Does hate have a home?

November 21, 2017 • 10:15 am

I’ve heard that, since Trump’s election, signs like these have sprouted all over the U.S. (a reader pointed this out the other day):

Now I understand the reasons for these signs: they’re addressing hatred towards groups of people, like Muslims, gays, African-Americans, and so on. (I doubt, however, that they mean that there’s no hatred of Nazis!) The signs are expressions  of welcome, which is great, and I expect that few readers would disagree with the reference to groups of people. I wouldn’t necessarily agree if the reference is to ideologies, though.  Could hate for the Republican Party have a home here?)

What I’m writing about, though, is the general use of the word “hater” or “hate” as terms of disapprobation. If you criticize someone’s behavior or beliefs, for instance, you’re written off as a “hater,” even if your emotions match the Oxford English Dictionary‘s definition given below (from the U of C online version):

Given that definition, yes, there are people and ideologies I hate, for I feel an intense dislike towards them. I won’t name them (two exceptions below), as I don’t want to get into arguments about individuals.

Some people, however, say its always wrong to hate. After all, you can make an argument based on determinism—to which I adhere—that nobody can freely choose how to behave, so empathy rather than hatred is the appropriate emotion. On the other hand, strong dislike is a motivator for many people to change. If you observe that many reasonable people hate your beliefs or behavior, that could be a factor leading your behavior to change, even under determinism. Or, if you’re a devout Christian, you might have the view of “hate the sin but love the sinner”, so that you dislike some behaviors but never any people.

So my question is twofold:

a. Do you feel it’s wrong to hate people or beliefs or systems of belief? If so, which ones? I’ve already said that I think it’s proper and not unseemly to hate all three, in the sense of feeling very intense dislike.

b. If you wish, tell us what you do hate. To give one example of beliefs I hate and someone I hate, it’s militant Islamism for the former and Donald Trump for the latter.

As your reward for answering these questions, here’s Hitchens on hatred (hint: he’s for it, and I remember that he said somewhere else that an example of a person he hated was Henry Kissinger):

209 thoughts on “Does hate have a home?

        1. Apparently it is a genetic issue, and a single allele at that. About 10%(? I’m not sure about the percentages) of the population thinks coriander (aka Dhania or Cilantro) tastes like soap, while the rest considers it a lovely fragrance.
          Personally I belong to the latter group. I only discovered it in my late 20’s in the Thai cuisine…

          1. I’ve never thought “soap” specifically. But to me coriander (especially underripe seeds) smells of acetamide, which I associate with mice. (I had quite enough of acetamide in the lab, thanks very much). What an extraordinary range of associations we sophisticated bipeds manage to make with things in the natural world!

            1. The universe [space] is jam packed with smelly old solvents including acetamide. Douglas Adams had it right re mice.

  1. If you criticize someone’s behavior or beliefs, for instance, you’re written off as a “hater,” …

    This is a way for the SJWs to dismiss criticism. “Haters gonna hate” they glibly trot out.

    In other words, your criticism comes not because you have a valid point, but because you’re a “hater”. Therefore they can simply dismiss the criticism rather than having to consider it.

    A similar tactic is labelling someone a “fan boy”. If you defend anyone that the SJWs criticise, they needn’t consider whether the defence has any merits, you’re doing it merely because you’re an unthinking “fanboi” of the person.

    1. I guess the irony of using glib, dismissive shorthand (i.e., “SJWs”) against an entire group of people, many of whom are genuinely interested in improving society, to complain about their glib dismissals of criticism was lost.

  2. Thanks for speaking up / writing about this phenomenon, which has a depth which I think the proponents have not even considered…

    I’d like to comment more later. Right now, as for the questions :

    I think the questions are imprecise, and I think it stems from hate merely being a natural human emotion.

    1. “What I’m writing about, though, is the general use of the word “hater” as a term of disapprobation. ”

      Sorry I missed this ^^^ – as for this term “hater”, I reject it outright. I view the term as a sign of unserious, childish, Internet pseudo-hip chatter akin to writing “bae”, “____ all the things”, silly memes, etc. The only way it could be worse or more clear is if it was spelled with a “8” as in “h8er”.

      All those things can be fun and good, but merging it with serious topics like how we all are supposed to truly live together is a recipe for disaster, and a sign that something is being trivialized.

      1. The reason h8 is spelt that way by some, though many don’t realize it and use it for unrelated reasons, is a specific reference to Hitler. HH = Heil Hitler. 8 is the 8th letter of the alphabet. 88 is white supremacist etc code for Heil Hitler.

        I used to have problems on Twitter with white supremacists following me because of my initials. They thought they were some kind of code too.

        1. I didn’t know about the 8 thing. It’s pure numerology….

          however, if I claim it’s not to be taken seriously, well THAT will be a problem because it’ll just be like putting fuel on the fire….

          1. When I first went on Twitter some people thought my name was made up because of the female superhero type icon I used then. Hastie/hasty.

              1. I think it originally comes from the Latin word for spear. There was also a Viking leader from Denmark with a similar name who conquered Paris. He retired to Scotland. My Hastie ancestors are all from the Scottish Highlands and Western Scottish Islands.

                There may be some link to Hastings too, but I’ve never looked into where that name came from. Given its location it could also have originally been named following being a victim of Danish Viking conquest.

              2. Hastie is not uncommon in Scotland. On the other hand, in the Western Isles “hasty” is uncommon. When Hector MacNeil of Barra had the Spanish word “mañana” explained to him, he replied, “I’m afraid that we don’t have a word in Gaelic to convey such a sense of urgency” 😉

  3. My grandmother was a devout Catholic. I remember saying I hated something when I was a boy which provoked her to say “You don’t hate anything!”. What she meant was “You shouldn’t hate anything” or maybe “You shouldn’t admit to hating anything”. If I was older I might have asked her if it was OK to hate hatred. 😉

    Hate is an emotion. One doesn’t choose to have emotions, assuming one chooses anything.

    1. One may not choose to have emotions, but even Sam Harris admits one can choose whether to embrace them and cling to them, or merely observe them in passing and then let them go.

      1. We certainly can feel that we can so choose (particularly when in a Zen-like state) — but are such “choices” somehow alone exempt from the laws of physics?

