Reasons to HateOct 18, 2020
Why is there so much hate in the world? Is hatred ever morally justified? Or does hate just breed more hate? What exactly is hatred anyway? These are some of the big questions we’re tackling on this week’s show, Why We Hate.
Saturday, October 3, 2020 -- 1:10 AMMore than 70 years after WWII
More than 70 years after WWII, few topics stir such heated conversations in France as the collaborator vs resistant debate. It boiled back up after the Eichmann trial and never left the surface. In 2008, the Bibliothèque de Paris hung the work of André Zucca on its walls. The pictures depicted ordinary Parisians going about their daily lives under the occupation. His work revealed a third, seemingly larger category of French people: the passive citizen. It was a scandal. It seemed the passive citizen drew almost as much hate as the "collabo."
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 -- 10:30 AMEvidently. March of 2003 in
Evidently. March of 2003 in the U.S. is a good example. When the moral revulsion directed towards the apparent criminal behaviors of the U.S. government at the time which was experienced by citizens who cared about international relationships was discovered not to be shared by some other citizens who claimed to care about their country, a palpable hatred was observed to be directed towards fellow citizens, so that hatred of the government's actions came to include hatred of those who were complacent in the face of U.S. military aggression. In this way, the power of the citizenry over the future of the country could be considerably reduced by the creation of artificial divisions within it designed to cripple popular control over public assets, such as clean air, healthy food, affordable education, etc. In agreement with your point, then, the assertion here is of deliberate use of hatred produced by the distinction between public supporters and opponents of the Iraq invasion which benefited private control over the state. By means of war, then, hatred is used to divide the public so that it can not defend itself against assaults by private power. Does that sound about right?
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 -- 10:59 PMAlfredo,
Sorry to miss you in time, as I am only now returning to this show. Let me catch in space.
Thanks for your insightful post on France's collaborator vs. resistance debate during WWII. Your observation of the emergence of the passive citizen category is thought-provoking and highlights the complexities of human behavior and choices during the conflict.
It makes me think of this image we can't share here (grace be given), but it sticks in my mind.
That image echoes sidewalks in my hometown, walking past houseless and destitute addicts, outcasts and, worst of all, kids.
Drawing a parallel between the Holodomor genocide and the Russian occupation of Ukraine, we can see that similar patterns emerge in different historical and geographical contexts. It is essential to acknowledge the existence of various categories of people, including collaborators, resistants, passive citizens, and victims, as each group represents different perspectives and experiences.
Your post has not only shed light on the complexities of French society during the occupation but also allowed us to explore these dynamics in other contexts, such as Ukraine. Individuals' diverse roles and experiences during these events not only develop a perspective on historical conflicts but highlight present-day scenarios far away and close at hand. We haven't seen the last of these conflicts in France; not in our lifetime, not yet.
I appreciate your ability to bring forth a divergent but thoughtful point.
Thank you for this,
John D Thinkinfeller
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 -- 12:04 AMHello, I listened to your
Hello, I listened to your recent episode concerning hate. The guest Berit Brogaard suggested that hate when not acted upon can have positive benefits for a person, although she did not disclose any details about how these benefits manifest in individuals or society. The reason I believe is because there are no examples of this.
What happens when such a strong emotion as hate is indulged? I think it would seek an outlet. What happens when one is not provided because of philosophical constraints? Is the individual who holds hate and does not act on it destined to just constantly grumble and become bitter?
I think this creates an atmosphere wherein we want to blame other humans for all the problems in the world.
When we blame we create enemies. This tendency may feel good at the moment and bolster our egos but is ultimately self defeating. The reason is that whether we like it or not we are all to some extent dependant on each other collectively, and wouldn’t it be a more happy and functional collective if we held feelings of goodwill towards our fellow humans rather than hate?
I would like to ask your guest Berit if she thinks we are controlled by a need to hate or do we have a choice.
Cheers! Love the show!
PS: Most People are a product of their conditioning and do not make conscious choices.
