Hate, the book: 104

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 Three
Chapter Eighteen
Intention and Expression of Hate    (Continued)

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

However, the case can also be made that our resentful son also harbors a deeper hatred, one that he doesn’t wish to share with the world.

Perhaps he’s plotting revenge.  In this case, his expressions may not lead us to conclude any hate exists.

But what if we catch him off guard?  Then yes, there’s a chance he might slip up and reveal his hatred.

A chance for such a slip up is the key to our assumption that there is a direct connection between someone’s intent to do harm to another and how they express themselves.  Not only is there a strong link between intent and expression, but we can describe it as probabilistic.

Therefore, if we ask our resentful son if he hates his family, he will probably say something hateful if he does.  Furthermore, the more he hates, the more probable it is that his hateful expressions will increase.

And that’s the connection.  If there’s lots of hate, then there are more chances that the hater will express that hatred.

Working backwards now, we can make this statement; expression of hate indicates the probable existence of hate.

Probable.  This single word introduces a new wrinkle in our attack on hate.  If we had a choice, we wouldn’t allow any grey areas in our analysis, but as is so often the case in other areas of serious study, there’s no choice.

Luckily for us though, this “probable” wrinkle is well-known and well-studied, so we have no reason to be concerned about it.  Taking this into account reveals another assumption we can use; it’s possible to hate someone and never express that hate.

Conversely, it’s also possible that someone might express behaviors of hate, yet have absolutely no hateful intentions.

How can these apparent contradictions exist?  Let’s consider two separate cases that shed light this question.

The first case involves the man who hides his hatred towards his parents from us because he’s plotting long-term revenge.  In this case he contains hate, yet never express that hate, as he may never act out his desire for revenge.

For our second case, let’s consider someone who was brainwashed or coerced into performing a horrible act of hate, something he would never have otherwise done.  A famous case from 1974 of Patty Hearst is a good example.  She was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army.  She then went with them on various crime sprees. It’s unlikely that she would have done this without the influence of her kidnappers.  Her kidnappers put the hate into her mind.  It was not hers to begin with.

In statistical terms, we call these two scenarios – the hiding of one’s hate and the apparent manifestation of hate absent of intent – false negatives and false positives.  In other words, our ability to connect the dots doesn’t always work, so we have to be on guard to the existence of these false signals.

To be continued …

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