      2. I must say that I have trouble squaring Sam’s opinion here with his views on free will. (Assuming he actually claims to choose whether to embrace them or not.)

        1. Whether or not he uses the word “choice”, he’s quite clear that letting go of passing thoughts and emotions is a skill that must be learned, and that it takes considerable discipline to do it well. But he then turns around and cites this very discipline as his knock-down argument against the idea of self-control. So yeah, I have trouble squaring that as well.

  4. Oh boy, here we go…

    First I want to make a comment on the statement that determinism means there could be no choice. It might mean there’s no choice with the current circumstances, but with education and other information and the possibility of retribution or punishment then another choice can be made. Circumstances changed and it still deterministic.

    I do believe that it is possible to hate a person, a belief, or system of beliefs. If it causes harm thaen it is a candidate for hatred. Examples for me are Donald Trump, the Republican Party and its system of beliefs, and many religions. I feel that all of these cause harm others sometimes great harm. The most intense hatred I feel now is for Roy Moore.

  5. “There are only 2 types of people I hate, people who don’t like other people simply based on the country they live in… and the Dutch”


    no idea who to attribute that to, totally slips my mind.

      1. Douglas, Sir Nigel’s son, was raised to be an Evil Genius by a Dutch farmer. He also wasn’t keen on Belgians.

        1. I could never understand the ‘Belgian’ joke. If ever there was a country that was a total nonentity, it was surely Belgium. The only things it was notable for were, Egide Walschaerts, inventor of the locomotive valve gear that bears his name; and Georges Lemaitre, of relativity fame. Oh, and repeatedly getting invaded by Germany.

          What’s to hate?


  6. Hitchens wrote about the important of properly-targeted hate.

    “…For a lot of people, their first love is what they’ll always remember. For me it’s always been the first hate, and I think that hatred, though it provides often rather junky energy, is a terrific way of getting you out of bed in the morning and keeping you going. If you don’t let it get out of hand, it can be canalized into writing. In this country where people love to be nonjudgmental when they can be, which translates as, on the whole, lenient, there are an awful lot of bubble reputations floating around that one wouldn’t be doing one’s job if one didn’t itch to prick…”

    1. O, I could not, mrclaw69, agree more with you
      or with Mr Hitchens. I wholly concur with
      always recalling “my first hatred” as its
      becoming for me a huge and … … productive
      motivator !

      It ? the Vietnam War. And my only brother’s
      participation as in it a killer from upwards
      (or less) of 33,000 feet at where he ‘d had
      no idea of the beings he had just destroyed.

      This participation of his, this War separated
      us, him and me, unto this very day … … within
      every which way siblings can be: nigh unto
      … … 48 years’ time now, that is.

      Motivating ? Productive ? I became an even
      more ardent pacifist. Joined Quakerism.
      Then when that got to be, after two decades’
      worth, too goddifying, … … altogether
      atheist. Joined who are We … …
      the Out – Godless.


    2. I could not think what my first hate was, no clue at all. I feel somewhat mentally disabled now, not knowing what my first hate was…

  7. I think this questions misses the intent of these signs.

    There are some people, such as white supremacists, whose lives seem to be focused on hating others.

    That’s who’s being addressed with these signs. Not normal people who like some things and hate others, but people who are consumed with hatred of others.

    1. No, I think I got the intent of the signs, and I’m not sure they’re directed at those CONSUMED with dislike. For instance, suppose you are a bigot who hates gays, but isn’t consumed by it. Those signs are directed at such people as well, I’m sure.

    2. “There are some people, such as white supremacists, whose lives seem to be focused on hating others.”

      Sure, but some SJW’s are just as consumed with hate towards the “white western male patriarchy” don’t you agree?

    3. In truth, the intent of the signs is to signal one’s virtue. The people who put up those signs do hate but they hate the right people, don’t you see?

      1. “Virtue-signaling”, at this point, is now a loaded buzzword that is used to smear anyone who expresses a left-wing opinion, especially one that is anti-Trump. The term also falsely implies that no one actually does hold those views.

        Basically it’s a way for a right-winger to tell a lefty to shut up.

  8. I’ve always felt ‘hate’ is over-used, often picked my kids up on it when they said things like “Oh I hate this song/TV-program/pretty-much-every-vegetable-dad-put-on-my-plate”.
    But even when used more seriously, it makes me shudder, not quite sure why.
    And then I felt somewhat relieved and vindicated when I first heard Sam Harris talk about the illusion of free-will, and how it makes no sense to hate anyone for their behaviour/crime; that we need to remove the very concept of hate from our criminal-justice systems,
    Chris G, UK.

    1. we need to remove the very concept of hate from our criminal-justice systems

      But if “hate” is just “strong dislike”, don’t we need to strongly dislike (say) murder in order to enforce laws against it?

      1. If we don’t have free-will, it doesn’t make sense to ‘hate’ the person who committed the crime.
        Whether it’s appropriate/necessary to ‘hate’ the nature of the crime … I kind of think not; we can safely and more calmly up hold/support laws against murder (say) without resorting to ‘hating’ it. Hate just seems too emotional and unconstrained somehow.

        1. “If we don’t have free-will, it doesn’t make sense to ‘hate’ the person who committed the crime.”

          I hate because my genes and environment made me so, goodbye to what makes sense.

          1. And this environment, the influence of differing opinions kindly hosted by PCC(E), may well change your mind.
            If not, CRISPR (fingers crossed, eh).

              1. “Nope. They ain’t.”
                The fact that I reject your opinion out of hand means I am correct.

              2. No stealing involved: they HATED you too, chose better.
                It’s called natural-selection, adaptation, progress.

              3. “It’s called natural-selection, adaptation, progress.”

                No, it was “UNnatural selection” with our women!

              4. They selected what was best for themselves, naturally.
                As for ‘our women’, like they is property; you speak like a cave-man … oh, you are. My bad.

      2. In my view, hate isn’t “just” strong dislike; it’s dislike elevated to a consuming passion, and “haters” are people who define themselves in terms of what they hate.

  9. “Hate the sin and not the sinner”. i never came a across a rapist I could work up the energy not to hate.

    At the moment I’m currently defending the “hater” Ayaan against someone who quotes the assda apologist Max Blumenthal as their inspiration. You know you’re in a discussion where words have lost their plain meaning.

