ somehow.

No, I don't think so. Both "hypocrite" and "Christ" are of Greek origin, but hypocrite derives from a word meaning "actor on the stage" while "Christ" derives from "anointed." -- Temtem 22:32, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)


What is the use of a page on hypocrisy without examples? When substantiated facts regarding public exemplars meet the definition, they should be cited.

The problem is that there is never a way to know if a public example is a hypocrite or not. To prove someone is a hypocrite, you have to prove that that that person does not hold beliefs that he pretends to hold. This is not possible. Therefore, including examples is speculative, and introduces a huge potential for adding POV to the article in the form of attacks on public persons the poster simply does not like. -- Temtem
This is patently absurd and ridiculous, public figures who made public statements in contradiction to their publically revealed actions fit all the criteria. Hypocrisy is objectively verifiable.
No, because they may have truly held beliefs that they were unable to follow. Proving hypocrisy involves proving that a person's professed beliefs are insincere. While failure to act according to those professed beliefs may provide evidence for hypocrisy, it is not hypocrisy in itself. Further, including examples, especially among public figures, of perceived hypocrisy opens up the door to POV writing. People tend to see the worst in those they disagree with, and they examples therefore necessarily reflect this bias. -- Temtem 17:51, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)
Metaphysical blather worthy of a medieval theologian. So, when Strom Thurmond fathers an illegitimate child with his black servant and then later actively supports segregation, or Rush Limbaugh lectures on the radio about drug abuse and later is revealed to be a drug addict illegally procuring drugs, the Wikipedia NPOV Nazis insist there is no way to know if such actions were examples of hypocrisy or not.
If Thurmond and his supporters all agreed that he was being a hypocrite, then fine. But if there are arguments for why his actions were not an act of hypocracy, then to be POV, we'd have to list those to. So it would basicly be a long article discussing allegations on each example. And that's not what the hypocracy article is about. List and discus each persons alleged level of hypocracy on the article on those persons instead.
But I liked you making the examples its own article, List of Hypocrites. Then we can finally get some debate over it. I've allready VFD'ed it, but who knows. Maybe it will be kept. Some lists close to this one has been kept before, so I wouldn't be surprised. Good luck, and thanks for commenting on this here on talk. Shanes 15:31, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. But it seems to me whether or not Thurmond's supporters think it was or was not hypocrisy is irrelevant, actions and statements are objective facts. To maintain that the definition of hypocrisy is entirely subjective is stretching the definition to the metaphysical breaking point, imho.
Yes, I see your point. At some point it should be possible to call someone something even if they don't themselves exactly agrees in it. Did Clinton have sexual relations with that woman? Yes he did. Even though Clinton says he didn't. Or maybe it depends on the definition of the word it. Or however it was, I've forgotten it and I digress. But a list of presidents who cheated on their wifes could probably be made. Dunno. But in my oppinion these hypocracy examples stretch the NPOV-rule on what you can state without listing counter-arguments too much. So I don't like it. But you and probably others might want to keep it. We'll see. Shanes 16:08, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Some things can be viewed as hypocritical but may be correcting a previous wrong doing. This example may be too political but some said the US was hypocritical to invade Iraq because of weapons when the US actually supplied the weapons. It could be argued that the US was correcting a previous wrong. I think something like this should be put in! I'll see what I can do. - Chris, Wales, UK 18:22GMT 5th Dec 2005

More Examples[edit]

Metaphysical platitudes re the unknowability of any one individual's actions and intentions aside, here, for the record is the censored List of Hypocrites the NPOV Nazis didnt want you to see:

Hypocrisy in Religion[edit]

Hypocritical behavior can be found in all religions and institutes of religion in proportion to the degree of the religion's advocacy of fundamentalism or orthodoxy.

The Protestant Reformation started by Martin Luther was motivated in large part by the perceived hypocrisy of Catholicism in their selling of "indulgences" to permit violence before the crime has happened.

The Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal among supposedly celibate priests is a recent example.

During the rule of the theocratic Taliban government there were numerous reports concerning hypocritical behavior the Taliban rulers engaged in while at the same time punishing others for the same behavior [1].

The celibate monks of Mount Athos were found having sexual relations with the local sheep.

