19 February 2009

Against Hate: Against Violence

It astounds me how someone who is (or claims to be) against racism can be hateful.

I am against hate. I believe that hate and fear underlie many social ills, including racism, prejudice, intolerance of personal differences like age, gender, sexual preference, religion, ethnicity, and race.

So hate in and of itself is the problem. There is no good hate.

It's very frustrating to see supposed progressives, or radicals, engaging in hateful behavior. Very sad.

Healing is in order.

Definitions of Hate:

The most simple definition is "intense feelings of dislike."

From Wikipedia: "Aristotle viewed hate as a desire for the annihilation of an object that is incurable by time."

Also from Wikipedia: "In psychology, Sigmund Freud defined hate as an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness."

Wikipedia again: "In a more contemporary definition, the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines hate as a "deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger, and hostility towards a person, group, or object.""

On Hate Speech, from Wikipedia:
Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action[citation needed] against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, hair color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting[citation needed]. It is also sometimes called antilocution[citation needed] and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society. Critics have claimed that the term "Hate Speech" is a modern example of Newspeak, used to silence critics of social policies that have been poorly implemented in a rush to appear politically correct.
I am against hate, and against violence. Until we can learn to sit down and resolve our differences in a constructive manner, there will always be people, even those supposedly working for justice, who will oppress and beat down on those with whom they have differences.
Violence is the Problem, NOT the SolutionThomas Merton: "I am against war, against violence, against violent revolution, for peaceful settlement of differences, for nonviolent but nevertheless radical changes. Change is needed, and violence will not really change anything: at most it will only transfer power from one set of bull-headed authorities to another."
Hate and violence are unacceptable and intolerable. In Peace, Berd


  1. The only problem I see with eradicating hate is that love would lose its meaning. We must fully understand anything's opposite to fully understand.

    If everything was about love, the depth of the emotion itself would be missing because love is only fulfilling juxtaposed to hate. If all you ate were lemons, you wouldn't know that they were sour because you would have nothing to compare their taste to.

  2. HmHm, yes. Thank you for sharing these views.

    Perhaps the idea can be framed in terms of feeling hate v. acting on hate. Perhaps the problem is not feelings of intense dislike, but in expressing ourselves hatefully, and treating others in a hateful manner.

    Perhaps to conquer basic feelings of hate is asking too much.

    However- I think it is reasonable to refrain from treating each other in hurtful ways that are based on feelings of hate.

    You have a point in terms of the dual Hate/Love relationship. It would be too much to lose Love. And I can see how one might not exist without the other.

    But in terms of human interactions, I would like to see people refrain from expressing themselves based on feelings of hate.

    Disagreement is important. We should promote expression of disagreement.

    I just think that reasonable disagreements can be expressed in ways that are tolerant of personal differences.

    To be honest, I probably have some hate within myself (that maybe I am reluctant to fess up to.) I intensely dislike militarism and foreign policies of dominance: and bullying behavior.

    I do try to keep my dislikes to the realm of behavior, rather than feeling intense dislike toward others' essential beings. So while I intensely dislike what someone may do, I don't have to feel hate at the same time for the person who is doing it.

    It's nuanced. You see!

    So in that way maybe it is possible to hate (or bear similar feelings) without doing harm to another being.

  3. Where does Hamas fit it to this? Thanks. Or are some forms of hate (i.e. the belief that killing Jews anywhere on Earth is legitimate) okay? If there is a complex rationale, are hate and violence okay? Thanks.

  4. Haven't heard that Hamas as an organization advocates for killing Jews. Do you have any credible and current sources of information to substantiate your allegation?

    Separately, I am sick and tired of abusively accusing critiques of Israel's violent Zionism as anti-Semitic.

    I am not anti-Semitic and I strongly oppose the State of Israel's subjugation and violence toward Palestinians.

    Violent Zionism is unacceptable and intolerable.

  5. Hilarious. You haven't even read the Hamas Charter. Why don't you post the Hamas Charter in it's entirety on your blog? It is clearly stated that Jews anywhere on Earth are a legitimate target to be killed.

  6. Is violence by Palestians unacceptable and intolerable, or, again, are some forms of violence and hate okay? You have clearly avoided this question by talking about anti-semitism, which has nothing to do with the question. You are embarassing yourself on your own blog.

  7. I have no reason to assume that 1988 document is still a working charter for Hamas.

    In fact, I have heard that Hamas no longer holds many of the most problematic positions, which are espoused in the above charter document.