Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Why hate?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30654points) September 16th, 2010

Hate seems to be all around us. The KKK seems to hate anything that doesn’t represent the supremacy of white Americans. The Muslims hate the Jews and vice versa, it seems. In many countries around the world, LGBT people are jailed and even executed. Skinheads apparently hate everybody but their own gangs.

What is it about the human experience that allows for hate? Does the hater receive some kind of fulfillment whether psychological or emotional or mental by hating?

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32 Answers

prolificus's avatar

Hate is the mirror of fear. Perhaps those who hate, fear loss or some worse fate. Fear can drive even kindhearted people to do hateful things.

diavolobella's avatar

A combination of fear and laziness. People fear that which they do not understand and are often too lazy to do the study to gain understanding. So, it is easier for those people to blindly hate rather than make the effort to educate themselves. They also may fear that if they learn they are wrong, they will have to give up their long cherished, yet bigoted beliefs. Many people don’t want to do that because they fear change above all things.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Hate is the same coin wherein is found love, only it is the reverse side.

Hate is what broken people do when they are trying to love.

marinelife's avatar

I sort of agree with @prolificus. Except that I would put it that hate is the cover emotion for fear.

TexasDude's avatar

Hatred is for the lazy.

It’s easier to hate than to understand.

josie's avatar

Hate is legitimate, but as mentioned above it can be confused with suspicion, power lust, jealousy and other emotions.
But of course, in those cases it is not hatred, it is those other things, but with the wrong label.
It would be normal to be enslaved, and to hate your masters. Or to be falsely accused of a crime and to hate your accusers.
I would be critical of someone who confused hatred with jealousy or envy.
I would be sympathetic if the emotion were properly directed.

CaptainHarley's avatar

We grew up as a race being tribal. In many ways, we are still tribal, only now our “tribes” are ideological, cultural and religious.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Because they don’t belive in God in the true spirit Christ wants us all to believe. Simple…......

Austinlad's avatar

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”
– Coretta Scott King

Blackberry's avatar

I’m just going to stick with my theory that the majority of the human species have brains that are less developed than a small group of more intelligent humans.

eden2eve's avatar

Lack of understanding.

downtide's avatar

Fear, borne out of ignorance.

weeveeship's avatar

Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to Suffering. Suffering leads to the Dark Side. – Yoda, philosopher

chocolatechip's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_BastardHatred is for the lazy.

It’s easier to hate than to understand.

@eden2eveLack of understanding.

@downtideFear, borne out of ignorance.”

Wow, you people have pretty terrible reasons for hating things.

Understanding gives one me reason to hate if one exists (not that I hate many things).

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Haters gonna hate

wundayatta's avatar

I think hate starts when someone is mean to you in one way or another. It is clear that they are not going to treat you fairly or courteously or anything we expect of each other. Sometime those folks want to steal stuff from us—goods, food, maybe even the land we live on.

Throughout history, there are stories of wars where one tribe or people or nation tries to take land from another tribe of people or nation. That is the most serious kind of attack, and I think it leads to the most serious kind of hate; it leads to a hate that lasts for generations; even centuries.

Families pass the hate from one generation to another. Families pass deeds to land that was taken from their great grandfathers down to their children. One day they hope to get that land back, because it is only fair and right.

There are many stories about how hatred grows between individuals or families or peoples. I was at a lecture this afternoon given by Khalil Gibran Muhammad in which he traced the roots of the institutionalization of racism in US social programs. At some point in the late 1800s, crime was seen as a function of poverty. Starting in 1890, when an analysis of census data showed that while African-Americans made up 12% of the population, they made up 30% of the prison population (don’t hold me to the exact figures).

Academics didn’t understand statistics nearly as well then as they do now, and so this was interpreted to mean that African-Americans were inherently debased. This meant there was nothing you could do to help them. This also meant that poverty and race were separated out as causes of criminal behavior.

All along, it was poverty that lead to higher crime. But because of the misinterpretation of these data, the people, and more importantly, government officials, believed that race was the determinant of crime. Well, if it’s due to race, then what’s the point of spending money to try to help them get out of poverty? Thus began the roots of a social welfare and education system that neglected African-Americans because no one believed anything you could do would help them.

Institutionalized hatred. Using statistics to give you an excuse to hate on a whole group of people, just because they look dark skinned and trace their ancestry through slaves.

Well, this has been going on for centuries now. These are attitudes passed from generation to generation without the people even being aware of it. It is so pervasive, you don’t have to say anything. Body language is all it takes.

It isn’t just African-Americans. It’s every tribe and family and country that ever did something mean—such as stealing land—to them. Hatred comes in so many forms, it’s like wandering around in a candy shop and being unable to choose which one you want today.

People hate because they see the world as a zero-sum game. Either you can have it, or I can have it. There is no way we can cooperate and allow us both to benefit from it, whatever it is. Thus, it’s us or them. So we hate them because they want to take everything that’s good from us.

