Hate, the book: 046

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 Nine
Is It Real?

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

“I have endeavoured to show in considerable detail that all the chief expressions exhibited by man are the same throughout the world. … No doubt similar structures, adapted for the same purpose, have often been independently acquired through variation and natural selection by distinct species; … [yet] it seems to me improbable in the highest degree that so much similarity, or rather identity of structure, could have been acquired by independent means. … It is far more probable that the many points of close similarity in the various races are due to inheritance from a single parent-form, which had already assumed a human character.”
Charles E. Darwin, “Expressions,” Ch XII p361.

Up to now we’ve been discussing hate in basic terms. We’re clarifying the concept of hate, the first necessary step in creating a definition we can all agree on.

Returning to our landscape metaphor, where our landscape represents the human psyche, in a sense we’re studying the mountains, trees and rivers of human emotions to improve our understanding of hate.

Now it’s time to dig a little deeper.  We must clarify something that seems obvious: reality.  It’s natural for us to think that everything we study is real.  But that’s not necessarily true.  There are people who claim to study phenomena that have no basis in our reality, like ghosts, extrasensory perception, and predicting the future by reading tea leaves.

We don’t want our study of hate to be considered a study of something unreal, as is the case with the above examples.  So how do we prove we’re studying something real?
We do so through methodical reasoning.

Consider our landscape of the human psyche.  We see on the surface that it has mountains, rivers, trees and more.  These are all physical objects we can personally verify.

We know a mountain exists because it’s visible.  We can go to it, touch it, climb it, and see it from many sides.  We can also verify the existence of this mountain through other people who have personally verified it.

Historical record is another sound verification tool.  We become confident that something, like our mountain, is real because it’s common knowledge and accepted by all that it’s existed for ages.

When you can show that something physical has existed for long periods of time, no one can doubt its reality.

Mountains have existed long before the appearance of mankind.  No one questions this fact.

Our forefathers have measured them, as have their forefathers before them.  Physical, immutable objects like mountains are the most basic type of reality.  To be a student of something as clearly self-evident as a mountain means that you do not have to convince anyone of the seriousness of your research.

Tell anyone that you study mountains and no one will laugh.

There is another level of unquestioned reality besides physical matter, and it’s based on life itself. In terms of our landscape, it lies slightly beneath the surface.

To be continued …

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