The New Testament refers specifically to hypocrites and hypocritical behavior in several places. In one passage, Jesus denounces the sect of the Pharisees for hypocritical, for example, the Gospel of Matthew chapter 23, paragraphs 13 to 15:

"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Gospel of Matthew 23:13-15:

In Zen Buddhism, the San Francisco Zen Center forced its abbot Zentatsu Richard Baker to resign in the 1980's due to charges involving, among other things, allegedly hypocritical behavior.


This section is superfluous. Everyone's provably guilty of being a hypocrite to some degree. Recommend deletion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:29, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Barak Obama, Campaigns on Transparency Administers in Secrecy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Mark Foley
Marion Barry
Jimmy Swaggart
Jesse Jackson, U.S. politician and ordained Baptist minister, giving religious counseling to Bill Clinton regarding his extra-marital affair, while himself secretly paying his own former mistress to remain quiet about the illegitimate child he fathered with her.
Ken Lay of Enron, who sold large amounts of his Enron stock in September and October of 2001 as its price fell, while encouraging employees to buy more stock, telling them the company would rebound.
Roy Cohn, lawyer involved with the McCarthy hearings, denounced homosexuality while himself being gay and a frequenter of gay bars
George W. Bush, U.S. President, advocates freedom and democratic values while his own administration works to undermine government transparency and civil liberties.
Dianne Feinstein, U.S. senator, is a strong supporter of gun control, while being known to have carried concealed handguns herself in California, where getting concealed carry permits is nearly impossible. *Isn't this more Dan White than hypocrisy?* Kmitch87 (talk) 09:25, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
William Bennett, U.S. advisor to the president on moral policies, admitted to $8 million losses from a gambling addiction.
Strom Thurmond, U.S. politician, actively promoted segregation after fathering the child of a black servant.
Kim Jong Il, Korean dictator, exhorts his subjects to make sacrifices while he lives in ostentatious luxury.
Newt Gingrich, U.S. politician, critic of president Bill Clinton's morality, while himself engaging in an extramarital affair, and lying under oath.
Rush Limbaugh, U.S. right-wing radio broadcaster, illegally procured drugs while lecturing on the radio about immorality.
Gary Hart, U.S. politician
Tom DeLay US politician, promoting extraordinary legislation to save Terri Schiavo while having previously allowed his own father to be removed from life support.

Hypocrisy in Legislation[edit]

The United States Congress, requiring U.S. citizens to participate in the Social Security program, while exempting themselves from participating in that very program, in favour of a more profitable one.

This statement is not hypocrisy. In no way is it going against their beleifs. Everyone is entitled to Social Security but when you exempt it you can get a better program. Hypocrisy would be for example if everyone is entited to Social Security but not if you are a homosexual.

The United States Congress, defeating nominal increases to the minimum wage for U.S. citizens at the same time as providing substantial wage increases for themselves for 8 years in a row. (The federal minimum wage is currently approximately $10,000 per year ($5.15 per hour for a 40 hour work week) and hasn't changed in nine years (1996 to 2005), at the same time as Congress has repeatedly acted to increase their own wage by $28,500 to $162,000 [2].)

The above statement is not hypocrisy. It is rather consistent when you think about it. Our Congressmen believes that the poor should not be paid more while beleiving in being paid more themselves. There is no inconsistecies. It is not moral -better put not within our morals-, yes, but it is not hypocrisy. To make this statement a subject of hypocrisy, Congress' policy would have to to help America's lower class then pass legislation against it. It is pretty clear that they don't care for the lower class by their actions. So their policy, by action, is not to help the poor. Policy for Congress is basically their belif system. They are not going against it thus are not hypocrites. It is not hypocrisy, just unfortunate. They will be misrepresenting their populous they mean to represent. In that case you have the right to not vote for them next term.

In fairness, the above example of congress's wage hike without a minimum wage hike isn't necessarily a case of believing that "the poor shouldn't be paid more." For example, a congressperson may believe that;
  • the market should set someone's wages rather than the government (but the government has to set congressional wages).
  • They may believe that the unemployment resulting from a minimum wage increase outweighs the benefits of a higher minimum wage.
  • They may believe that increasing the minimum wage would increase inflation, wiping out any gains from the wage hike. (Wage increases, without corresponding gains in efficiency, will inevitably lead to inflation.)
  • Or they may believe that higher wages for congressmembers will attract more skilled people to congress, while raising the minimum wage won't have similar benefits.
  • They may believe that a higher minimum wage would increase illegal immigration.
And so on. This isn't to argue in favor of any of these views (and this certainly isn't the forum for it) and we've gotten a minimum wage hike. This is only to say that it's very POV to assume you know someone's motives based on their actions. --Ryan Wise 04:27, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


RIAA Recording industry organization prosecuting individuals engaged in file sharing purportedly to protect the interests of the artists, at the same time as supporting publishers engaged in artist exploitation that cheats artists out of their fair share of royalty payments by using accounting tricks.