Monday, February 6, 2023 -- 3:16 PMOf course you understand that
Of course you understand that that's a statement of self-reference. Either you're pre-conditioned to claim that people's choices are pre-conditioned and not deliberate, or you're saying that you are yourself exempt from the pre-conditioning which you attribute to others. If the first is the case then you're not aware of what you're saying, and if the second is true, then the claim is speculative and without any evidence that you can verify on your own. In short, you've contradicted yourself, in a similar way to what seems to be going on in the main part of your post above. In order to show that "feelings of good will" are preferable to those of hatred, you're arguably showing yourself to hate the hater so others might have feelings of good will towards you. Is that accurate?
Harold G. Neuman
Monday, March 15, 2021 -- 8:16 AMAll good questions about a
All good questions about a universal human condition. But, as usual, I'll offer something a bit different. My question is: Do we hate people for who they are, or is our hatred more about what they do---or don't do? No one, it seems to me, is intrinsically abhorrent,solely based on their ethnic and/or racial characteristics. Anyone who claims to hate a group, is naive, as to the foundations of such hatred. Why? Because, those sorts of stigma are mired in fear; mistrust; suspicion and a few other misconstructions.. Such unreasoning behavior can also emerge from superstition and personal history. But, all else equal, it is not who someone is, but what she does that makes her abhorrent to someone else. I would charge gentle readers and thinkers to consider this position carefully. Think of those whom you dislike or with whom you may even violently disagree: ask yourself where that truly comes from.
Are you feeling threatened? Jealous? Envious?---because of something they have but you do not?
Is that ' something' a something you can, in all likelihood, never expect to attain? Hatred is a trickster.
It fools us, far more often than we are fooled by other people. And, it is such a drain on those better angels of our nature.. Think of these remarks as a primer on a philosophy of psychology. Whether you can agree with them, or no.
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 -- 1:57 PMThere is indeed much to agree
There is indeed much to agree with here, though I also agree that if one considers your remarks as a "primer", or technical introduction, on "a" (appropriately not "the") philosophy of psychology, the reader's agreement with them is irrelevant. My thanks are extended to this psychologist, as are my hopes that a response might be forthcoming if the insightful author is still available.
Etymologically the term is translated as "study of the mind"; and this study must follow the rules of evidence handed down by the more rigorous sciences, the paradigm for which is physics. Physics in Aristotle is the science of movement, and it makes sense to ask "how does the mind move?" Leaving aside the mapping of transmissions of neural stimulation and assuming that mind-movement is not identical to brain-movement,* it can be stipulated that the mind moves towards where it is (or wants to be), and away from where it isn't (or where it is moved to get away from). Love considered as a verb is associated with the former, and hate so considered is associated with the latter. Derived from your first point above, that hatred does not arise from "who they are", but from "what they do", this then could be the first part of your primer: Hatred arises from observation of who one doesn't know, and love from knowledge of who one already does. One can only preserve what one already knows to exist, changing one's own condition to accommodate its esteemed characteristics, and by contrast it is always possible to observe what one doesn't know to exist, or a phenomenon with unknown causal determination. Love pre-serves, not waiting around to see what the beloved does; and hate ob-serves, pushing something away regardless of what it does, as listed in the proposed primer.
Preservation and observation are therefore perfectly compatible in the same mind, which can ostensibly move in two different directions at the same time. This compatibility seems to entail though some serious social consequences, which should be included in the primer:
1) Fullness and emptiness of known contents correspond the the distinction between preservation and observation, in turn related to the distinction between one's own self-identified social group, whatever form that might take, and the mere observation of another group observed to be similarly self-identified without understanding its basis. This latter avails itself as an empty bucket of sorts, into which can be put anything stipulated as threatening to the preservation of the known group.
2) The situation described in (1) gives rise to a cottage industry-apologetics where anything other members of the known group do to each other can be put into the empty-bucket of consideration of the other group, preserving their love for one another by the pharmacological use of the empty bucket for causal attributions, placing adverse effects of one's own group's members' actions into it. An example of this can be found in the failure of the so called "libertarian right" (for want of a better term) in the U.S. to distinguish between corporate liberty and the liberty of individuals. Negative infringement of the latter's liberty by the former can be translated within the given group as caused instead by the hated group, and placed in the empty knowledge-bucket.