The best way to stop hating is to teach people how to cooperate; to allow them to experience cooperation so they can see it can work and it is better than zero-sum outlooks on life.

Gosh, I hope I haven’t convinced anyone that hating is the way to go.

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downtide's avatar

I was describing why hate exists in general.

kritiper's avatar

Some people are civil and live by the golden rule. They deserve to be loved. Everybody else is a jerk and only deserve the hate they make for themselves.

JLeslie's avatar

I think hate comes from fear, pain, or insecurity.

Fear. It can be fear of having our own lives changed, or a feeling that life as we know it will unravel.

Pain. When we are hurt by another we may feel hate towards them, and sometimes, not always, generalize to the group we see them being a part of.

Insecurity. One way to feel superior to others is to hate their “kind.” Deciding we are better than those we hate.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie, insecurity and your own issues lead you to be a hater to elevate yourself. Hereditary hate is the saddest though whether it’s against a minority or Christians or Atheists or any particular group.

Then there’s some people who just love to hate and hold grudges, in general they just like to be nasty as their defense against other people and nurse their negative emotions. They’ve been hurt so they hurt others, seemingly enjoying the pain they feel and the pain others feel because they perpetuate it all their lives, passing it down to their children who also learn to hate or be hard & unforgiving. It’s very sad.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I am convinced a lot of bad behavior in our society is due to what people have been witnessing on TV and they think it’s really cool to mimic it. That and widespread substance abuse for the past 40 years. I’m presently living in the Caribbean and there have been enough badly behaving Americans visiting here to give us a terrible reputation for poor manners, impatience, outright rudeness and, when they are drunk or high—which is often—it becomes absurd and all the latent prejudices emerge. And their children are absolute monsters as I’ve myself witnessed in restaurants and other businesses. These guarded feelings against Americans are shockingly common among locals whom I have done business with on Dominica, Martinique, the Bahamas and the Yucatan specifically.

There is an old woman on Exuma who owns a big fruit stand on the main road just north of Georgetown. Her son went to Georgia Tech. One Christmas he wrote her that he met an American girl and would like to bring her home to Exuma for Christmas. This is taken as a strong sign of his intention to marry her. After some long distance argument and the son refusing to stop seeing the American, mom cut off funding and the boy had to return home. There was no way she would allow an American in her family. She had the general consensus from her friends. It’s quite a common feeling down here. The American television programming they get often re-enforces these feelings and they can see the bad behavior being mimicked by there own young people. It pisses them off.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Do you think the heriditary hate (I never heard that term before, good term) is worse because it isnharder to overcome. I know a whole bunch of people who became prejudiced in their adulthood when they were raised not to be anything like that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Hereditary hate, to me, is when your family passes down their prejudices against a group or race, like older people hating on Vietnamese or Japanese.

Family loyalty, especially in my area, is hard to overcome, and it takes real strength to tell grandpa or great uncles that they’re just wrong. I’ve seen this a lot with veterans of foreign wars, WP gangs, biker gangs, etc…

Seeing little kids indoctrinated into hate is incredibly hard to bear, and white pride groups and racists are among the strongest that I’ve personally seen do this on a regular basis.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL About the veterans, do you mean they go abroad and shed their prejudice after spending time with people from other countries?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie No, like they fought against the Vietnamese and now hate them all. With all due respect to veterans and all the thing’s I don’t know about what they went through.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Oh, I see. I guess hating them makes it easier to fight them.

Interestingly, I see more interracial, interethnic (I’m pretty sure I made up that word) relatinships among military people. Especially in the under 35 age group. Most of them both people are US military, I don’t mean they meet people while stationed abroad, but that happens too.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Well it would also probably be difficult to be a POW and not hate the entire race after being tortured and seeing friends die. There’s almost always a reason for hate, but I think sometimes people think their experiences trump the moral priority of loving thy neighbor.

And of course, some people don’t think about it at all until they evolve, if ever.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s definitely understandable. It is such an extreme circumstance. Since for me I think racism is believing someone is born that way and that everyone is the same in the group, it’s hard for me to think that way. I think everyone should be treated as an individual, but again it is understandable. Plenty of older Jewish people hated the Germans, or hated them for what they did. It was hard for some of them to think any Germans were good. Although, once in America, most differentiated between German-American and Germans.

Living in Michigan it was odd to me how many of them didn’t like the Japanese. I had grown up with no negative feelings about Japanese people or any conversation surrounding that. But, put together WWII and the Japanese auto makers gaining huge market share, that was enough for many Michiganders to have negative feelings. Thing is, Michigan kind of did it to themselves. They did not heed the warnings that Japanese automakers were making better cars and less expensive for a while there. So, it was more of a fear of the loss of power or jobs, or life as they knew it, that sort of thing. Most of my friends in MI are very open not hateful people, I am just saying I emcountered some subtle things now and then.

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