Hypocrisy in Film and Literature[edit]

The following films or works of literature have been cited as either dealing with issues of hypocrisy, or portraying hypocritical characters:




The article should explicitly point out that hypocrisy does not include openly stating that someone else's behaviour as well as one's own behaviour is wrong.

Failing to do what one believes to be right is not hypocrisy.

For instance, a driver who regularly exceeds the speed-limit might say: It is wrong to exceed the speed-limit. Would he be a hypocrite? Not unless he pretended to always obey the speed-limit himself.

This doesn't make sense[edit]

The section in question is:

"Some people believe that most, if not all people are hypocrites since we constantly criticize what we deem to be bad behavior, even though most people do bad things at some point in their lives."

I do not believe this makes much sense when viewed in light of the word hypocracy. I believe it would be more accurate if the comment was about how we as people view our own actions to be justified while the very same actions being done "to" us would be villified as being wrong. Thus the hypocracy comes not from "even though most people do bad things at some point", but from the fact that the very same act is viewed differently depending on whether we are the one committing the act or being the victim of the act. I am sure there are many people in the world who do these bad things and yet freely admit they are bad and could never be considered hypocrits as it is not the act of doing something wrong which makes them hypocritical.


A person sees a person drop $20 in the street. They dont bother to tell them and take it for themselves. In their mind they justify this action by saying "Losers weepers, Finders keepers". Some months later the person themselves drops money by accident. They realise this, turn around and find someone else taking their money. All of a sudden they are enraged and screaming "thief!!!" and claiming that their act was very wrong. The person is a hypocrit because the same act is viewed differently depending on the side of the fence you are on.

This kind of behaviour (and thus what I believe is the reason for the original quote) is clearly seen in many areas of society:

  • People who are opposed to the death penalty yet when a close member of their own family is murdered they change their mind
  • People who claim all drugs are bad and yet drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes
  • People who disregard the rules of society for their own benefit (ie robbers) and then expect those same rules to protect them later (ie when they are injured during robbery)
  • People who do not contribute to society (ie unemployed bludgers) yet expect society to support them (Note: This is a subset of those who are unemployed, not intended to mean all)
  • Bullies who abuse the rights of others yet complain when their own rights are abused
  • Authorities who persocute people for breaking the law and then protect their own when they break the law
  • Governments/Countries who claim attrocities have been committed against them while at the same time committing attrocities against others
  • Religions who preach acceptance and tolerance and then condemn and persocute those who are different to them
  • Spiritual people who believe they they must automatically follow the only correct path while everyone else must obviously follow the wrong one
  • Journalists/Media who claim the right to freedom of the press and then cry foul when their own dirty laundry is aired

The list goes on ;) Enigmatical 02:55, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

"People who do not contribute to society (ie unemployed bludgers) yet expect society to support them"- This is in no way hypocritical. Hypocracy would be complaining about welfare services and then expecting society to support them. An unjustified sense of entitlement, however, does not apply. ~~

RE:"Spiritual people who believe they follow the right path and other people don't" Such people are not automatically hypocritical. They could, in fact, be correct. And even if they're wrong, they're not hypocritical, just wrong. However people who preach that everyone has a right to their own opinion, or that tolerance is ideal, yet harshly reject others because those others believe in absolutes... that is a very common example of hypocrisy.
Likewise, incidences where a person makes a statement and THEN violates it are borderline. If a person opposes the death penalty, and then changes their position when a relative is murdered, how do you separate a valid change of opinion from hypocrisy? Does a hypocrite simply change their mind because they're suddenly in the same situation. (that definition is often used, so it may have some value as a popular definition.) Or do they have to actually criticize something for something they themselves have done or are doing?

