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SuperMouse's avatar

Is it idealistic to think love is stronger than hate?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) September 9th, 2012

Hate seems so powerful. It seems to have near infinite fuel sources in anger, self-righteousness, bigotry, etc. Hate seems almost institutionalized when people wield it as a weapon to win elections and marginalize others. Is it idealistic to believe love is stronger?

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34 Answers

dumitus's avatar

Hate eats into your soul. So it’s lose lose. Whereas love is win win, everyone is made happier with love.
If you ask if love is stronger than hate as a motivator, I’m afraid it’s not.
If it were easy, the Bible wouldn’t say walk in the way of love.
But it’s always better if love is why we do things.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

True love is so so much stronger than hate in a balanced person. I suppose if someone is so twisted they prefer hate over love and they see the world threw a dark lens, then maybe it might be what gives them a focus in their life. But what would make you happier, love, peace, and affection, or anger, and rage? I’m mellow. I’ll take the love.

linguaphile's avatar

Hate might be more widespread, but it’s just another form of caring. If you didn’t care, you’d not hate. I find it interesting to note that there are many, many different types of love and hate—but only a couple types of indifference.

I believe that love, in its most powerful state, is not obvious. I see love as something that stays and endures, more like water that works its way through a canyon, while hate’s more reactionary and temporary.

Sunny2's avatar

Of course it’s idealistic. Nothing wrong with having a few ideals.

tups's avatar

Well, the opposite of love and hate is apathy. The opposite of love is not hate, nor is hate the opposite of love. It often walks hand in hand. Love is better, of course, but I’m not sure which one is strongest.

hearkat's avatar

I don’t believe in hate. I find that the reaction called “hate” is actually a manifestation of fear. I also find that those who have issues of anger, bigotry and aggression act that way because they are fearful of being victimized themselves. Its origins are self-preservation, but it is immature and misguided – especially in our modern civilization.

marinelife's avatar

Hate turns against the hater. I do believe that love is stronger.

Taciturnu's avatar

I believe hate and love are no stronger than each other, as they each can be all-consuming. The opposite of both is indifference, after all.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’m not sure it’s really about love or hate being stronger than the other. I think it’s more that many people find it easier and more convenient to hate.

Ron_C's avatar

I believe that love makes you stronger and hate eats at your soul until you are weak and permanently lost.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I believe this sentence is worthy of a Nobel Prize.

JLeslie's avatar

I think they are fairly equal. The drive each emotion can create in us is pretty fierce. I think it partly depends on the individual, there isn’t a perfect generalization to make.

serenade's avatar

FWIW, here’s what my medium channeled regarding a question in the same ball park.

The evil you speak of will not win the day. It is a much weake energy that cannot sustain itself and cannot line intuitively to higher energy as it is not light and not the work of many who understand what mind is and what soul is. The two are separate, and the mind can manifest, but the soul can love. And junk of mind can make you believe evil is winning… Darkness is a doorway to dense energy that pretends to be alive and holds you captive.

The passages on love (or light) are less succinct and a bit more cryptic, but the gist of it is that we can become doorways to light and align ourselves as such. So, I suppose the answer is that it is stronger so long as we’re complacent or deceived.

There is a line of love and peace and loads of others who seek higher consciousness.

josie's avatar

They operate in different contexts. They do not compete directly. They are apples and oranges. There is no way to say one is stronger than the other. As with all emotions, they can each be explored or ignored, but they serve completely different functions. It’s one of those parlor game questions, like what is the meaning of life, and if a tree falls in the forest etc. There are answers to all these, it just isn’t the one everybody wants to hear.

tinyfaery's avatar

Love and hate have no intrinsic value. I’m sure there are situations where one is more powerful in the moment.

Nothing is absolute. Better not to think in those terms.

ragingloli's avatar

History proves that hatred is stronger than “love”.

flutherother's avatar

They are equally strong as hate is just the perversion of love. But love is better.

