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.
“Forget the past and you’ll lose both eyes.”
Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago part I, Page x (introduction).
Before we begin any journey, we must prepare in some way for the adventure ahead of us. The first step is the commitment to having that adventure. That decision was made in Part One, along with everything else that commitment entails.
Here we begin by first examining ourselves, what we know and what we want to know. We do this in the form of questions.
Don’t look for answers in this chapter, because attempting answers without fully understanding our own needs is premature, and leads one down the wrong path. For example, countless people have asked why one group hates another group.
The only result of all that asking has been a multitude of useless books on the subject of hate. Those books contain no answers, only a smattering of facts, a lot of opinions, and yet more questions.
Thus it’s vital to create a complete inventory of questions to help us prepare properly for our enquiry.
This book is not an attempt to discuss hate as so many others have, but to advance our understanding of hate as a phenomenon of nature, our nature.
Of course, as we begin this chapter, we are making the rather fundamental assumption that hate is something we can study. That these questions we are about to ask can indeed be addressed.
But can they? Hate is talked about, it has an entry in the dictionary, and there are even books published with the word “hate” in the title. Is it then such a stretch to imagine that hate can be observed “in the wild?”
Given that it can be observed, is it then a stretch of the imagination that it can also be defined?
As I said earlier, a good definition allows you and I to observe the same event from different perspectives. A good definition means that we will agree that this event was the same thing.
We can then go out and observe other events independently of each other. If our definition holds, then you and I will always agree that we see the same thing.
Now that we have addressed the question of definition, let us go one step further: Can we measure hate?
At the moment this question seems ludicrous, but there is no constraint on the sensibility of questions in this chapter. Perhaps you would argue that the very process of defining something is measurement in its most fundamental form – and you would be right.
Let me go one step further and return to our original question – can hate be measured in a way that’s more sophisticated than simple delineation? Can we tell the difference between a small hate and a big hate?
To be continued …