--Ryan Wise 04:00, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

How about Personal Behavior?[edit]

I agree with you Enigmatical, and I am frustrated by this definition of a word I thought I understood quite well. When you say one thing, but do another, AND justify it, as in it isn't merely a mistake or a moment of weakness, that to me is hypocrisy. But I guess I'm wrong. Apparently we can never know what someone Actualy believes or feels, because they may be Lieing when they state their feelings or beliefs. Therefore their statements, and their actions, are not reliable reflections of their Actual beliefs or feelings, and no judgment can be accurately made as to whether they are hypocrites. This is making my head spin, and hurt alot.

I really think we need a WORD to define when someone's behavior does not match their stated positions, beliefs, opinions, or whatever. Putting it under "double standard" is not putting a WORD to it. For instance, say I'm playing an online game, and I meet someone who Kills me, and claims they hate it when people Kill others on that game, and their justification for killing me is that they have been killed by others and are now angry and taking it out on random players. I am a victim of a victim. Is this an example of hypocrisy? Or is it an example of "double standard"? If it is a "double standard" being applied by the one who killed me, what words do I use to accuse them of their incongruous behavior? "You are a Hypocrite!" apparently does not apply, so, do I say "You are applying a Double Standard!"? Somehow it just doesn't have the same Punch.

To me "Double Standard" relates only to how one decides how different groups should be treated based on their behavior. If a man commits murder, and whether he is found guilty or not depends solely on the color of his skin, that is a Double Standard, aka Racism. The differences between how Women and Men are treated in the work place, or by employers, is another example. A woman can get maternity leave to take care of a new baby, but a man cannot. I detect a Double Standard there as well.

If I constantly and publicly state that I am against circumcision in all cases, and then have my own child circumcised, am I a hypocrite? If I am totaly against abortion, but force my daughter to have an abortion, am I a hypocrite? Have I actualy stated my real beliefs, or was I lieing? Was my behavior based on my REAL beliefs, and my stated beliefs were lies? My head hurts too much to keep going.

This is all My Humble Opinion, and I am probably quite stupid and an idiot. --Krepta3000 23:28, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

A double standard requires some kind of, ya know, standard. --Ryan Wise 04:15, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Christian Origins[edit]

This section should be renamed to something else, or be done away completely. Hypocrisy didn't originate from Christianity. It was present way back. I'm putting a relevancy tag. Headbomb 17:01, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, this section of the article serves little purpose. 03:42, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Should this be kept in?[edit]

'An example of hypocrisy might be the fact that an online encyclopedia which was built from the contributions of millions of users now rejects useful personal websites from being listed in those same contributions under the guise of verfiability and reliability while simultaneously allowing its articles to become advertorials for major manufacturers. An example of this might be located here (leaf spring) which is now an advertorial for General Motors (corvette leaf springs).'

~obviously this doesn't really fit, and someone is riled up...I don't know if deleting this passage or not would be destroying the right to free speech; actually, that can be done on the talk page or on a forum, not in an otherwise factual article (as this is opinion). I'm going to leave it in and let somebody else do what they think should be done with it. Baberlp 20:26, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
eh?... isn't it not hypocrasy anyway? I mean, adventorials by large companies =/= personal websites. Just a thought. Hey, what is the guy complaining about anyway? I really don't see anything on "leaf spring" of note... 17:03, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not self-referential. Even if it were, this would need to appear in a published source, or it is original research. Jokestress 17:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Lots of unsourced and original research here[edit]

Much of this article violates Wikipedia's rules of objectivity. Statements like, "Examples of behavior mistakenly attributed to hypocrisy" are clearly subjective and someone's unsourced personal opinion. This should be an encyclopedia article with only sourced information. Unsourced personal opinion has no place here. 18:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, this whole article is a hot mess. I am going to start adding reliable sources. If we are going to include examples, they need to be examples cited in reliable published sources, not just an editor's opinion of what constitutes hypocrisy. For instance, Noam Chomsky published a book Case Studies In Hypocrisy: U.S. Human Rights Policy, and Keith Windschuttle published a book on the hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky in The New Criterion. That way we can avoid a lot of the political arguments. Cite your sources. Simple as that. Jokestress 19:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Would newspaper articles be oncisdered a sorce for this article? i have a substrictpion to washing post times and i think that could find artlces to verify alleggd ases of hypcoristy. Smith Jones 02:31, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely! We can quote articles as examples. Jokestress 02:57, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Chinese Translation[edit]

I deleted the Chinese Translation because it could not show, and I don't think it was needed (it can be found in the Chinese Wikipedia, right?). Hopefully, I did not do anything wrong and if you think it's needed, please add it back. Littleghostboo[ talk ] (Win an argument and leave your mark in history.) 11:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what this refers to exactly, but are you sure you had the plugin for asian languages installed? The problem might have been with you and not the passage. --Ryan Wise 03:51, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

The Masque of Anarchy[edit]

Perhaps a reference to the relevant lines of Percy Shelley's poem should be made:

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,

And the shadows of the night,

Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy

On a crocodile rode by.