    I am sure other commenters have noticed that people who leap to the use of the word “hater” are almost automatically the most convinced of their own moral rectitude, the most likely to ascribe criticism of an idea to prejudice against a group with whom it characterizes superior moral virtue, the most censorious, and the gateway drug to lists of non-persons.

    I can’t think of one serious commentator whom I respect and who uses the word “hater”. It’s a sort of short-hand for the middle-brow journalist activist, using clichés as a crutch to limp from one purge to another.

      1. I read it the first time as ‘asada apologist’, and wondered why on earth asada would need defending. It is delicious.

  10. Again, this is the part of the control mechanism which is religion/spirituality. You may be being oppressed by the elite, but do not hate them, because extreme emotion like that could lead you to action and they are few when we are many. So, no hatred is allowed. This is from the people who say “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

    As long as you do it their way, all will be fine … after you are dead and can no longer act in the here and now.

  11. With public figures, I’m never sure exactly what how to differentiate the perception from the reality. I loathe the public persona of Trump, and I’m pretty sure (based on first-hand descriptions) that the personal one would be little (although somewhat) different. I wasn’t too keen on the public persona of Hillary Clinton either, but I’m prepared to believe that she is much nicer in person (at least superficially, there are still big-picture issues).

    1. Trump is the only person I can say that I loathe. I cannot think of a single positive thing to say about the effing moron.

  12. Don’t just hate – assassinate… ! I have that in a very old t-shirt.

    My only love sprung from my only hate! Shakespeare
    Odi et amo… Catullus
    Oderint, dum metuant. Accius
    Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad. Leo Rosten
    People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love… Nelson Mandela
    I never bother with people I hate. That’s why the Lady is a tramp. Lorenz Hart

    1. I’d always heard the “dogs and babies” quote attributed to WC Fields (though Leo Rosten’s writing, particularly The Joys of Yiddish, has long been a source of pleasure to me).

  13. “a. Do you feel it’s wrong to hate people or beliefs or systems of belief?”
    No, but if you are obsessed by hate it will cloud your objectivity and your ability to live a healthy life.
    Anyway, I do not trust those who claim they do not have any strong negative emotions towards some people.

    “b. If you wish, tell us what you do hate.”
    Not sure it makes much difference, I would rather say I despise than hate Trump.
    I hate hypocrites the most.

    Regarding ideologies; I fear/hate parts of all religions (Buddhism less) and communism/facism and today’s leftism.

    Perhaps I hate/fear humans since Homo Erectus which includes yours truly.

    1. The connection that you make between fear and hatred is telling. You used the word despise re Trump, and I said loathe a few responses up. So while he could act in ways that I find terrifying and he certainly does things that I’d describe as “hateful” I agree that revulsion rather than fear/hatred is my gut response

      1. Perhaps we should describe him as an unsophisticated narcissistic/borderline idiot with some form of dementia.

        The narrative that he is a sort of white supremacist I think is false – I do not think he is more racist than Lyndon Johnson for example.

        1. Lyndon Johnson? Be sure to let us know when Donald Trump rams anything like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (or the Voting Rights Act of 1965, or the Fair Housing Act of 1968) through congress.

          Johnson was a product of the time and place in which he was raised — the segregated south of the first half of the 20th century — but he had genuine empathy for the less fortunate, a quality DJT is utterly incapable of.

        2. I’m not so sure about LBJ, I would not put it beyond him to have cultivated this slight suspicion of being racist surround him in order to keep ‘Southern’ support.
          He put through so many social measures that benefited the poor (many, if not most of them non-white) that I find it difficult to believe he was a ‘deep’ racist. But then, he was before my time and it is just a suspicion.
          For Mr Trump there is some more evidence of racism, although I agree he’s probably not really a staunch ‘white supremacist’. If he is, it is just ‘incidental’, it suits him at this particular period. If (if ever) the moment comes it is opportune for Mr Trump to be non-racist, he will simply be that for as long as it lasts.

          1. Donald Trump is white, right? Perforce, white is the greatest, most-beautiful race. Anything else is sad! and for losers.

            I don’t think Trump’s “white supremacy” goes any deeper than that.

  14. I find it difficult to measure whether my feelings about someone or some thing rises to the level called “hate”. However, I am all for having opinions about virtually everything. It is important to be a discerning, judgmental human being in order to make society work properly.

  15. I agree with Dermott’s comments above above about people who use the word hater.

    Perhaps it’s my background, but I’ve always had a problem with the word hate too. I avoid using it. Saying I hate something feels like a cop out. I always feel the need to justify feeling the way I do instead.

    A strong negative emotional reaction is the thing that I find makes it easiest to write. It inspires me to get my reaction on paper (so to speak) more than anything else. The more something pi$$e$ me off, the better the arguments I can come up with against it too. It focuses my mind.

    1. I think this is my reaction too. There’s an awful lot of stuff out there to which my immediate response is “God, I hate that!” But the immediate response is actually not that useful. One does have to simmer down and work out how important the stuff is; and if it is really important, to consider what to do about it. And that means working out its strengths, accepting them if need be, and assembling the necessary arguments to challenge it, rather than just approaching everything about it with visceral hatred.

      And if it’s really not important, one needs to learn to ignore it – and save one’s vitriol for stuff that really deserves it.

      1. Yeah. Knowing when to let go, ignore it etc is an important skill to learn. And important for your sanity and stress levels too!

      1. … I would – for example, in the U.K. we import approximately 40% of the food we consume, taking into account that some is exported, & that which is produced here is perhaps some of the most intensively & efficiently farmed land in the world. Then we are told we need to build 300,000 houses a year, so that means more lost farmland & green space.
        That is something to hate.

        1. Imagine how much nicer countries like India and China (for people living there) would have been with a quarter of the current population.

          However Africa is the real problem, the population increased from 470 million to over 1.2 billion since 1980!

          1. Just imagine what the population might have been without AIDS and other deadly diseases,
            warfare, starvation, and corruption preventing food and medical supplies reaching the people for whom they were intended?

  16. Hate has the quality of being very transient. It is like belief in God. It requires sustained effort to actually want to hate or believe in a God. Only in rare cases does extreme hate take a form of action.