3) From this your primer could furnish a general rule: Hatred as a product of ignorance or uninformedness constitutes a tool for population-management insofar as it can be paired with intra-mereological love which preserves its beloved by putting the effects of the beloved's assaults against it in the basket of false-causal attribution. As these assaults turn out to be a determining economic factor in general demographic impoverishment, one could summarize by saying that hatred is (in the given example) used by the state to preserve a predatory economic system by the enlistment of particular love-specialties, such as "patriotism", et al.
Does this amount to the kind of thing you're talking about for a Primer in the Philosophy of Psychology: filling up an empty hate-bucket with all the strikes which bruised your lover? If so, it would have to be prefaced by the recommendation of an axiological presupposition of a radical distinction between two kinds of members of cited group of lovers: a minority which has more than it needs, and a majority which has less.
* When Mark Antony sailed to Egypt, for example, he still loved Cleopatra, even though his brain had moved across the Mediterranean.
Harold G. Neuman
Saturday, May 1, 2021 -- 6:56 AMOr, in fewer words, we tend
Or, in fewer words, we tend to hate people and things foreign to us; those we don't understand. Hate then, at bottom, springs from fear. Blind, unreasoning, irrational fear...
Sunday, January 15, 2023 -- 3:37 PMThe ontology of hate is a
The ontology of hate is a relatively simple matter and known since ancient times, as reaction to compelled accommodation of an intrinsic incompatibility. Usually characterized as an emotion, it's better or more accurately described in de-subjectivized form as an epiphenomenon caused by an unwanted yet unremovable existence. What makes it special is that the persistence of its object is exactly calibrated with the desire for its non-existence. And this makes hatred a special relationship between two existing things, the reacting hater and the persisting hated. So called "hate groups", then, would not belong in this class, since the hatred there is described in abstract and general terms, --not applying directly to a hated object, but indirectly through something shared by a community of subjects. One might even go so far as to say that love for each other figures more fundamentally in such groups than does the hatred for their stated targets. The Delian League headed up by ancient Athens, for example, constitutes by this criterion an anti-Persian hate group. How might this compare to participant Neuman's view that hate springs from fear? Certainly the Persian army was feared, but in addition to the fear of invasion, had not a common hatred contributed to Greek solidarity prior to the Persian wars?
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 -- 10:38 AMIn relation to the essential
In relation to the essential predicate of undesired object-persistence, it's frequent to observe the reference to this persistence used as an apology for failing to use one's own capability of removing it. This occurs for example in the North American slave-reparations case. Because some suppose it impossible to do while nevertheless justified if it were, a shared negative view of those who continue to demand it induces a group commitment to remove the persisting demand rather than to exercise the potential for fulfilling it.
In such cases hatred is a product of failure to perform a duty prior to any effort to undertake it. The persisting object becomes a constant reminder of their moral failure, and as such, object-removal efforts are transferred from the unfulfilled duty to its reminder. Part of the problem in the stated case seem to emerge from the elevated complexity and magnitude of required considerations. If one assumes for example the fundamental distinction between compensation (the obligation for which is generated by wrongs suffered by the living) and reparation (whose demand is produced by transgressions committed against those now deceased), it is apparent that any legitimacy of obligations which arise from them can not dispense with an historical description of considerable complexity. Two such descriptions are of effects of discrete causes, one concerning whether or not stolen property should or can be returned, and another raising the issue of structural advantage which one group or demographic has in comparison to another as a verifiable effect of previous crimes, even if many occurred under authority of legality. A third description is based by contrast on a continuous causality extending back to the original perpetrators, not as contributing to their deliberate actions which initiated the respective series of undesirable effects, but rather as subject to the increasing set of unfulfilled duties which began at the time the crimes were originally discovered to have been committed.*
Obligation-quantity of generated duty-failure which is implied by these considerations, then, is likely to appear to override any potential of correcting the imbalance. But this might not be the case if one does not limit obligation-demand to those who own stolen property, are unjustifiably advantaged, or are participating in injustice-permission. Rather, duty fulfillment-obligation here need not exclude traditional victims of historic injustice, but on the contrary should include determination-demand of amounts and manner of reparative distribution and subsequently be the central component of any corrective measures.
Perhaps paradoxically, responsibility on the side of the historically disadvantaged and expropriated constitutes by the above a principle of parsimony in determining approaches to reparative justice, which reduces its foreboding complexity. I say "paradoxically" because it's the immensity of the duty-failure of those to blame for it which causes many to coalesce into groups committed to its denial.