Jackiespeel 17:01, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Jesus not mentioned?[edit]

I was a little surprised since all these years I thought that he coined the term. Steve Dufour 19:24, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Jesus is mentioned. Jokestress 22:24, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

This article is hypocritical[edit]

(moved to bottom of page per guidelines)

im stealing the start of this discussion to tell you that this article is totally hypocritical. it claims several times "the high morality" of hypocrisy, and how its a "beneficial trait" and why its necessary. W T F? is this supposed to be a hypocritical joke? cuz' get it, and it shouldnt be found here, on a page that claims professional standards. the lack of ideal moral principles (perhaps not be followed 100% but always being a goal for the constant strive of the happiness seeking man? (and women of course)) this is something to be expected from a page like 'uncyclopedia'. i demand that this gets fixed, or my argumentation corrected, or debated, so that a conclusion may be reached in a dialogical manner. just as socrates would have demanded. in a sense, this is an example of all that is wrong in our society, our constant disregard of moral imperatives and intersocial goals. our culture sure as hell isnt going to help. W T F?

hypocrisy is the act of breaching morality and claiming to be right, inspite of the moral imperative (as described by Kant) wich needs to be the standard of values. nobody is perfect, but our ideas and values should be.

Someone please adress this, and change the "hypocrisy" in this article. hypocrisy is an idea, which means breaching ones own set of moral values (or what is respectively apropriate for the given situation). hypocrisy is doing one thing, and saying the other.

its also worth mentioning that it can be used as a tactic to infuriate and disorient the other part, obviously loosing on a moral ground (the only truly right ground) without however owning up to it.

we are all hypocrites, but is that a reason to say that its right? or necessary? psychologists that say otherwise, lack wisdom and a proper philosophical understanding of the subject at hand. philosophy will be the ultimate judge of what is right, and what is wrong. not psychologists, trying to find mental illness, and stigmatizing pasients with a notion of insanity (this happened to a friend of mine, fucked him up proper!).

remove the hypocrisy! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).


What are you talking about? You're just rambling on about morals and "the happiness seeking man", and Socrates- what is your point? How is this article hypocritical? And if you're so concerned with the standard of quality to be found on Wikipedia's pages, maybe you should put some more thought into proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, and just your overall thought process, which doesn't seem even the slightest bit coherent, before you contribute here. That would be one way to improve the quality of this site's pages: think before you type.

Book List needed[edit]

There are no book references listed in the article, some should be added.

here is one coming out in 2007:

The Big Encyclopedia of Republican Hypocrites, 2006, (ISBN 1-4013-5248-0)


To preach against an act of which one is oneself guilty does not in itself constitute hypocrisy, even if one takes efforts to conceal one's behaviour. It becomes hypocrisy when it involves verbal attacks or demands of punishment against perpetrators of the act that one practices oneself. Hypocrisy can be, simply put, the pot calling the kettle black.

The above passage is inconsistant. Is 'the pot calling the kettle black' hypocrisy or not?

Suggested Changes[edit]

The first paragraph of the article is: Hypocrisy is the act of condemning or calling for the condemnation of another person when the critic is guilty of the act for which he demands that the accused be condemned. Though hypocrisy is frequently invoked as an accusation in debates, a few theorists have studied the utility of hypocrisy, and in some cases have suggested that the conflicts manifested as hypocrisy are a necessary or even beneficial part of human behavior and society.[1]

For sake of brevity, I suggest changing sentence 1 to: Hypocrisy is the act of condemning or calling for the condemnation of another person for behaviour the condemner is guilty of.

I think this maintains the same meaning. Does it?

Reflecting more on the first sentence, my dictionary of first choice has hypocrisy as "pretending to be what one is not or to believe what one does not". This suggests to me that the "condemning" is not an essential part of "hypocrisy", that one can be a hypocrite without condemning. If so, the first sentence as given above is too narrow.