    Life gets in the way. Manners our parents taught us help guide our daily respect for one another and either we look past or forget the ideologies of others that we may or may not agree with.

    I hate having to be forced to listen to bad music. Typically nothing against the genre of music, the musicians or the person accosting me with their aesthetics…just the experience of having to endure bad music.

    1. “I hate having to be forced to listen to bad music.”
      I could not agree more – I hate 98% of pop music.
      I was a manager at a company where it was decided to play music to motivate the staff.
      However I had a agreement that I could choose the music one day of the week.
      They did not like my free jazz collection and the idea was aborted. Nobody liked John Coltrane’s ascension for some reason.

      1. Heh. When we moved into a brand-new building I was walking down the corridor when jazz started tootling out of a loudspeaker in the ceiling. (Now I don’t hate jazz nearly as much as, say, disco or rap, but I do hate muzak). Somewhat to the astonishment of my companions – and my own – I started jumping up and karate’d the loudspeaker to death. I still don’t know what came over me.

        Someone later said, maybe they were just testing the speakers, which made me feel kinda foolish.


    2. I’m in the enviable position that I’m to decide what music we listen to at work. in the morning it is baroque, mainly Bach, but also other baroque (Handel, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Charpentier, Pergolesi, Soler, etc) . After midday, jazz, other classic, ‘ethnic’, R&B and any good modern music maybe chosen by the crew. After 5 anything goes, including Zairian disco or Kwaito. Only ‘Boeremusiek’, James Last and German ‘Humpa’ remain nonos.

      1. How about “None”?

        My definition of good music – stuff I like. Bad music – stuff somebody else likes.

        What’s wrong with silence?


  17. Not a good idea to pick out an individual person for hate because that tends to fall back on the hater. The people who have this hatred for Hilary Clinton are guilty of this and even hatred of Donald Trump. It can lead to mental disorder within the hater and that is where many people are today. If you hate their specific ideology and can define it and explain it then you have something worth a dislike and maybe even a hate. Mine would center on the republican party and their platform and actions as a whole. I also think there is a clear and easy way to show this which is much easier than going after any particular person.

  18. It’s easy to put up such a sign, not so easy to welcolme people if it involves inviting them into your home or spending time with them.

    I don’t usually hate people (Hitler, Stalin and the like are exceptions) but I do hate ideologies (such as communism.) I dislike some people (Hillary, Thatcher and others (but wouldn’t dance on their graves.)

    I have no respect for Trump but don’t hate him. Just about the only thing he has going for him is that he isn’t HRC.

    1. That is a great example of where people have gone and it is an unexplained comment. You don’t like Trump but at least he is not Hilary. Sounds like a sound bite right out of Fox news. No reasoning, no explaining just aim and fire.

      1. I suspect you are aware of a long list of reasons why people did not like Hillary as a candidate.

        The American public had 2 terrible candidates in my opinion.

        1. And your opinion is just as good and bad as anyone here. However, you miss the whole point of what I say. I am not going to repeat it again. If you have an opinion on the merits then make them. Don’t just fall back on the school ground argument, I liked him better than her.

            1. I would consider this just trolling and looking for a bite. I cannot comment on content when there is none.

          1. “And your opinion is just as good and bad as anyone here.”
            But not your’s I assume because you seem to reject the notion that people might have had valid reasons for rejecting Hillary.

            I am not American, but here are just 5 serious concerns I think many people in the center shared:
            * DNC election was manipulated against Sanders
            * Hillary’s conduct when she ran against Obama and her hypocritical and egocentrical personality.
            * I despise family dominated politics and is in princilpe against spouses/children/siblings running for office.
            * Her hawkish policies when she was secretary of state (Lybian disaster)
            * Her embracing indentity politics during the campaign (Trump ditto of course)

            1. Well, I am American and if that is all you got that makes Hilary so bad, it is a bit on the light side. You despise family politics? I would think you might despise putting half your family in the white house with “jobs”. Maybe working on a tax plan to give yourself and a few others a big payday while everyone else is stuck with the bill. Removing basic programs of medicare and social security from people – and that will happen next after you put the nation in debt another 2 billion. Removing what little the country has in the way of medical insurance. Your entire campaign consisting of work with an enemy – Russia, to shovel dirt and propaganda. Obstruction of justice in removing the head of the FBI who was investigating what you were doing during the campain. Paying no taxes and not releasing your tax history because it will show how much business you are doing with Russia. I could go on and on but what is the point, you have no vote here anyway.

              1. Jesus Randall,

                Listing serious Hillary flaws does not mean an endorsement of Trump!

                Thus ignoring Trump for the moment, do you agree Hillary was a poor candidate? yes or no?

              2. The thing about you and your buds is anytime you lose you just change the subject and try again. It’s probably okay for high school but not very attractive. The discussion was about hate and my point that hate should not be against the person. Then all of you turn it into a he verses she. I have no idea what your point is and doubt that you know.

            2. “The thing about you and your buds ”
              I do not appreciate your tone.

              “Then all of you turn it into a he verses she”

              I responded you YOUR post!!!
              “You don’t like Trump but at least he is not Hilary. Sounds like a sound bite right out of Fox news. No reasoning, no explaining just aim and fire.”

              Then I listed the concerns that reasonable people had with Hillary.

              You should look in the mirror before lashing out at people in the forum.

      2. I did not take the OP’s comment as an invitation for a long dialogue about Hillary’s many and varies faults – if you’ve been around for a while that would be unnecessary. Or you could just dust off Hitchens’ book on the Clintons.

  19. When Sam Harris talks about free will (or the lack thereof) he tells us that it doesn’t make sense to hate people in light of the fact they don’t really choose their genetics nor their environment. He argues against hatred of people like Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson, for example. I tend to agree.

    This does not exculpate avocados, however. Why do people keep putting them in my salads?

    1. Hah- I hadn’t seen your comment as I posted below. Strongly held beliefs re: avocados fits in well with my theory 😉

    2. Avocados are an ‘acquired taste, I guess. I used to ‘hate’ them, but here in SA, in the season, I had periods of them being my main food source (because of deliciousness) for weeks on end. like apples or wines, they have a great variety in taste.
      Same for olives, used to profoundly dislike them, but now I love most of them, be they green, black or Kalamata-style.