* No current obligation arises however from any failure to prevent such crimes from happening by those with knowledge that they were going to occur, since the responsibility to prevent or impede them disappears once they are committed.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 -- 8:46 PMHey Daniel,
Let's move discussion of reparations to the "Are we all to blame?" show ==> https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/are-we-all-blame Reparations are not about hate so much, and that show fits it well.
If that works - my reply is there ==> https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/are-we-all-blame#comment-8540
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 -- 10:08 PMThe role of societal norms
The role of societal norms and cultural conditioning in shaping hate is sneaky. As Daniel and Harold have discussed the ontology of hate and the relationship between hater and hated, what about society's expectations, values, and norms and their contribution to developing and perpetuating hatred?
Moreover, the impact of social media and technology on hate is worth examining. Platforms that facilitate the spread of misinformation and hateful ideologies should be called out, as they significantly exacerbate or even create hate groups. This waxing will only worsen as AI tweaks the conversation.
The influence of leadership and authority figures on shaping public opinion and attitudes towards hate is likely our most pressing concern with elections starting to kindle. Leaders have the power either to promote or mitigate hostility, and both actions can have far-reaching consequences. The debates will get dicey, sharp, and informative (at least to those who ask the right questions.)
In addition to understanding the nature of hate, let's explore strategies for addressing and reducing it. The salve could include education, promoting empathy, fostering intergroup dialogue, or implementing policy changes that challenge existing biases and discriminatory practices.
The relationship between hate and other negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, or frustration, should also be investigated. As Harold has mentioned, fear plays a role in the development of hate, but other emotions may also contribute to the formation and perpetuation of hate. Funding emotion research, both constructionist and natural models, will pay huge returns in future battles and, if done well, resolutions.
It is crucial to address hate's psychological and emotional toll on individuals. The impact of experiencing or witnessing animus toward one's mental health, self-esteem, overall well-being, and the potential for hate, can, are, and will lead to acts of violence or self-harm. Here I'm thinking about generational injury calling out race, gender and, I'm going to say it, class.
Incorporating these aspects into the ongoing conversation about hate will provide a more comprehensive understanding and facilitate the development of effective strategies to address and mitigate hate within society.
Saturday, March 18, 2023 -- 4:06 PMAre you here speaking of
Are you here speaking of something empirically observed in others, or does your expertise in what your calling "hate" arise from internal self-reflection? It's an interesting fact that you haven't told your readers what this term refers to. Why keep it a secret? How does hate differ from fear, for example? Until you reveal what you're talking about, the recommendations you've made on how to get rid of it can be accommodated only with considerable difficulty.
Sunday, March 19, 2023 -- 4:34 AMHey Daniel,
My expertise is my own opinion based on empirical observations, reading, and reflection. Some of that is necessarily self-reflection, as hate is a defining trait for most people, myself included. The fact that I did not mention what the term refers to is due to the complexity of the emotion and a desire to be inclusive and open. Emotions are poorly understood, especially if they do not have a correlative expression in animals outside of human experience.
Let's do this, though. Definitions are challenging and helpful if done with some thought and respect for others.
Hatred is a multifaceted emotion encompassing cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. It is a response to perceived threats to one's sense of identity, autonomy, or well-being, often directed towards groups, individuals, or ideas, any or all of which are perceived as different or threatening and may be motivated by social, political, or ideological factors. However, hatred can have negative consequences for individuals and society, leading to discrimination, violence, and conflict. To mitigate the harmful effects of hatred, it is essential to understand its underlying causes as well as nature, such as fear, insecurity, or trauma, and develop strategies to address them in their root.
Any one example of hate could not only be misconstrued but could be poorly understood. As Berit's work points out, hate itself is not well studied – philosophically or scientifically.
Regarding your concern about fear here and above in your exchange with Harold:
Fear and hate are fundamentally different. Fear generally arises from a perceived threat, often resulting in defensive or avoidant behaviors. On the other hand, hatred is rooted in a more profound sense of aversion and can lead to aggression or harm directed toward the object of hate.