Regarding the second sentence of the article, (i.e., Though hypocrisy is frequently invoked as an accusation in debates, a few theorists have studied the utility of hypocrisy, and in some cases have suggested that the conflicts manifested as hypocrisy are a necessary or even beneficial part of human behavior and society.[1]) I think putting this sentence in so prominent a place a) detracts from the first sentence and b) gives way too much attention to the speculations of "a few theorists". (Just for the record, I have no idea if these theorists are wrong or right. ) My point is that having the sentence here plunges the reader of the article into very deep water that most readers probably don't want. —Preceding comment added by Wanderer57 05:48, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi Kane5187: Thanks. The first sentence is much better. Any thoughts about my comments on the rest of the paragraph? Wanderer57 21:26, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Necessary or even beneficial?[edit]

I removed "also" from first sentence as it implied the person condemned is guilty.

"Necessary or even beneficial" seemed to me to make about as much sense as "beneficial or even necessary" so I took out the "even".

I also divided the definition from the rest of the paragraph and made a couple of other changes. I think they are improvements. Wanderer57 16:01, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Hypocrisy in humor[edit]

QUOTING the article:

"Hypocrisy can also be humorous unintentionally,as when a man who often condemns others for moral failures claims that having sexual relations with someone other than his wife is acceptable in certain circumstances, using the justification "it's not adultery if your wife is in the room.""

I don't see this as an example of unintentional humor. It reads like the punchline of a joke. Am I missing the point? Wanderer57 (talk) 18:09, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


In a movie called "1776", one of the characters uses the word hypocracy, but he pronounces it: "highpocracy".

I presume that this is an alternative way of pronouncing hypocracy, but in a manner that the first sylable is the same as in the phrase "High Treason", thus implying a sort of a high hypocracy.

Perhaps an English major could locate some research on this and add an appropriate passage to the article. (talk) 12:34, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Intentional deception?[edit]

QUOTING the article: "In all this, we do not find the modern idea that the hypocrite is unaware that his performance or argument stands in contradiction with his self: on the contrary, a hypocrite in antiquity was someone who intentionally tried to deceive others." (from end of etymology section)

It seems to me the modern use of hypocrite sometimes means someone who intentionally tries to deceive others. If so, the quote doesn't quite work.

Other opinion please. Wanderer57 (talk) 15:28, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

bad example[edit]

Given is (Example: You telling someone they should not do drugs but you yourself do drugs). This may be a bad example for the simple reason that a user of drucgs may be telling others not to do so, just because he knows about the bad effects.

I'm getting the impression the hypocrisy card is used to discredit specific norms. By arguing that people advocating a norm are actually not living up to it, hence they are hypocrites and hence there is no authority to support that norm. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:06, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Seems more dictionary-ish than encyclopedic.[edit]

I have nothing really against the page; it's not the greatest wiki page around, but it's not terrible (in its current form), either.

But I wonder if we want the page to exist at all; it seems to mostly be a dictionary page, with a few examples and deeper explanation. If we say "sure, there should be a page on hypocricy", then are we implicitly suggesting pages on other words? What is special about "hypocrisy" that makes it encyclopedic content?

<shrug> I don't feel strongly enough about this to campaign for its deletion, but I'm curious about the thinking behind it. Oliepedia (talk) 15:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I also happen to agree that this is more of a "dictionary" entry and I'm also curious as to the thinking and/or point behind it. And I'm not sure that the point is to use only conservative or right leaning-associated examples of hypocrisy, which is hypocrisy in and of itself, isn't it? There are myriad examples of liberal/lefitst hypocrisy and are easily found and should have been added to show balance. Because there are not, I see this entry to be more or less an indictment of valid viewpoints hidden behind the guise of an encyclopedic entry. While this could be construed to be a dictionary-type entry, my feeling is that this entry and should be removed altogether. Mykl6381 (talk) 14:58, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

smoking example[edit]

not so sure about the smoking example as children's lungs are much more vulnerable to the toxic carcinogens in tobacco smoke compared to adult lungs. This is coming from a 16 year old non-smoking agnostic/atheist, by the way. (talk) 15:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Definition given is not accurate[edit]

Failing to live up to one's own ideals is certainly not a virtue, but it's not hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is professing to hold a socially-approved view that one does not actually hold. --Trovatore (talk) 04:36, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I would argue that hypocrisy is not holding yourself up to your own standards, in a lousy 'when I do it, it's different' kind of way — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

  • That's not an argument. That's just an assertion -- an assertion inconsistent with the definition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:37, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Alternately spelled ....[edit]

It says "alternately spelled hypocrisy in American English" but how is that any different from the page title? —Preceding unsigned comment added by David13579 (talkcontribs) 23:30, 3 April 2009 (UTC)


Having checked definitions from various well-known online dictionaries, there seems to be a consensus that, essentially:

FIRST DEFINITION: Hypocrisy is pretending to hold a socially-approved opinion when one really does not.

