# Hatred - good and necessary?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by wynn, May 13, 2012.

1. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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This has come up in another thread:

The idea that hatred is sometimes a good and necessary thing.

Hatred - good and necessary?

3. ### Big ChillerRegistered Senior Member

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Hate is an emotion, emotions are highly subjective so it's no wonder that hate is sometimes needed same goes for anger, love... Love then can sometimes be bad.

5. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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??

How can hatred, ie. the desire that someone would suffer or experience harm,
be a good thing?

How can love be a bad thing? If it's bad, it's not love.

7. ### GustavBannedBanned

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such drama
that sounds more like a figure of speech that probably translates to a state of opposition to that which deviates from social norms

8. ### Big ChillerRegistered Senior Member

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As I've stated above emotions are highly subjective what appears downright good to one can be bad according to social norms, I'm afraid this is not a natural science topic with empirical studies it belongs in Free Thoughts.

9. ### CavalierKnight of the OpinionRegistered Senior Member

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I am not sure that all "hatred" is the same as the desire to harm someone or see them come to harm. Some hatred is that intense, but a lot of hatred takes the form of wanting to avoid someone else.

Clearly we evolved hatred for some purpose, so it very likely has some positive survival element to it. For example, suppose your tribe meets up with the "Tribe From The Other Side of the Mountain" that other Tribe steals from you and kidnaps your women. The resulting hatred makes you (A) wary of trusting them again, which is good, and (B) more likely to militarize to a point where you won't be such easy pickings next time, which is also good.

Hatred can work well on an individual level too, since it protects from bad acts of the untrustworthy. I would only be a burden if your hatred were often (perhaps even "usually") mistargeted. Even within one's own tribe hatred and anger can be used to pressure other members into conforming to the social norms of the group, and that can add to group cohesiveness.

Hatred can be misused too, and it does seem to be maladapted to the modern world all too often (where we deal with groups far larger than the social networks our ancestors dealt with), but I don't think it could be said overall that we'd be better off without it as a matter of survivability (although as a matter of pure ethics, we might be better if it were gone).

I think love can be abused too, depending on what one means by "love." Love makes us trusting, and those we love often do not deserve the measure of trust we place in them. Certainly if you were to love *everyone* that could be a recipe for disaster if you were to draw an unscrupulous person into your life. Then, if the love did not fade despite the numerous wrongs done to you by your beloved, that too would be bad. I've known plenty of people who were in love with partners who were awful for them, so much so that I and their other friends hoped fervently that that love would die a quick death. In one case, a sweet woman I know was in the thrall of a meth-addicted, violent, ex-con who seemed to alternate between being nice to her (roughly 5% of the time), being mean to her (80% of the time) and physically abusing her and her kids (15% of the time). He once made her jump out of a moving car (at about @20 mph) after a screaming argument with their kids in the backseat. After she was released from the hospital, it took two months before they were living together again.

Ain't love grand?

10. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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But it is perfectly possible to want to avoid someone without hating them.

It doesn't automatically take hatred (and anger) in order to maintain one's boundaries and keep to one's priorities.

11. ### Buddha12Valued Senior Member

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I think that hate is self destructive and only causes yourself many problems in the long run. I also believe that hate does happen in everyone from time to time but it is short lived and therefore doesn't really harm you but does make you feel upset for a brief time. Most of us just give it a passing glance as it happens and can almost immediately stop it from manifesting into outright emotional upheaval.

That is accomplished with self control and self discipline over yourself which takes time to understand and control. Watching our parents not get upset is one way we learn how to control ourselves and over time. We also adjust to those moments when we are overcome with emotions that we can't keep under complete control due to lack of maturity or misunderstanding how to accomplish it.

Communicating your thoughts about things which upset you to those who you love and trust so that they can help you is another way of learning about self control.

12. ### diverightindiaRegistered Member

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good..no...necessary..possibly. you dont have to hate to not like something/someone though. but hate fuels anger...and anger can be positive or negative.

13. ### NMSquirrelOCD ADHD THC IMO UR12Valued Senior Member

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anger does not exist by itself..
fear,frustration,loss,sadness and/or guilt must exist before anger can be..
this comes from psychologists..(well,i added guilt)

i think (don't know) that hate also must not exist by itself, it must have prerequisites to exist just like anger does.

