The feigning of beliefs and virtues not actually held or possessed becomes most obvious where there is a marked double standard of morality. Hypocrisy may gloss over considerable immorality, thus maintaining the respectability of the person in question and any position of power that he or she has. Such hypocrisy serves to frustrate people who suffer or may think they suffer as a result.
Two systems of morality can generally be found in any society at any given period of time: a strict or austere system and a liberal or loose one. The latter is generally found among the more wealthy and the former among the poorer. Adam Smith considered the poor to be more vulnerable to the consequences of loose behaviour and excesses than the rich.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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