Hate, the book: 035

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 Two
Chapter Eight
Study How?  (Continued)

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

The lesson is that we must pay close attention to fundamental actions, not just facial expressions or superficial things people say.  That said, let’s put the subject of Darwin down for now and go outside.

As we re-enter the light, we see it’s still snowing, and that it’s creating a mess.
We also see, as we observe our metaphorical landscape, that the subject of hate is equally messy.

The term “hate” is used liberally in sports, celebrity, random acts of violence and consistent antagonistic preaching. This is not to say popular use is “wrong,” for within any living language the landscape of definitions is always changing.

But what we can say is that the current use of the term “hate” within the English language is that it is so broad as to be sloppy. And this sloppiness comes at a cost.

That cost is two-fold.  The first is communication confusion.  If a definition is messy such that I can think of it in one way and you another very different way, that means we are disagreeing on what it is.

Yet we use the same term.  So I can say I hate a sport team, and mean I wish them to lose the big game.  You might also be right in assuming I want to do them physical harm.  Or I might say that I hate broccoli, and in your mind you could fear that I intend to go to the local grocery and vandalize all their inventory of this hard, green, bunchy vegetable.
However, what I really meant was that I can only stand to eat broccoli if it’s been covered in a thick layer of catsup.

Messy definitions are a hindrance to communication.  Of course, you “normally” assume exactly the opposite of what I said here.  I hate your team means I want them to lose, while I hate broccoli means I don’t want it on my plate.

Are these silly examples?  Perhaps, but I have chosen to give them to make my point.  Imagine now cases where the differences are smaller, as in “I hate my teacher” or “I hate my life.”

The second cost, perhaps even casualty, of a sloppy definition is this: it stands as an obstacle to our ability to measure the phenomenon or event.  If I can’t accurately tell you what it is, how will you ever be sure of its existence?

You can’t.

The most basic form of definition is that of differentiation, self from non-self, light from dark, up from down.

So it must also be with hate.  We must define it in such explicit terms that we all know and agree when it exists.  In today’s landscape there is a lot of fog and mud around the subject of hate.

To be continued …

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