This page states:

SECOND DEFINITION: Hypocrisy means being less critical of oneself than of others.

Is this really the same thing? I think if you read it literally, and a definition must read literally, it is not. The first, and widely repeated, definition, is that it is the sincerity of the opinion that matters. This is a very specific definition. The second seems largely unrelated, and actually too vague and general. The big question for me is whether "less critical of oneself" is logically identical to "not believing in one's stated opinion". If it is, keep it, but I'm not convinced it is.

The most immediate effect of taking the first definition is that the example is wrong. If a man says to his son, "Don't smoke" and his son says "But you smoke", he has already committed hypocrisy because he clearly does not hold his stated opinion. But according to the second definition, hypocrisy has not been committed yet, because he has not yet shown that he is less critical of himself than others.

NB: Under the first definition, telling another friend smoking is good after saying it is bad is also hypocrisy, as he clearly does not hold his earlier stated opinion. This illustrates the difference between the first and second definition, because it does not involve being less critical of oneself. Hence, this is not hypocrisy under the second definition.

NBB: Alternatively, this is really screwing with my mind and they ARE the same bloody thing! (talk) 12:56, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes ! its the same thing. The main definition is 'failure to practice what one preaches'. That is enough - any question of intention is really just evaluating the severity or scale of their hypocrisy.

Samuel Johnson is just double talking... who is he to say ? did he write a dictionary or encyclopedia ? I dont think that every fact must be vetted by every single public figure ... how does that work ? do we ask Elvis Presley what he things hypocrisy is ? Should we ask Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn Manson ? If not, why must we quote one person, this samual person ? what the ? Its King's , Queen's English, not Samuel's English ! (talk) 02:37, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

An intentional deception involves choice. Being unable to practice what one preaches does not involve choice. Those that choose to deceive deserve more criticism than those that are simply weak in character. The strong word hypocrisy is reserved for the former. Less critical words are for the latter.

a list of hypocrisy[edit]

It would be a good idea to make a list of hypocrisys. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

That would be an inordinately long list, and would probably cause a lot of controversy. Just to name a few:
  • All religions which exclude other religions from being true.
  • Blacks discriminating against gays.
  • People with interracial marriages discriminating against gays.
  • Atheists who say that others aren't capable of being atheists.
  • Transsexuals who say otherkin are crazy.
  • Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
  • The Palestinians' treatment of Israelis.
  • Anyone who opposes racism and supports affirmative action.
Ect. It'd just be asking for a flame war, plus the list would be incredibly long. Virtually every group of note commits hypocrisy, and virtually all social debates involve hypocrisy. Unless it was a major part of an article, I don't think a list would be very constructive. Titanium Dragon (talk) 09:08, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's not hypocrisy to oppose racism while advocating affirmative action. It's hypocrisy not to, affirmative action is simply a corrective measure.--Part Time Security 10:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

On reading through the rest, I'd have to say that only the Israeli's treatment of the Palestinians can really be called hypocrisy in that list.--Part Time Security 10:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect example[edit]

The whole father/son example is wrong. The article's claim that the father would have only been a hypocrite if he stated he didn't swear (when it was previously acknowleged that he did) is incorrect. The father would have been a liar not a hypocrite. The whole article reads very poorly. A two paragraph definition in the dictionary (e.g. Mirriam-Webster) gives much better clarity without the verbose and misleading examples.

I agree[edit]

Upon further research, I agree. I will adjust it accordingly.

Better? :)

Incidentally, I did not, and have not, edited below the 'Etymology' mark.