14. ### elteValued Senior Member

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This is a very important question that ties directly to my philosophy of ethics, and I'll say a qualified yes. The way things are for us as human beings there are plenty of harms that we ought to hate and so do away with. The key is that the hate is against circumstances and things, and not against people, who are all victims of circumstances one way or another due to upbringing, environment, and nature.

Here are two cents more I'll throw in here. If a person who doesn't live according to the idea of not hating other people tries to harm them or does injurious things unwittingly, it is okay to view avoiding or stopping that person by force, if necessary, as a means of self-defense, yet it is important not to hate that person. I might agree with Wynn's intention here.

15. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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How does hating a circumstance do away with it?

16. ### kx000Valued Senior Member

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Give me an example of a situation where hating rationally would be a bad thing. For example, school bully steals your lunch money repeatedly. It would be completely understandable to dislike him greatly.

17. ### spocksterRegistered Member

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think it's bad, animals seems to do quite well without it. I realized it especially after reading "The power of now" by eckhart tolle

18. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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How can hate be rational?

19. ### elteValued Senior Member

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Oh, I see how that could use clarification. I mean we hate things like disease and hunger and that motivates us to do away with them. Hating those things is good.

20. ### CavalierKnight of the OpinionRegistered Senior Member

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You should read up on modern research into emotions. Emotions and reason are not opposites (contrary to what Plato might have us believe). Emotions are a an efficient adaptation to, generally, lead us to reasonable workable conclusions in most cases.

Studies (such as those by Antonio Damásio, et al.*) have shown that negative emotions improve our ability to respond to risks (which we tend to be very bad at properly, rationally analyzing in most cases). The truth is, we are not rational creatures, at least not in a strict sense, and our emotions are largely geared towards making us act in a way that improve our chances of survival, because they generally prompt us to act in a way that is more rational than we would be without those emotions.

The negative emotions, by themselves, can lead us astray (the aversion of risks they create can be so intense that we fail to take risks that are, rationally, "good bets"), and so our cognitive faculty does play a role in mitigating how we respond to emotion, but it's hardly surprising that both faculties are "good" for our long term survivability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_marker_hypothesis

Edit: I should add, for clarity, this: Even when our cognitive faculty fights against an emotional aversion, it is still fighting in favor of some other emotional goal. Even our cognition is a "slave of the passions" as Hume put it. The studied examples include the following: Suppose that you are faced with a wager. You pay $1 to play. You have a 50% chance of winning$3.00 and a 50% chance of losing your original dollar. The expected winnings from that game is $1.50. If our generally negative-emotionally driven aversion to risk ran wild, we would avoid that game because we'd focus on the risk of losing that$1. But the other emotional drive is the optimistic notion that we might win. We are, in most situations, strongly "risk averse" as a species (even those of us who are the least risk averse, are generally not "risk seeking" in most contexts of their lives). The cognitive function helps to overcome our risk aversion in many cases where the positive outcome is sufficiently tempting, but even that is not a purely rational determination...our emotions determine what the value of the rewards are, and our cognitive function were serves as a way of choosing between our conflicting emotional desires. Very often, we craft a rational argument for why we will or will not take a particular risk as a tie breaker between competing emotional impulses.
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* See, for example:

1. Bechara, A., Damásio, A. R., Damásio, H., & Anderson, S. W. (1994). Insensitivity to future consequences following damage to human prefrontal cortex, Cognition, 50, 7-15.

2. Shiv, B., Loewenstein, G., Bechara, A., Damásio, H., & Damásio, A. R. (2005). Investment behavior and the negative side of emotion. Psychological Science, 16, 435-439.

and, generally,

3. Robert H. Frank, "Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role of Emotions," W. W. Norton & Company (1988)

4. Simon M. Laham, "The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (and Why They Are So Good For You)." Three Rivers Press (2012)

Last edited: May 14, 2012
21. ### CavalierKnight of the OpinionRegistered Senior Member

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Interesting that I just happened to come across this: Angry people are more analytical:

Source: "Thinking Straight While Seeing Red: The Influence of Anger on Information Processing" from Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 33, No. 5, 706-720 (2007)

22. ### kx000Valued Senior Member

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Um. You steal my lunch money for a week straight, and beat me up. I hate you.

23. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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Hate is anger directed at someone. You can't say it's good, but it's not necessarily bad. It can be motivation to do something you have to do and couldn't do without emotion, like fight in a war.