  20. As children, we were forbidden from saying ‘hate’ (as it was unchristian). When I see signs like the one above, I’ve always thought their function was a pro-social message that we will not slip into the societal patterns of hatred that we have in the past. I’m reading a book now about the treatment of Chinese people in the Seattle area in the 1880s, and it is easy to forget what hateful mores our society has accepted in the past.

    I don’t read the sign to say ‘no haters’, but rather that hateful ideas will not be welcomed.
    a. Do you feel it’s wrong to hate people or beliefs or systems of belief?
    I don’t know that I hate ideas or people. I feel sickened, disappointed and outraged by various hateful ideas, however.
    “b. If you wish, tell us what you do hate.”
    I have many things that I dislike, sometimes strongly. I dislike it when people complain without wanting to better the situation they are complaining about. I dislike people who flout good manners and cut in line, drive rudely and aren’t mindful of those around them that need help. I dislike people who enjoy being assholes. But I don’t know that I would hate any of these things.

    One of my favorite things to observe is people’s strongly held beliefs regarding condiments (stay with me here). Something like a condiment preference has little real world consequence or weight, and thus allows people to have really strong feelings on this topic without fear of censure. I’m guessing every commenter her has some strong feeling about sandwich spread, for instance.

    1. Yes, jumping the line, good point, I really hate that too. It is unconscionable and when it happens a rush of adrenaline nearly bursts my head. I force myself to remain civil and calmly point out that that behaviour is unacceptable.

  21. My understanding of such signs is much simpler: “hate” has become just a synonym for right-wing views. But if challenged, one can retreat to the innocuous ordinary English meaning.

    Do some of those who oppose gay marriage have more hatred in their hearts than you? Do some of those who oppose BLM salute the Nazi flag every morning? Sure, some. But pretending that’s the only reason anyone votes differently is dishonest… but perhaps an effective strategy for group cohesion. Which is to say, for stoking polarization.

  22. Oh, I think hate can be a great motivator, as long as it’s cabined into a laser-like focus, rather than a generalized resentment and angst. It also can be jiu-jitsued into uproarious humor.

    As for “ideologies” (broadly construed) that I hate, put me down against authoritarianism and Puritanism (again, broadly construed; I have no particular antipathy toward the shoe-buckled and behatted Calvinists who celebrated our first Thanksgiving). Drives me up a wall that anyone thinks they can arrogate the right to control how consenting adults comport themselves when they’re causing no harm to third-parties.

    In terms of individuals — sure, I hate Donald Trump. But I feel the right to claim dibs here, since I’ve hated the Donald since the 1980s, when he was naught but a loud-mouthed, vulgar New York real-estate jockey.

  23. a. Do you feel it’s wrong to hate people or beliefs or systems of belief? If so, which ones?

    These emotions exist as part of the human condition, so they aren’t right or wrong per se, what matters is how we deal with them. For example if a system is unjust, a person’s hatred of it could lead to positive social change.

    Like with most things, moderation is key to having a responsible reaction when you experience these strong emotions. I think of the perpetually offended as people that haven’t learned to direct their strong emotions to productive means – like reconsidering your strongly held beliefs when encountering disconfirming evidence.

    1. b. If you wish, tell us what you do hate.

      Long commit messages.
      Not adhering to code style guidelines.
      Meetings with no point.
      Meandering meetings.
      Shingles (the virally induced kind) – I’m in week two 🙁

      I don’t really hate these things but I could do without them.

      1. Mark Reaume Remarked:

        Meetings with no point.
        Meandering meetings.

        So true. Important question to ask in this case:

        “What’s the goal of this meeting?”

        If the goal cannot be articulated, it should end immediately.

  24. Thus spake PCC:

    a. Do you feel it’s wrong to hate people or beliefs or systems of belief?

    I thought about individuals that elicit a gut reaction of hate from me (usually people in my field who exhibit the Dunning–Kruger effect), but the more I thought about it, the more I landed on “what a waste of energy” and let it go. Doesn’t mean I won’t still think about them.

    So it depends on what one does with it – that’s what makes it right or wrong. I’m sure others here have said you can do something positive with it. I hope that’s what I’d try to do.

    And again, PCC:

    b. If you wish, tell us what you do hate.

    Ideological intransigence, ignorance, tribalism, and – of course – new age music. I know, duh, we can all probably get behind that one.

    1. “new age music”

      All of it?
      Some people classify Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Don Cherry etc as “new age”, not that bad I think.

      1. I’m thinking Yanni – those kinds of guys.

        Not sure about Reich. Glass is modern orchestral. As much as I hate Don Cherry’s music*, he’s jazz, not new age.

        *Hey – another thing I hate!

        1. Many of Cherry’s later music was a fusion of jazz and african/indian influence thus the “new age” label. (much of it not jazzy at all)

          You hate jazz? Thats ok, I hate people who hate jazz 🙂
          Funny how some music irritate us on a visceral level.

          What music do you like then? Classic and Rock I would guess!

            1. “I hate Don Cherry’s jazz, no doubt about that.”

              Strong opinion which means you realy enjoy music you like.
              I hate it when people say “Oh, I like all music” which translate that they do not care about music.

              1. Yeah I don’t know what to think about people like that. Kinda bad for ’em, I guess. Also kinda envious with so much to potentially discover.

        2. I agree: The “New Age: genre went off the rails with the likes of Yanni.

          Listen to:
          Will Ackerman’s It Takes a Year or In Search of the Turtle’s Navel
          The first couple of George Winston records, e.g. Autumn, December
          Michael Hedges: Breakfast in the Field and Aerial Boundaries
          Don Ross: Passion Session
          Philip Aaberg: Out of the Frame and Upright and High Plains

          (I also listen to a lot of solo classical guitar. I am a guitar player.)

          1. Thanks, I’ll check those out. I’ve heard of George Winston, for sure.

            I’m a guitarist as well, but I’ll be darned if I can locate my interest in classical guitar. I don’t hate it, it just doesn’t do anything for me. I will say that playing it is much more fun than listening to it.

          2. “I also listen to a lot of solo classical guitar.”

            I like Yepes and Paco de Lucia (Flamenco)

            But except for de Lucia i have a small collection.

            Any suggestions?

