The Kingdom of Hate
Guest Column by Ernesto Tinajero
The rock came down. The ground turned red. Cain fulfilled his desire for his dark idea. Cain had ruminated for a while with the thought, “Life would be better without his brother.” Cain then acted in cold-blooded murder.
This little story told early in Genesis gets to the powerful hold hate has on humans. It also flies in face of how we have understood hate and hatred. Hate is one of the most powerful of forces in human life, but it has tended to be ignored in philosophical discourse except to see it as emotion. Hate has usually been placed in the “kingdom” of emotions that happen to us, rather than an idea we hold.
Hate has been defined as a strong emotion that can be found in a variety of philosophies and is considered to be one of the most powerful emotions. Philosophers such as Plato, Fredrick Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre have explored the concept of hate as an emotion and its implications in their respective works. Each of them has a different perspective on the subject, but all of them agree that hate should be viewed as an emotion that can have a powerful effect on a person’s life.
Plato believed that hate was rooted in a lack of understanding and knowledge. He argued that if people would only strive to understand one another, then hate would be eliminated. In his work “The Republic,” he argued that the lack of understanding produces hate and that people should strive to understand each other’s motives in order to create a more harmonious society.
Nietzsche, on the other hand, argued that hate was a necessary emotion in order to create progress. He argued that hate was necessary for progress and growth, and that “the essence of life lies in eternal struggle.” He believed that hate was a natural emotion and was necessary for people to push forward and strive for greatness.
Finally, Sartre argued that hate was a necessary part of human nature and could be used to create meaningful change. He argued that hate could be used to challenge the status quo and push people to create a better world. He believed that hate was a tool that could be used to make a positive difference in the world.
Yet, the Biblical story of Cain and Abel seems to imply that hate is not an emotion at all. Rather, hate is the idea of life being better without certain people, groups or even nations. Get rid of the “other” and then life is better. Violence follows from this idea. To be sure hate can fill a person with emotions, but at its core is that simple idea.
We can see this idea working in the Holocaust when the supposed Jewish problem was solved by the massacre of the Jews. We can see this idea in working in unplanned and planned murders. If we examine murders of passion, emotion tips the scale into action, but the idea of eliminating the other is the driving force. The calculated murder also is driven by the idea of eliminating the other, even when there is little or no emotion within the act. The fact that in these two cases emotion is not shared, but rather the idea is what are common leads support to hate being an idea and not emotion. Hate is the idea of ridding the world of the “other” that will make life better.
This essay is the first in a series where I want to explore hate as an idea and a way of understanding our world. The video poem (below) introduces this series on hate and each post will have a video poem based on the themes explored.
Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.
Beautiful rendition of the biblical perspective on hate both in the essay and the poem. I would posit, though that emotions and ideas are mixed together when hate takes its course. Walter
Hanlon’s Razor has been posted on my office/libray walls for the past 3 decades. It reads:
“Never attribute malice to what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
I have crossed out stupidity and replaced it with ignorance. They are not stupid. They just do not understand. And I may be the one that does not understand them.
When I am “triggered” by anything, the person trigering me has no idea what it is about my past experiences that causes my reaction.
It becomes my responsibility to educate that person.
Do not get upset when they do not understand.
Our “story” is powerful. Tell others your story and take time to listen to theirs.