Good article and the doctor example[edit]

I'd like to add that a smoking doctor might be speaking from experience especially that smoking is addictive.-- (talk) 15:24, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Remarks on the Etymology section[edit]

A spiritus asper seems to missing on "υποκρίνομαι (hypokrinomai)". Also it seems slightly inconsistent to have 'krinein' in the second paragraph in the infinitive rather than first person singular and only in Roman transcription, without the Greek. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:25, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

This article contradicts itself[edit]

"Hypocrisy is the act of persistently professing beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that are inconsistent with one's actions." "It is not simply an inconsistency between what is praised or admired and what is done." These two sentences contradict each other - on a very simple level. I suggest 'actions' is changed to 'beliefs', if this is the correct definition.

Also, the next example seems to highlight why merely basing the definition on hypocrisy on incompatibility between stated beliefs and true beliefs is troublesome: "A finer distinction that circumvents this apparent contradiction would be that to espouse an idea, but not live up to it, might simply mean one hasn't yet conquered some self perceived shortfall (as in Samuel Johnson's example). However to condemn others for behavior that the condemner engages in clearly falls outside this gray area and into hypocrisy." Why does it 'clearly fall outside this grey area'? Using the stated definition, I see no justification. While perverse, one could condemn someone for behaviour one commits, believing that one's behaviour is wrong but content in living in condemnation. Using the stated definition, this is then not hypocrisy. If the definition allows such absurdities, perhaps the definition needs fixing. (talk) 14:18, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with your observation. I believe the definition is something closer to "the false profession of beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, and/or standards that one does not possess." What do you think of this?
- Macgyver89 (talk) 00:20, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Resisting hypocrisy[edit]

(Re Bakhtin on how in resisting hypocrisy, laughing truth degraded power)

Why is his alleged methods of "combating hypocrisy" sourced or relevant. We only have his word for it, and, even if there were a secondary source, we wouldn't have one for notability. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:35, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

My point is that there should be a section in this article on ways in which hypocrisy can be resisted and the implications of so doing. Eg you can stand up to those in power who are guilty of it, like Jesus did in John 8 (throwing stones), perhaps the most well-known and eloquent encapsulation. Or you can laugh, for which this is pretty good, BrekekekexKoaxKoax (talk) 04:09, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I could argue Wikipedia:NOT#HOWTO, but I don't really feel that applies here. However, we would need reliable secondary sources as to the methods; Bakhtin is primary. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:06, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Error: etymology ?[edit]

The definition of Hypocrisy it is not so controversial as here seems to be depicted (cfr. definition in other languages; this word exist in all the European languages, introduced by the middleaged Logical and Theological schools). It is not true it means "Jealous" "play-acting", "acting out", "coward" or "dissembling". This meanings are metaphoricals. The etymology of hypocrisy comes from the ancient Greek υποκρίνομαι (hypokrinomai), that means "sub-judgment" (verb form), in the sense of "not to be able to correctly judge things or people, situations, or themselves". It indicates an inhability to be objective, or more usually the choice to not be objective. In this sense, it metaphorically advocates all the other listed meanings. (Frank Castle) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (Frank Castle talk) 11:36, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Hypocrisy = Hippocrates? Isn't fair to assume that there is an obvious connection between a hypocrite (a person that betrays the given word) and the Hippocratic Oath? Does anyone knows a source for a such connection? Bigshotnews 04:35, 13 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bigshotnews (talkcontribs)

No. There is no connection, which is why they are spelt differently and mean different things. Hippocratic Oath comes from the man Hippocrates, Hypocrisy comes from, well, see above and this article. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 14:46, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Deception is essential to hypocrisy[edit]

There seems to be an on going battle between those that believe hypocrisy requires deception of others and those that believe hypocrisy is any act of an individual that is incongruous with some system of right or wrong implied by that individual's religion or philosophy. Let me emphasize that most definitions of hypocrisy include the idea of a deception. If that requirement is relaxed then nearly everyone that tries to improve himself or herself by adopting a religion or any philosophy becomes a hypocrite since the entire point of adopting a particular worldview is to in part correct problems of character. Perfect people don't need religion or philosophy. The imperfect that try to modify their behavior and character will inevitably fail on occasion. It is unfair to call such people hypocrites. The word is reserved for those people that know they lack virtue but attempt to convince others that they really are virtuous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Jung section?[edit]

Are Jung's views of hypocrisy so central to our understanding of the concept that they warrant being the only example of a major thinker getting his or her own section of this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Glenntwo (talkcontribs) 19:17, 14 December 2013 (UTC)