  25. 1) I intensely dislike the Republican party as much for its many character flaws as for its ideology.
    1a) John McCain is a good and decent man, while Roger Ailes was not.
    1b) During the 70s, many Democrats admired Barry Goldwater as a human being, though not Richard Nixon although Goldwater’s professed politics were well to the right of Nixon’s.
    1c) Ronald Reagan was a very good man who was a very bad president, which is more than I can say about Donald Trump. (The definitive take-down of Reagan was two essays by Joan Didion in which this is largely her assessment. See “In the Halls of the FisherKing” and “The West Wing of Oz”.)
    Conservatism is to often used as a cloak for bad behavior

    2) Blind flaming hate can make you a LESS effective weapon against something that is evil that you have to fight. While I have a few caveats about Buddhism, this is IMO one of the most profound of Buddhist principles. But there are ways to channel that energy wisely.
    Perhaps then it is not hate per se, but hate without wisdom and without an overarching positive vision that is the problem.
    Hate should never be fueled by desperation or a superiority complex.

    3) The detective hunting a serial killer in “ManHunter” says “I feel sorry for the confused child he once was, but I don’t feel sorry for the adult”.

    4) I try to draw a distinction between willful ignorance and simple ignorance. I intensely dislike the former, but pause to ask myself what I am seeing. (I realize the concept of willful ignorance sorta kinda implies free will.)

    5) “Hate the sin but love the sinner” sounds reasonable on the surface, but it is a saying capable of being used in incredibly weaselly and dishonest ways.

    1. “Conservatism is to often used as a cloak for bad behavior”

      Does this not also apply to many “liberal” policies? French Revolution, Lenin, Mao etc.

      I like your point 2)

      1. You are right, but I was focusing on the distinction between disagreeing with an ideology, and disliking the people who hold it.

  26. Yes, one can hate Ideologies, such as Islam, (real) fascism or (real) racism. Or one can hate groups, such as the SS, Red or other Revolutionary Guards, KKK, intersectionalists or Interahamwe. Or individuals, such as Stalin, Mc Connell, Sheridan, Savonarola, Luther, Gish, Mohammed, Wakefield or Himmler (the list is much longer, of course, just a more or less random grab).

  27. First, one doesn’t need to be a determinist to believe that “empathy rather than hate is the appropriate emotion.” We all make questionable choices, and it doesn’t take much imagination to project that, with a different background or set of circumstances, we might well have made the choices that we’re inclined to hate in others.

    That said, one of the few qualities I hate—or at least can’t abide—is self-righteousness, which in my experience is usually accompanied by some degree of hypocrisy. The sign in question is a good example. An honest version of the sign would be “We hate Trump!” Instead, the sign implies that Trump represents hate and we, the good guys, are above such an emotion.

    First, the only thing I’ve ever seen any evidence of Trump hating is the media. But this, of course, isn’t what the self-proclaimed non-haters have in mind. In their view, Trump “hates” Mexicans because he doesn’t want them entering the country illegally; he hates blacks because he doesn’t think their lives matter more than those of whites; he hates gays because—well, I don’t know why, since I can’t recall Trump ever saying anything about gays one way or another. Truth to tell, there’s at least as much hatred coming from the place where “Hate has no home” as there is from Trump—a point that Jerry peripherally acknowledges in his asides about Nazis and Republicans.

    The other sign that bugs me is the ubiquitous “In our America love wins, etc.” If you’re have to divide the country into our America and their America, then clearly love is not winning.

    Resist if you must, but at least be honest about it.

    1. “First, one doesn’t need to be a determinist to believe that “empathy rather than hate is the appropriate emotion.””

      Surely if someone rapes a child in front of you empathy is not the appropriate emotion!

      “That said, one of the few qualities I hate—or at least can’t abide—is self-righteousness, which in my experience is usually accompanied by some degree of hypocrisy”
      I agree with this statement.

    2. Oh, Trump hates alright. He hates deeply and widely, but transiently, according to his immediate needs and his enemies of the moment. He is a narcissist and a sociopath, which is why he can go from hate to love to hate again without batting an eye. The man is completely amoral. He threw the weight of his office today behind a known kiddie-diddler.

      1. “A known kiddie diddler”: I think you mean “an accused-kiddie diddler.” And hey, I would never argue with your point that Trump is “a narcissist and a sociopath.”

        But you ignore the main point of my post–that those who, out of hate, post “anti-hate” signs are self-righteous hypocrites. Do you have a view on that?

        1. “those who, out of hate, post “anti-hate” signs”

          I’m curious how you know that this is the motivation for posting one of those signs.

          As for “known” vs. “accused”…. The former is perfectly legitimate. We know, from available evidence, that Judge Moore is a “kiddie-diddler”. The fact that someone has not been convicted in a court of law does not prevent us from reasonably knowing about crimes.

          1. The only thing we “know” is that Moore has been accused, since the accusations themselves are the only “available evidence.” Frankly, I’m a bit surprised to hear someone on this site contend that a claim constitutes “evidence.” By that logic, claims that there is a God or that prayer is efficacious would constitute evidence for the truth of these claims. I don’t buy it.

            1. If one has any understanding of probability, one might understand that the chances of Moore being a “kiddie-diddler” increase as the number of independent reports increases. How many reports there must be before one “knows” it to be the case will vary from person to person. But at some point even you would be forced to “know” this to be the case. From your point of view you could never know a “kiddie-diddler” unless you had photographic evidence. And even then you could remain unconvinced because… photoshop. So you simply will never “know” what is obvious to everyone else.

              1. “the chances of Moore being a “kiddie-diddler” increase as the number of independent reports increases.”

                But are they truly independent reports or are they galloping me-too-ism or a witch-hunt mentality?

                Ever check out the notorious child-care ‘satanic ritual abuse’ cases where there were literally hundreds of reports, usually based on ‘kids will say anything the investigator leads them to say’.

                I have no opinion on Roy Moore but I’m highly suspicious of all these floods of allegations that surface as soon as one single allegation is sufficiently publicised.


              2. The five original witnesses all came forward with their allegations against Moore independently. If these, and the subsequent witnesses (many of whom are registered Republicans who supported Donald Trump) were going to lie about Moore, why wouldn’t they come up with much more damning stories? They as easily could’ve claimed they’d been forcibly raped by him as children.

