Hate, the book: 003

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter One
Who Wants to Live Forever? (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.A much better way to understand the relationship between dogs, cattle, and man is to investigate their genes. Doing this shows us that we share the same kind of immune system. Our blood works in the same way, even our hearts and brains are very similar.

Our will to live is an extension of those same genes. No, you will never be able to look under a microscope, survey a strand of DNA, snip out a single gene and have it sit up and say “I want to live.” It’s not going to happen.

What has happened was some unlikely combination of genes worked together in such a way to produce a person who wanted to live. That person went on to have kids, and those kids had kids, and so on. From all those offspring you and I have emerged. And that person, whether it’s me, my father, or you, is very capable of sitting up and saying “I want to live.”

Biologists call this epigenetics. It’s a characteristic about ourselves that doesn’t sit on any exact gene. In truth, it may be tied to more complex parts of DNA in which genes play a part. It doesn’t change the real-life fact that as far as animals go, mankind is the only one whose individual members want to live forever. We don’t want to die.

That fact begs a question: As a society, as a culture, where does our aggregate life force go?

Consider the combined joy of life from each man, woman, and child. How does our civilization recognize the sum total of this energy? How does our world display our combined will to live?

I suggest that we exhibit our life force in innumerable ways, like our architecture, our public works projects, our entertainment.

What is the finest way to show that your spirit wishes to reach the eternal heavens?
How about building the tallest tower in the world so that you can touch the sky?

What is the most obvious way to show off our indomitable nature, such that we flaunt Mother Nature and her inevitable partner, Death?

We build lakes and harness them to hydroelectric power stations. Or maybe we push back the ocean so we can build houses near the shore. Or we connect continents with undersea cables and overland ribbons of concrete.

Finally, our entertainers reflect our immutable souls through a wide variety of stories, like fantastic tales of vampires, transforming machines, and magic.

To be continued …

 

 

Hate, the book: 002

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter One
Who Wants to Live Forever? (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.Life gave my father and me a stark reminder when we watched his wife, my mother, grow cold on the operating table after her failed liver transplant.

I know dad’s seen the results of death many other times as have I, like when we’ve bid a final farewell to friends lying peacefully in their coffins.

I’m willing to bet that you too have personally seen human death, most likely more than once. And even if you haven’t, you surely have seen the death of other creatures, maybe a goldfish floating at the top of your fish tank, a rabbit carcass in the woods, or perhaps a squirrel on the road that you inadvertently flattened with your car.

Like it or not, like those unlucky animals, our bodies will someday decay no matter how careful we are about diet and exercise.

Bottom line is we will all die. It’s inevitable and unavoidable.

Why then do we put up such a fight?

Well, for starters there is something within us that does not take kindly to the concept of death. The idea that our very being can be no more is unsettling. We call this attitude toward death by many different names.

The “will to live” is one. If you embrace living with a passion above normal, we say “you have spirit.”

For those of us lucky enough to be considered an asset to our friends, we may be told that we are a “good soul.” We may have joie de vivre, be bigger than life, appear immortal, or even become god-like to our adoring fans. All of this speaks to the exact same thing. These phrases all refer to the fact that something within us wants to live forever.

And that something is our genes.

“Who wants to live forever? The genes do. And because they have succeeded, perhaps we do, too.”
Dozier, Jr., Rush W. Fear Itself – Origin and nature of the powerful emotion that shapes our lives and our world.. St. Martin’s Press, 1 January 1998. page 131 ¶2.

The fact that our genes want immortality is what Dawkins’s quote is all about. He’s a biologist, and in the 1970s he said biologists were studying the “wrong” thing.  I put “wrong” in quotes to show that Dawkins’s use of the word is different from the way it’s normally used.

Dawkins argued that biologists would better understand animals and plants if they looked at all life as a competition between genes.

For example, it’s a fact that dogs have teeth geared to eat meat, cattle have teeth to eat grass, and men have teeth that enable them to eat both plants and the flesh of animals. Yet none of that tells us how these creatures interrelate.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 001

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.Part One
Chapter One
Who Wants to Live Forever?

“Who wants to live forever?” Dawkins

Who wants to live forever? Who indeed! Do you? People seldom ask this question. Even if you attend some form of worship, you may not hear the question posed quite like this.
What we usually hear is: “Are you afraid to Die?”
Well, are you?