Turn around is fair play - What do you base your expertise on? What do you think hate refers to? You've already expressed some ideas on fear. Can you elaborate on fear and hatred beyond what you have already said?
Monday, March 20, 2023 -- 4:38 PMSo hatred is by your account
So hatred is by your account an emotion with harmful effects both for those who have it and those to whom it is directed. Further, you say that fear is a topical occurrence in the individual whereas hatred is more pervasive and/or central, the understanding of which has for you been gotten in part from your own inner experience. Is that accurate? This means that it's much more likely that you'd come across someone who hates continuously, rather than one who is always fearful. Your analysis is deficient however by limiting it to an emotion occurring in individuals. This is because the emotion of hatred is always unpleasant, and therefore does not explain the evident pleasure it can produce in group-contexts. If understood on the other hand as a means to the end of group-cohesion, the pleasure can be explained as deriving from belonging to the group, rather than undergoing the emotion.
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 -- 10:42 PMDaniel,
These are good questions, and my definition does imply a concern for group dynamics… but first...
To clarify, I would ask you to answer your concern - What do you base your expertise on? What do you think hate refers to? Fairplay is fair.
"Groups require individuals" is true, and the inverse, "Groups do not require individuals." is false. This much we agree upon. It's the converse where we differ "Individuals require groups." Yes, this is true, but not Hate-groups. Hate groups are composed of people who are not necessarily hateful. Think of the boy Danny from the movie American History X, mentioned in the Roving Reporter segment.
Sometimes people join these as a matter of identity, with little real thought, even without hate. Just as people should not be considered mere means, so groups should not be viewed as a means to hate. They aren't.
Groups are to hate, as are toasters, as is Josh's soccer nemesis. Using hate to describe entities outside people is wedded to the objects of scorn and their features. Hate is housed in brains and is a complex and constructed emotion. As such, it is easily used to express adjectival meaning. Hate groups don't hate. People do. Leaders can influence, as can groups; however, hate is in the individual.
The same can be said of pleasure, and though I may imply I never explicitly state hate harms the haters, it can reassure one of their identity and even secure economic gain. But the effects of hate are not hate.
But you disagree. Make your argument, and let's be off; this could help.
Thursday, March 23, 2023 -- 1:57 PMWhat about a group of
What about a group of individuals which is itself a member of the group which it is? In relation to the first part of your third paragraph, are there any groups of groups, each of which is an individual? Take your point about brains in the third paragraph from the end. Could there be a set of all brains which is itself a brain? And if not, what about the set of all brain cells being itself a brain cell of another brain, and so on ad infinitum? If your radical distinction between the group and the individual can not exclude that possibility, then the premise should be disregarded.
You've argued here that your knowledge of hatred derives from your own emotional experience. This however fails to account for hatred as a social phenomenon, which can be observed in aggregate form independently of any requirement to suffer the attitude or mental state associated with the term in one's common index of emotions. When this is done, it becomes clear that its most frequent outward expressions are statements of group membership, as occurs for example in some sectors of the North American political establishment. This in turn implies that it's both possible and probable that there could be individuals who produce these expressions who have never suffered the emotions readily associable with them, even while producing them for the purpose of arousing them in others. For this reason the conclusion you reach in the third to last paragraph has to be false, and hatred is primarily produced by groups whose members are emotionally independent.
Thursday, March 23, 2023 -- 8:25 PMDaniel,
You have more questions than answers here. Why are you not addressing your primary concern, expertise, and what exactly hate refers to in your view? Let's not lose sight of my initial post in this thread, where I speak to the concern of group dynamics and societal influence on hate – re-shared below.
"The role of societal norms and cultural conditioning in shaping hate is sneaky. As Daniel and Harold have discussed the ontology of hate and the relationship between hater and hated, what about society's expectations, values, and norms and their contribution to developing and perpetuating hatred?"
Group dynamics, social norms, and cultural bias all impact the expression of hate, even as the feeling is a personal and human emotion. I go on to mention technology and leadership (a subset of a group set – if you will) as concerns in propagating hate as well. That propagation happens in human brains, which may or may not identify as group members. Groups can magnify and suppress emotions but can't "feel" them. But no matter, groups and social networks affect the expression of hate.