                As was said about Nixon, Moore is guilty, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!

                It’s time to take a moral stand on this, mirandaga.

              3. @cr: Being a skeptic is fine. Unless your skepticism is in the face of available evidence. As Ken Kubec has pointed out the evidence is there. You just need to go look at it.

              4. Ken, the post of mine that you’re replying to seems to have been removed. If I said anything rude, I apologize.

                I have no problem with taking a moral stand–not against Moore, who I agree is probably guilty, and certainly not against sexual misconduct generally. I do worry about people being accused and assumed guilty too quickly, especially when the policy is to withhold the name of the accuser. Being cleared of such charges doesn’t undo the harm. That’s happened here in Oregon more than once and good people’s reputations have been irreparably damaged. Hence my concern.

              5. @GBJames
                In the case of Roy Moore the evidence very probably is there. I was arguing against the general proposition that ‘lots of suspicion’ = evidence. (In other words, if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick).

                I can think of several cases where the prosecution proceeded on that basis and got a conviction with not one shred of actual solid evidence that any crime had been committed at all.


              6. @cr: Please do not confuse judgements made by “the public” with judgements made by courts of law. Failures of the legal system to operate correctly from time to time should not invalidate you or me coming to the conclusion that Roy Moore, Donald tRump, Harvey Weinstein, and Company are serial offenders. In none of the above has there been a court trial. But it takes special dark glasses to not see them for what they are.

  28. Maybe someone said this upstream and I missed it, but it strikes me that “Hate has no home” is just a sort of clumsy shorthand. It probably would be better expressed as “Bigotry has no home.” No?

    1. With a day or so after 8-Nov-2016, we put out a rainbow flag (a big one) on the front of our house (we already had a US flag out there).

      Our way of saying the same thing: “Bigotry has no home [here].”

      That flag has introduced us to many of our LGBT neighbors. They stop by and say hello and comment on the flag and very gently try to find out: Are you gay? (no), why is the flag up? (“After the election, we wanted to send a very clear message to our neighbors about how we feel. We support LGBT rights. We welcome LGBT people. The election makes us worried.”)

      It’s been very nice.

      1. I think liberals have to start flying the United States flag from their homes – I am [—this far —] from doing it myself. Because flying the US flag has become a symbol of something else – especially when it’s sprouting from the bed of a big loud pickup truck with truck nuts.

        And I think this HHNHH phenomenon is using this untapped desire to grow – because the sign posters don’t want to look like ^^^ that guy.

        1. I agree about flying the flag. I’ve been doing it for a long time now for the very reason you suggest. It drives me crazy that liberals allowed conservatives to “own” this symbol.

    2. In my view, the slogan has to be a distillation of everything – “why Evolution is true” is s well crafted title.” Hate has no home here” (HHNHH) tells me someone doesn’t care.

      I think it matters because I can read their website, but what repeats over and over in my head? HHNHH. And I chew on it.

      Yes it could be a better slogan. But I don’t think it’s coming.

  29. From the Hitchens video:

    “I spend most of my time in an extremely bad mood, and I hope it shows.”

    Oh man, I miss that guy!

  30. a. Yes
    a.1 Ones I find particularly pernicious and therefore worthy of that kind of emotional energy.

    To me, hate is a useful emotion, in certain cases. It can motivate one to fight against things one dislikes. Short of “hate” a mild dislike may not get you there. Certainly not for me.

    b. Drumpf. (I can’t yet use “Trump” and a certain other word* in the same sentence.) The Westboro Baptist Church and its ideas. The ninnies that drove Bret Weinstein from TESC. Vladimir Putin and his willing minions. Radical Islamism. Islamism full stop (promoting Islam above civil societal values). Xian Dominionism. The people that destroyed the Bamian Buddhas. The people who tried (succeeded?) to destroy Palmyra. Timothy McVeigh. The guy who killed Theo van Gogh.

  31. I’m so glad I came across this. I had written that I hate the word quackery and it’s been bothering me (slightly). I really don’t hate the word. I was taught growing up to not use the word hate. It was either dislike or strongly dislike. That went out the window a long time ago. Then, more recently, I sort of phased the word out again to make more room for love. That sounds sort of corny but it’s true. Using the word only made me figure out why I was using it in the first place. I’m not an expert in some of the things in which I am interested for my own reasons and it’s more difficult to discuss with people who might have some insight. I dislike the word.

    I wouldn’t say I hate any group. There are a couple of people who make me feel sick to a point I can’t explain. There was one person I tried to be friendly with last year after the election. It was through Tw*tter and he was a Holocaust denier. He made a movie called The Greatest Story Never Told and I told him I would watch his movie if he read Night by Elie Wiesel. I followed him for several days. The most terrifying and disgusting posts. I watched 30 minutes of this darkness. I became sick like if a dementor from Harry Potter was draining the life force out of me. I woke up in the middle of the night in sweat and fear (from this plague) about five days in, told him that he was terrible and sick, and that he should be ashamed. I couldn’t try and be kind anymore. I unfollowed and it immediately lifted or whatever. The love/calm I have inside of me came rushing back. I thought it was interesting that I wasn’t a “stronger” person to offer love to this person. I also don’t have any strength or love for child molesters. Same type of sickness feeling. Hate doesn’t even cover it.

    a. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong. It’s probably important to address why.
    b. As mentioned above, this person who made this terrible movie and also child molesters.

    I also think love and fear are more appropriate opposites than love and hate.
    Thanks for letting me share.

    1. “I also don’t have any strength or love for child molesters.”

      As we’ve all seen recently, sexual abusers of many types live among us without being detected for many years. Anyone who commits an unsolicited and unwanted sexual act on any other human being, but particularly children, need to be outed and punished. However, the truth is we live in the same houses, families, neighborhoods, cities, countries, etc. with sexual abusers and child molesters. For the most part, we don’t know who they are.

  32. The thought comes to my mind that I am not perfect, and have done many things in my life that may have been “bad”, and that I wish I hadn’t done. I don’t think that’s uncommon. Another thought I frequently have is that humans often do “good” that turns “bad”, and vice versa. We can’t be certain of the long term affects our actions will have. Lots of examples throughout history.