DrBill's avatar

Love and hate are equally strong, opposing forces. Love strengthens the Lover and closes their eyes to others deficiencies, while hate weakens the hater and opens their eyes to the flaws (real or imagined) in others.

augustlan's avatar

Hate requires so much energy to sustain, while love is oftentimes effortless. Hate can be temporarily very strong, but love endures. If you take a big-picture view, I think it’s rational to believe that love wins in the long run.

yankeetooter's avatar

Forgive me if others have said something similar, but I feel love is the greater force. If you have love, nothing can ultimately defeat you. Love will sustain you, even if it may not feel like that always. Hate, on the other hand, will eat away at you, slowly destroy you from the inside out…it may seem like a powerful thing, but in the end it will defeat you. Also, I agree with @augustlan…hate saps your energy, whereas when I feel love for someone (whatever type of love may apply in that instance), I am overwhelmed with the beauty of the feeling. It inspires me and lifts me up…

yankeetooter's avatar

@DrBill…I don’t know if I totally agree with you about love closing our eyes to other’s flaws. I think love often enables us to love and accept others for all that they are…despite such flaws and shortcomings. If you truly love someone, than you recognize they are not perfect, but you love them anyway…

yankeetooter's avatar

@wonderingwhy,...yes in the short term, hate may be easier to feel, and to show, but if you can overcome hate, than you are the victor…

Trillian's avatar

Maybe not idealistic, but probably simplistic.

DrBill's avatar

@yankeetooter

Let’s say, Love makes the lover more accepting and forgiving of flaws.

yankeetooter's avatar

@DrBill,...okay I can accept that…

PhiNotPi's avatar

Hate is stronger. Everybody should be able to agree that love is much more positive than hate, or that love should be stronger in an ideal world. Once you ignore the positive-negative distinction, hate wins.

bkcunningham's avatar

Love is stronger and wins every time.

stardust's avatar

Love is much more powerful than hate. Accepting things as they are – loving what is – leaves no room for hate. My love is stronger than anything I have and yes @bkcunningham, it wins every time :-)

ragingloli's avatar

so i guess obama’s victory is guaranteed then

mazingerz88's avatar

Hate devours what Love creates. Therefore Hate is more powerful. Yikes.

partyrock's avatar

Depending on the person, I think they can be both very very powerful. Passion.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Love and hate both require energy (like all emotions), and both are complex. However, at the risk of being really simplistic, I’ll refer you to a pop culture answer (of sorts):

LUKE

… is the dark side stronger?

YODA

No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

Yeah, it’s a movie, and a cheesy one at that, but there’s a certain truth in that cinematic exchange. Hate is not necessarily more powerful than love, but as Yoda imparts, it’s “quicker, easier, more seductive.” Unfortunately, the human instinct is to take the path of least resistance, which is why as @ragingloli notes, history is full of examples of long periods (and recurrent episodes) of hate. Hate requires a lot of energy to sustain, and is a lot of work, as @augustlan notes, but it’s also much easier to do.

Love can be harder because it often requires accomplishing things that aren’t as easy, and also consume a certain amount of energy: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, and accepting people, animals, and things for what they are, warts and all.

Love is such a powerful force that it is at the heart of just about all religions, and is the ideal for which we strive. It’s also part of being whole: before we can truly love someone or something else, we must first love ourselves. A lot of people’s struggles and problems stem from the fact that they don’t love themselves, or they feel there is something they must make whole in their life.

Anyway, back to the whole point. For myself, I think that they’re both equally powerful forces, but it is how we approach them in ourselves and in the world around us that determines which is more powerful for us individually. Unfortunately, this battle means that in influential people, the “winner” in this struggle then influences that individual’s actions and choices which then affect us in positive or negative ways. For every Hitler there is a Gandhi.

yankeetooter's avatar

After last night, I know love is stronger than hate…

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