Spontaneous Philosophical Tea Party™

Spontaneous Philosophical Tea Party™

Here’s a problem that has bothered me for a long time. I criticize people for being haters. For having all this anger directed at a person, group of people or just the world in general. I self-righteously tell them all they have to do is give up the hate and they’ll be a lot happier. But I, too, am filled with hate. For people like Glenn Beck (my third cousin by coincidence) who spread their misinformation, bigotry and hate to anyone willing to take them seriously.

So here’s my question, skeptical readers: Is it okay to hate haters?

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Lyra Lynx

Lyra Lynx


  1. June 12, 2010 at 3:43 am —

    Yes and no. It’s understandable, human and nearly unavoidable, but if you criticise people for hating, you should try to avoid that extreme of human emotion yourself, even if you actually reserve it in all instances for haters.

  2. June 13, 2010 at 6:52 am —

    It’s okay to hate. We’re all entitled to our opinions, and if you disagree with someone to a large degree repeatedly, like if your own point of view is completely the opposite of theirs, then a dislike may turn into hate. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just means that you feel very strongly against someone or something. There should be no stigma there, but there is. We live in a society where everyone is now so concerned about everyone else’s feelings that our own opinions and feelings are sometimes covered or repressed in response. There are people that I hate, and I talk about not “hating on” things with my friends as well. I don’t think there’s anything self-righteous about it – as long as you have a valid reason. Haters hate everything just because: “I hate that.” “Why?” “Because it’s gay.” Not valid. “I hate that.” “Why?” “Because it’s dangerous and could end up getting people killed. Here’s how…” Valid. Possibly incorrect, but at least there’s a reason. I also find myself falling into the trap of using “hate” to describe things that mildly annoy me as well as things that make me homicidally enraged, and there is a definite difference: on the one hand, you’re exaggerating or using it facetiously, while on the other hand, you mean it.

    So what I’m trying to say is: it’s okay to hate. You can’t be happy all the time with everything, and if you try to be you’ll just end up a huge psychological mess. Emotions run deep. But the key is to find balance: if you hate everything around you, then you’re doing something wrong.

    Or maybe I’m just awake way too early and writing through a sleep fog.

  3. dahduh
    June 15, 2010 at 3:16 am —

    I disagree with Jonas: it’s not ok to hate.

    Hate is I think a product of one of our moral intuitions, that of loyalty – the instinct is to hate those who we feel threaten our in-group, and it does serve the useful purpose of uniting people under threat.

    However, hate also represents a failure of reason, and blind hate closes off possible avenues to resolving a conflict. It is therefore not sensible to hate. Also, I think recognizing your own instinct to hate enables you to rise above a situation and see it more clearly.

    There’s a saying: “To understand is to forgive.” I don’t think the interests of justice are always served by always forgiving, but certainly to understand is to have compassion – even for people like Glenn Beck, who is probably not a very happy person.

  4. Lyra Lynx
    June 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm —

    I think the reason we have such a difference of opinion between dahduh and Jonas is that we haven’t established a definition for hate.

    Jonas, you seem to be saying there are two types of hate. The irrational or blind hate and hate with a justification. The former is bad while the later is okay.

    Dahduh, you seem to using the term hate to describe something that is always blind and irrational.

    If I define hate as when extreme dislike starts to make you irrational. Then I think everyone would agree that that is never good. But that begs the question, can hate be rational and still be called hate?

    I don’t think so. The roots of your hatred might have started out from a completely called for response to a ridiculous statement but when it matures into hate you’ve stop being rational.

    I disagree with dahduh, in that we need to necessarily have compassion or forgive people like Glenn Beck. If he showed up starving at my doorstep (an unlikely happenstance considering he’s making millions with his tv show) I’d make him a sandwich but nothing beyond that. It sounds nice to say but in practicality, unless he had a 180 opinion shift, forgiveness would not be called for.

    As a humanist I want to be kind and loving to all people. But I won’t let that impede my criticism of dangerous people. Some people deserve to be ridiculed. But we should laugh while doing it and not let our dislike become irrational.

  5. Joy-Mari
    July 1, 2010 at 7:23 am —

    Hate the game, not the player.

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