    There are a number of people, situations and beliefs I wish didn’t exist, but not enough for me to kill or go to war. If someone attacked me, I don’t know that I would try to kill them. If someone attacked my family or others in my surroundings, I hope that I would do all in my power to defend them, up to and including injuring or killing the perpetrator. Unfortunately, I have no skills to support this.

    I was raised with a greater emphasis on protecting and defending, caring for people, particularly those “rejected and despised”.
    Bullies and psychopaths have always been with us, and always will be, abusing lesser beings. We can’t kill or incarcerate all of them. I’ll spend more of my time and thought in protecting whomever I can, especially the more defenseless.

    Having said all that, there are individuals I wish had not been born, a number of whom have been mentioned here by others.

  33. Gonna go out on a limb and say I hate the “Hater’s” sign, as it is slickly produced, but without a crediting source. Someone paid money to produce this campaign, and it shouldn’t be anonymous. Someone or some organization should be willing to take credit or blame for it.

    1. When someone posts a sign like this in front of their home they are taking credit (or blame) for it. It doesn’t really matter who printed the sign.

      1. I can also see how slick and carefully crafted the look-and-feel is – a carefully selected font that is strong and assertive, a cushy feel-good heart symbol that almost looks like an app icon, pleasant color combination that is a departure from traditional red-white-blue flag colors,, hard-to-forget slogans and images – kind of like a product – and I think it matters that it takes good money to make this stuff – it’s not a homemade paper bag sign.

        However, I think that is the extent of the “care” that was put into this phenomenon – a smashing sign.

        1. I don’t think the fact that a designer designed the sign is the least bit relevant to either the message or the intent of the person who posted this on their lawn.

          Now, if someone was purchasing billboards or anonomously putting these signs on other people’s lawns, then the question would be relevant.

          If I fly a rainbow flag on my house it doesn’t matter that it isn’t homemade. Nor does it matter that it was professionally manufactured. What matters is that I’m making a statement. I own the message.

        2. I too am suspicious of too-slick signs and slogans. They may reflect genuine feeling or they may just reek of insincerity.

          “pleasant color combination that is a departure from traditional red-white-blue flag colors”

          Now you mention it, so it is. The colours are much closer to e.g. the Russian flag than to Old Glory Red, Old Glory Blue. (Anyone wants to read hidden political significance into that, be my guest 😉

          Or maybe their printer ink was just a bit off colour.


          1. I think the evident marketing is worth pointing out to better understand the whole thing.

            But I’m not getting “suspicious”. It just is, like any other good marketing campaign….

            By the way, I haven’t noticed any home-made HHNHH signs.

            1. Why make a home-made one when professionally printed ones are available? I fly a US flag on my home every day. After all these decades I’ve never made one myself.

              1. It makes way less sense to stitch your own American flag than it dies to make your own HHNHH, Science Is Real, or other hip slogan.

                Why is it relevant that a sign would be highly crafted? Because you would need to buy one to have the full effect, to fit in, to look like the genuine thing, and that money probably funds more than just the sign, but who knows.

              2. I’ve put many, many signs out in front of my home in my life. I’ve carried many, many, signs in protest marches and such. From time to time I’ve put a bumper sticker on my car.

                In every case I was expressing my opinion. I’ve never in my live created one of these signs/flags/bumper stickers by myself. (If I had, nobody would have been able to read it.)

                I don’t understand why people are unwilling to credit the person posting the sign with having made the statement. Instead there seems to be a preference to identify secret dark conspirators lurking out there…. doing things.

              3. I feel like this is a case of drowning in 2 inches of water.

                I give credit where it’s due because it matters :

                the owners of the property the sign is on

                The inventor of the campaign, if any exist.

                I propose nothing spooky or Star Chamber about this.

              4. There is a difference between saying the sign “was expressing (your) opinion” and others (such as myself) being “unwilling to credit the person posting the sign with having made the statement.”

                You may *agree* with the statement. You may have bought the sign. The sign may be expressing your sentiments *exactly.*

                But you didn’t design the poster, you didn’t have the poster printed. Someone else did. Someone else “made the statement.”

                Does it matter? Sometimes it does.

              5. Well… it all flows from the comment at the top of this thread about hatred for signs that are allegedly unattributed. I think that is misdirected hatred.

      2. Not necessarily.

        As it turns out, this sign’s background is: “The “No Hate” logo and artwork are copyright 2016 Steven Luce and the Hollywood-North Park Community Association. The content of this website is Copyright 2016 Hollywood-North Park Community Association. Permission is granted to reproduce and distribute the content of this site in accordance with the published usage guidelines.”

        As they encouraging folk to download and print out their artwork on their own, it explains why the ones I’ve seen have not had the credit line. So I no longer hate *this* sign, as it’s authorship can be determined.

        However, there is signage that is deliberately misleading or dishonest, without any contact information. Pro-life folk routinely use old ‘dead baby photos’ to decry procedures that have nothing to do with the photos.

        Unless you have a good reason be be anonymous, I think contact information should always be somewhere. On printed materials, on websites.

        1. When you post a sign on your front lawn you are not being anonymous. Contact details are available by knocking on the front door.

          1. With respect, I think that’s splitting hairs. ‘You’ the sign-placer are not anonymous. But the people / campaign / organisation that motivated you to, and supplied the sign, effectively are. Their identity is not immediately apparent or discoverable except by making inquiries.

            ‘HHNHH’ is probably innocuous. One can imagine slogans that might not be.


  34. I try not to hate any person, and I kind of feel guilty whenever I do, which is (probably) due to a belief in determinism. Often I feel frustration or disdain instead.

    Beliefs and belief systems I feel I can hate, due to their effects on people. Creationism and most beliefs contrary to scientific conclusions I hate, as well as racism, homophobia, sexism and the like.

    This isn’t a belief system or a person but I also hate celery.

    1. A Celeryist! or phobe…
      I just cannot find it in my heart to hate celery, but chaque a son gout.

      Is this the longest answer list so far, I wonder?

  35. Oooo another good one :

    “It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”

  36. Another thought about the phenomenon I toss out here :

    The HHNHH phenomenon is pitched as uncriticizable – if one were to raise objection, I get the feeling they’d get an earful, and not get invited back to parties..

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