If you’re like my 85-year-old father, then yes, you are afraid to die. My dad has survived two major heart attacks, hours of fibrillation, prostate cancer, and five children. Throw in some extra nasty family relations with his parents and siblings and it’s a wonder he’s wanted to live long at all.

Last August he broke his back, minding his own business. There was no medical reason for it other than the fact he’s elderly. Granted, he was a thousand miles from home, walking with my 83 year-old uncle in Beverly Hills. The combination of long travel and exertion may have played a role in weakening his physical state, but we can’t know for sure. What I do know is that suffering a broken back has done more to depress my father than anything else he’s ever experienced. He’s confronting his own decline. He has finally acknowledged that the grave is his next long-term destination, and more than anything else this realization has changed his attitude towards life, and living.

Yet my father is an intelligent man and always has been. As a strapping youth he embraced life with gusto and courage. He swept my mother off her feet and helped her escape from a tyrannical household. He knew, as well as every other man who has ever lived, that once his youth was behind him he would be just another middle-aged man.
After that he would be “an older man,” then a “senior.” The physical decline that accompanies old age is inexorable, inevitable, a basic fact of life. Why then is my father so afraid of death?

Because it’s natural. He doesn’t want to die. Even when he’s in pain, he would still rather live.

I’m the same way. I want to live, too. And there’s a good chance that you want to live as well. We all want to live, and we want to live forever.

But we aren’t going to live forever. We know that. We’re reminded of this fact all the time, though we may choose to ignore it.

To be continued …

 

 

Hate, the book: Contents

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Here’s the Table of Contents.  It acts as a rough outline of the book.  Eventually I’ll link each of the titles to the respective chapters on this site.

Table of Contents

  1. Who Wants to Live Forever?
  2. Why Care?
  3. Why Study Hate?
  4. Hate is Natural?
  5. Help Who?
  6. Creating a Definition?
  7. Questions?
  8. Study How?
  9. Is It Real?
  10. If?
  11. Hate Is Not
  12. Four Myths
  13. Qualities
  14. Definitions Defined
  15. Meeting the Definition
  16. Catch the Conscience
  17. Actors and Audience
  18. Intention and Expression of Hate
  19. Complications
  20. Order from Chaos
  21. Who How Why
  22. Who
  23. How
  24. Why
  25. Crime Scene
  26. War
  27. Tools
  28. Detection
  29. Defense
  30. Offense
  31. Satyagraha
  32. Beginnings
  • Supplemental Materials
    • Appendix A: Table of Hate Scenarios
    • Appendix B: Death and Harm
    • Appendix C: Orwell on Gandhi
    • Appendix D: Henry VIII act 3 scene ii
    • Appendix E: “Band of Brothers” Excerpt
    • Appendix F: Fox News and Oregon Live
    • Works Cited
    • Index

Notice and Disclaimer:  For those who are legally minded, all works are fully cited and attributed to their original authors.  The work that is mine is all mine, and you should consider it copyrighted.  As for anyone who thinks that someone is somehow represented on these pages (very very unlikely), try to remember that any similarities are completely and utterly coincidental.  So chill.

Hate, the book: Welcome

Hello Curious Friend, you’re beginning my book on Hate.  It attempts to explain this powerful emotion in a cautious and logical manner.  My goal is that you will have a better understanding of where it comes from and how you can identify and neutralize its impact upon yourself.  Changing the minds of others is a harder job.
Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

If you have the feeling that hate is increasing throughout the world, you’re not mistaken.  For many reasons, hate is being used by despots in order to secure their own political base so that they can continue concentrating power.

Listing the events in which hatred is evidenced would fill volumes on its own.  A simple listing of the day’s headlines should suffice to convince most open-minded people.

The problem is that many people are not open-minded.  They have made up their minds, and are prepared to fight for their beliefs.  It doesn’t matter that their beliefs may have been formed under false pretenses, were influenced by forces who have ulterior motives, and fanned by opinions who are interested only in profits.

As a Curious Friend, I know you’re open-minded.  My goal is understanding, and the tools are rigorous logic and rejection of all dogma.  I certainly hope that you enjoy the ride.

Respectfully yours,

Steven Davidian

aka Tusok