Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Red Mists of Hate

The word “HATE” is thrown around an awful lot nowadays, with people invoking it whenever they are making reference to any level of animosity, whether truly hate or simply a minor form of dislike. In fact, if one was to consider the amount of times one hears this word used in everyday conversation, it might lead someone to think that this world is a very hateful place, filled with people who hate one another. My first point is to highlight the fact that the modern day usage of the word hate is a violation of what the word actually means. Today, hate is used to highlight almost any form of negative emotion, whereas the true definition of hate is an extreme term and should only be used to reference a passionate dislike of another human being.

It may be cliché, but it is very true that love and hate are very close. This is because they are the two expressions of both passion and obsession. To hate someone, you must feel about this person passionately, you must have emotional attachments to this individual, all of which have soured or dwell on the negative. Both love and hate arise from passion directed towards another human being or concept or idea. Why are love and hate so close if they are considered to be the complete opposites? Because to transition the boundary between them takes very little effort or energy. Anybody who has ever had affection for another will likely understand that it doesn’t take very much for that passion for another person to become hatred, and then it is equally easy for this hatred to return to love.

However, hatred has a hideous connotation with imperfection, thus it contains within it some kind of moral significance. To hate, or to be capable of hate is a privation of perfection, it is to be without perfection, it is to be finite as opposed to infinite. If you think of the notion of an all perfect God, we would likely be led to the conclusion that such a perfect being would be without hatred, instead being representative of infinite love, which is by far the moral superior to hate. When we consider hatred, by most scales it is considered to be incompatible with morality.

Hatred is a vice, hence it is the path to moral wrong. However, most people will hate someone or something at some point in their lives, for it is very human to feel emotions for other people and to have emotional responses to our environment. But surely, if we consider hate to be a vice and then consider the fact that all humans experience this emotion, we may be lead to conclude that the entirety of the human race are without virtue and that we are all immoral and hideous. What should be highlighted here is that all of humanity are prone to vice, that virtue is achievable for every person through aspiring and acting for the right reasons.

The second point of this entry is that I wish to express my view that a person feeling hatred does not make that person a bad person, instead it makes them more human. However, I do also wish to raise the point that although having the ability to feel hate and that fact that we do feel hate does not render us all bad people, any endorsement of this emotion should be considered abhorrent. Where is it reasonable to say that we will without doubt feel hatred and that this does not make us bad individuals, it is entirely unreasonable to say that we are in any case permitted to encourage this hatred. In fact, I would say that it is a fair assessment to say that we have some form of duty to reduce hatred as much as we possibly can.

Thus, I deduce that any instance in which we attempt to sponsor hatred, we are committing a terrible immoral act. However, simply feeling hatred, without any desire to promote or increase this feeling, is not immoral, it is instead something that we are unable to control, though we should not act upon it, instead aiming to reduce it as far as it is possible to do so.

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