Two or more brains making up one larger brain, or parceling out certain sections of the brain, ad infinitum or infinitesimally is a form of equivocation, not unlike set theory. There is fine hard science fiction of networked brains, but these are still conjectural. Conjoined twins are interesting, and split-brain patients are an excellent example of the latter case, but identity is not split in these cases, only modified. None of the models modulate hate in uniform ways except the extreme cases of lobotomy or frontotemporal degeneration, neither of which are arguments for normativity.
If you have specific examples, let's go at it. Your recent interest in collectivity surprises me, given your previous posts. Suppose you are right, and hate can reside in groups. What does this describe that my definitions and concerns do not?
Sunday, March 26, 2023 -- 5:23 PMIt shows that the phenomenon
It shows that the phenomenon of hatred is not primarily caused by emotional distress, but by its use in achieving the end of group cohesion where a design prevails of one part oppressing all the others. Take the distinction between the Right wing and the Left wing of North American politics. Almost all interests are shared by those associated with one side or the other, but by exploiting the remaining interests which are different frustration of all the others becomes possible. Deliberate production of emotional aversion between them is therefore its primary cause, not the unpleasant result designed to cripple popular self-assertion.
On the expertise question I claim none, analyzing only that which is commonly available. With respect to empirical observation however it seems to me that it should be obvious that a great deal is gotten from reading your thoughtful commentary, which constitutes my primary source of the emotion's observable occurrence.
Sunday, March 26, 2023 -- 8:54 PMDaniel,
Thanks for this. I get a ton out of your thoughts, which are at times laser focused and always push me to question my positions, tone, and fundamental values. You have accused me of seeking agreement too much in other threads, and I will do the same here.
We agree on the effect of group dynamics in the propagation of hate. The only difference is that I don't extend the definition of hate to the dynamics but rather to our brains reacting to them and other inputs. These dynamics you discuss both inform and deceive us confronting real-world problems. These problems are technical and specific to each occurrence of hate in our brains and society. They can correlate with what we ate for breakfast, or more likely didn't, what others say or do, and what we allow ourselves to think. There's more to it than that even.
I follow Lisa Feldman Barrett on matters of emotion, especially the complex ones that are undoubtedly constructed and without correlation in animals. As the lead into this show states, no one is born hating anyone, it is learned behavior, and I suggest not a natural but a highly adaptive evolutionary force. Barrett doesn't make that argument – that I recall, but everything must be thought of in terms of evolution at some point, and I am sure she would agree that hate has some value.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS-9lrDDzuU (a concise intro to her work – not the best, but short)
Emotion is very controversial at the moment in science, and philosophically we are removed for the most part from this debate as there is growing evidence revolving mostly around whether emotions have biological origins in our brain stem or are a product of our design, unconscious design for the most part. In either case, philosophically, we can modify our thoughts around a better understanding of our brains.
I am a registered republican, though I do admit to jumping parties when elections of interest require it, yet I am far from the extreme right-wing voices in our media. I've given up listening to extreme podcasts and radio that teach hatred and have given up on late-night television, as those jokes are just as hateful, even more so for their subtlety. But to answer your question, there is little difference between our political spectrum's Right and Left wings; both play with hate.
Emotional distress isn't always dire. Watching George Floyd die changed my view of race and raised my awareness of my privilege. But for the most part, distress has adverse effects that feed 'us vs. them' ideas, cognitive distortions that displace onto others, dehumanizing effects stripping us of empathy and compassion, and synergistic effects that raise our susceptibility to social influence in groups.
For all the villainy associated with groups and false leadership, groups can have the opposite effect. This is why we listen to sermons, meet in book groups, and share the occasional beverage with close friends. You are in a circle with me here, and I am thankful for you and your time.
Monday, March 27, 2023 -- 11:23 AMPoppycock. Perception of
Poppycock. Perception of circularity by one participant in a public forum related to another is highly myopic. Your Regards must therefore be seen as reflexive by self-hypostatization, and can not genuinely regard another. But perhaps there is a topic-related question. If two brains go out on a date, what would they think about? Could one brain say to another, "I want your body"? If that's a contradiction, then the effects of hatred which do not damage the brain must be value-neutral.
Monday, March 27, 2023 -- 12:37 PMDaniel,
I'll leave you to that thought.
Best to you,