Can hate be a useful emotion
psychology : Hate, a completely normal feeling
Kind regards, brother! With these words one welcomes oneself to the near future of the year 2032. At least that's what the 1993 film "Demolition Man" wants us to believe. In this future meekness reigns, everything bad and unclean is banned: drugs, crime, sex, meat consumption, cursing and much more. Hatred, at least at first glance, no longer has a place in this earthly paradise.
Even today, many want to banish this frowned upon feeling. “Hate speech” should be outlawed and malicious comments should be deleted from social networks, otherwise millions of fines could be threatened in future. For example, a draft law by the Ministry of Justice provides for it. It could easily happen that you give each other the buck. Others always hate.
But this is a mistake. It is hated in all political camps, even if the extremes are probably more inclined towards it. Hate is a general human and ubiquitous feeling.
In traffic, in the stadium, on the garden fence: hate everywhere
Sometimes it breaks out explosively. In traffic, a moment is enough to turn the peaceful expression of a car driver or cyclist into an angry grimace after a banal scramble. In the football stadium, the violent aversion to the opposing club is cultivated in chants. The dispute over trivialities among neighbors, about the height of a hedge or the shadow that the tree casts on the neighborhood property is legendary. In contrast to the second hatred in traffic, such a resentment can glow for years and drain the soul on the back burner.
René Descartes counted in his 1649 essay on the “passions of the soul” hatred to the “six original passions”. Like the other passions, it is not brought about by the soul, but actually "suffered", imposed from outside. Hate is harmful, says Descartes, but it helps us avoid things that are evil. So hate is the adversary of love. Where it repels, it attracts.
Speaking of love: London researchers have found that two areas of the brain that are active during romantic feelings of love are also fired by feelings of hate. Scientists believe that this explains "why love and hate are so close in real life". When the dreaded Stasi chief Erich Mielke assured the Volkskammer towards the end of the GDR, “I love everyone”, he might mean: “I hate everyone.” The love of the Stasi is indistinguishable from hate.
Many have thought of murdering someone else at one point or another
Have you ever imagined murdering someone out of hostility? If so, then you are nowhere near alone. Even mildly disposed contemporaries occasionally have the desire to commit terrible crimes against others, as the American psychologist David Buss found out. According to a global survey he conducted, 91 percent of men and 84 percent of women have fantasized about bringing someone else's life to an end, well, by force. If feelings and thoughts were punished ...
Descartes was right: hatred is part of the normal emotional inventory. Whether it is desirable is a completely different question. Like other feelings, antipathy and disgust serve as a guide for our thoughts and actions. Emotions have guided people like a compass since time immemorial. It may be because of his age that this compass is sometimes misleading. In the emotional life, prehistoric times, stone ages and modern times clash incessantly, instinct-controlled reptiles, club swingers and electronically networked present-day people meet in a trialogue that is not always conflict-free.
One can ostracize hatred and praise love. Yet both are part of human nature and as such are neither good nor bad. Deep dislike can be an important positive driving force (for example in the abolition of slavery), violent affection can lead to astray (as the tendency of many people to be dictators shows). What matters (or should count) in public debate is first and foremost the arguments - not the emotional state of the debaters.
Incidentally, the softened future world in "Demolition Man" turns out to be lazy magic. In the end, the good wins and it can be cursed again. Kind regards!
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