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Why do we hate? Presumably all emotions serve a purpose. What is the purpose of hate?

It is clear why some emotions exist. Fear, for example, serves to keep us safe from things we deem harmful. Anger, within reason, is a reaction to something we find objectionable and that helps us to learn to interact with others and also to protect ourselves.

Hate and love are opposite ends of the same scale, so the question could also be "Why do we love?" That seems to be easier to answer, however. It appears that love is the ultimate objective - the highest level of human development.

So then why do we hate? What purpose does it serve? Is it because of our own insecurities? Do we need to feel superior? Is the ego the hatemonger in us?

Could it be that our propensity to hate (or conversely, love) is a measure of our spiritual development?

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    Mar 15 2011: I used to see a natural therapist, and she said of all the emotions/feelings we go through, the only one that has no connection to a body function is fear. As in fear shouldn't exist because it cannot be located to a specific area in the body. I found that very cool! And to expand a bit on that, primal fear that signals danger is probably explainable. Fear of not being good enough or other kinds of more internal fears aren't.

    Wasn't there a tedtalk on how the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference? It must have been my acting teacher who said that and he was right: in the realm of self-expression, hate is synonym to love and passion.

    I think we hate because we cannot love everything, and we need that passion, energy, focus, and it can't always be positive. Hate can and is a good thing (in my humble opinion). Not a very positive state, true, but it makes you take action, fuels you and gives you a purpose.
    • Mar 15 2011: Hi Codruta. Fear of failure or rejection can be very debilitation, that is certainly true. I agree that we cannot love everything with great passion - that would take a lot of energy - but I think we can accept or not judge some things.

      When I wrote this I was thinking about how we (as humans in general) hate people for simple reasons - they are of a different race, religion, and so on. Hate to the point of wanting to hurt others. Why does this happen? Is it that we feel threatened or are insecure and need to feel superior to someone else. How does this help us to develop? How do we get to a more elevated existence? These are my musings - not questions I am asking of you :-). Thanks for your input.
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        Mar 16 2011: I'll answer anyway.

        I think it's a basic preservation reaction - we hate people that are against our opinions, or that we think are against them. We hate someone we don't identify with because we cling to that identity we created to ourselves and cannot see the other side. However, we always do this - every single one of us, we always want to be right (I actually started a topic on that a while ago).

        I also think ''development'' as you call it arrives when we are proven wrong. It's mostly always a good thing, even if not a good experience. It makes us broaden our views. I'm sure deep down we can associate this need to hate or to be right with some kind of evolutionary thing - need to preserve? protect from other species? danger?

        And you can always get a more elevated experience by working with yourself. Even hate is a matter of perception... that being said you cannot force a deep kind of change on people, you just need to inspire them.
        • Mar 16 2011: Thanks Codruta. I think the real problem arises when it is taken to the point of wanting to hurt someone else, particularly through physical action. Over the millenia, millions have been killed in the name of race, ethnicity, religion and many other perceived differences. It continues today and I wonder what motivates such hate. What is the difference between those who hate so intensely and those who do not.

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