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Essay:Quantifying hypocrisy

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This page is an essay by Andrew Small. If you have a comment, please put it on the talk page.

Many parameters can be quantified easily or just by using a specific tool -- for example, length, weight and volume. Other take more effort to quantify -- like quantifying intelligence with an IQ test (itself not a perfect measure) or specific health parameters by taking medical tests. Some even take it as far as to quantify personal qualities, but these tests tend to be greatly flawed and/or biased.

One quality which would be useful to quantify, though, is hypocrisy. An adequate measure of hypocrisy would strongly help in finding whether a person is to be as strongly trusted as one thinks.

Note: The following method was created to test authors who wrote large amounts of text on different subjects. With some adaptations, it could be useful for verbal debate.

The hypocrisy testEdit

  1. Does the person in question think it's immoral for mothers to have abortion, yet moral to invade other nations, murdering peaceful people?
  2. Does the person in question claim they prefer logic and science, yet commit numerous fallacies and ignores scientific proof against them?
  3. Does the person in question enforce a set of rules on others, yet keeps violating these same rules?
  4. Does the person in question admit one's own errors while blaming others for committing mistakes?
  5. Did the person in question claim a the book's contents are completely true while trying to rewrite the book in question?
  6. Does the person in question flip-flop on a matter as soon as revealing details are discovered?
  7. Was the person in question ever noticed removing or otherwise manipulating important data to further their views?
  8. Did the person in question look for bias in others' statements while committing a lot more bias in their own statements?
  9. Is the person in question extremely selective at enforcing rules or noting errors?
  10. Did the person in question claim they are looking for truth with an open mind without even considering other opinions seriously?

The person's hypocrisy can be scored on how often a "yes" answer may be given. Answering more than half of the questions positively indicates an extremely dangerous degree of hypocrisy; isolation from politics and any sorts of debate is advised.

Extra points and further refinementsEdit

Extra points may be added if the fragments in question (for example, writing a set of rules and violating a rule in Q3) both happened close to each other (either in time or amount of text) or repeatedly over time. Then, the score should be divided by maximum possible score for a single point, and 0.5*(number of questions) would indicate a dangerous degree of hypocrisy.

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