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Title: Hatred  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Emotion, Michael Savage, Resentment, Love, Emotion classification
Collection: Discrimination, Emotions, Hatred, Issues in Ethics, Love, Vices
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hatred (or hate) is a deep and emotional extreme dislike. It can be directed against individuals, groups, entities, objects, or ideas. Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust and a disposition towards hostility.


  • Ethnolinguistics 1
  • Psychoanalytic views 2
  • Neurological research 3
  • Legal issues 4
  • Religious Perspectives 5
    • Christianity 5.1
  • Other usages 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9


James W. Underhill, in his Ethnolinguistics and Cultural Concepts: truth, love, hate & war, (2012) discusses the origin and the metaphoric representations of hate in various languages. He stresses that love and hate are social, and culturally constructed. For this reason, hate is historically situated. Although it is fair to say that one single emotion exists in English, French (haine), and German (Hass), hate varies in the forms in which it is manifested. A certain relationless hatred is expressed in the French expression J'ai la haine, which has no equivalent in English. While for English-speakers, loving and hating invariably involve an object, or a person, and therefore, a relationship with something or someone, J'ai la haine (literally, I have hate) precludes the idea of an emotion directed at a person. This is a form of frustration, apathy and animosity which churns within the subject but establishes no relationship with the world, other than an aimless desire for destruction. Underhill (following Philippe Roger) also considers French forms of anti-Americanism as a specific form of cultural resentment. At the same time, he analyses the hatred promoted by Ronald Reagan in his rhetoric directed against the "evil empire". In addition, Underhill suggests it is worrying that foreign languages (French, German, Spanish, Czech) are uncritically assimilating forms of hatred exported by neoconservative discourse which permeate these languages via the translation of political journalism and the rhetoric of the "war on terrorism" and the promotion of "security".

Psychoanalytic views

In psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud defined hate as an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness.[1] More recently, the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines hate as a "deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger, and hostility towards a person, group, or object."[2] Because hatred is believed to be long-lasting, many psychologists consider it to be more of an attitude or disposition than a temporary emotional state.

Neurological research

The neural correlates of hate have been investigated with an fMRI procedure. In this experiment, people had their brains scanned while viewing pictures of people they hated. The results showed increased activity in the middle frontal gyrus, right putamen, bilaterally in the premotor cortex, in the frontal pole, and bilaterally in the medial insular cortex of the human brain.[3]

Legal issues

In the English language, a hate crime (also known as a "bias-motivated crime") generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by hate. Those who commit hate crimes target victims because of their perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, Social class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender identity, or political affiliation.[4] Incidents may involve physical assault, destruction of property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail).[5]

Hate speech is speech perceived to disparage a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group,[6] such as race, sex, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, skin color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting. It is also sometimes called antilocution and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society. In many countries, deliberate use of hate speech is a criminal offence prohibited under incitement to hatred legislation. It is often alleged that the criminalization of hate speech is sometimes used to discourage legitimate discussion of negative aspects of voluntary behavior (such as political persuasion, religious adherence and philosophical allegiance). There is also some question as to whether or not hate speech falls under the protection of freedom of speech in some countries.

Both of these classifications have sparked debate, with counter-arguments such as, but not limited to, a difficulty in distinguishing motive and intent for crimes, as well as philosophical debate on the validity of valuing targeted hatred as a greater crime than general misanthropy and contempt for humanity being a potentially equal crime in and of itself.

Religious Perspectives


Both the Old and the New Testaments deal with hatred. Ecclesiastes 3:8 teaches that there is a "time to love, and a time to hate;".[7] However, the Old Testament (also known as the Jewish bible, the Tanakh) also contains condemnations of hatred. For example, "thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart".[8] The New Testament emphasizes that evil intentions can be as serious as evil actions.[9] Thus John counted hatred as serious as murder: "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself".[10]

It is popularly assumed that one can’t “hate” and “love” the same person at the same time. But Psalm 139[11] says there is a kind of “perfect hatred” which is consistent with love, and is different from the “cruel hatred” shown by God’s enemies.[12] The Hebrew word describing David’s “perfect hatred” (KJV) means that it “brings a process to completion”.[13] In other words, goal oriented opposition. The ultimate opposition to those who oppose God would be to get them to love God. Or, failing that, to at least stop them from destroying others. The New Testament describes a similar, if not the same, process: “to deliver...unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved....”[14]

Today’s popular characterization of good hatred is to “hate the sin, but love the sinner”. Examples of this concept can be found in the Old Testament through David's actions. It is not recorded that David ever physically punished or fought anybody for merely hating or denying God, but only for acts of aggression. He responded to evil proportionately. He defended himself and his nation from violence, but when people merely turned from God in their hearts, without physical violence, he composed Psalms. Presumably this was the kind of “hatred” in David’s mind when he and his son wrote the only five verses in the Old Testament that suggest God “hates” not just the sin but the sinner.[15] The New Testament unambiguously aligns with the modern concept: it never says God or Jesus hates any person, or that anyone else should.[16] Accordingly, Jesus hated the “doctrines”[17] and “deeds”[18] of the Nicolaitans, but not the Nicolaitans themselves. While Jesus hates sin, He inspires us to love our enemies[19] by pointing out that God equally blesses “the evil and the good”.[20]

Leviticus 19:17 provides one illustration of how popular concepts of love and hate today have departed from biblical concepts. The verse says “thou shalt not hate”, but the rest of the verse explains what that means: “thou shalt...rebuke thy brother, and not [tolerate] sin upon him.” Today’s culture often agrees, calling that “tough love”. While contemporary culture and the bible agree on this notion, they are in conflict over the definition of which behaviors deserve admonishment. At the most extreme points of difference, contemporary culture may consider the rebuking endorsed by the bible to be hatred, especially if the behavior is permissible in secular society.[4][5][6]

Other usages

Hatred is informally used to refer to antipathy towards certain individuals - often famous people - which has spawned the expression "haters gonna hate".

See also


  1. ^ Freud, S. (1915). The instincts and their vicissitudes.
  2. ^ Reber, A.S., & Reber, E. (2002). The Penguin dictionary of psychology. New York: Penguin Books.
  3. ^  
  4. ^ a b Stotzer, R.: Comparison of Hate Crime Rates Across Protected and Unprotected Groups, Williams Institute, 2007–06. Retrieved on 2007-08-09.
  5. ^ a b Hate crime, Home Office
  6. ^ a b " Hate speech". Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  7. ^ "Ecclesiastes 3:8". Bible Hub. 
  8. ^ "Leviticus 19:17". Bible Hub. 
  9. ^ "1 Corinthians 4:5". Bible Hub. 
  10. ^ "1 John 3". Bible Hub. 
  11. ^ "Psalm 139:22". Bible Hub. 
  12. ^ "Psalm 25:19". Bible Hub. 
  13. ^ Harris, R Laird (10/01/2003). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Moody Publishers; New Edition edition.  
  14. ^ "1 Croninthians 5:5". Bible hub. 
  15. ^ "Psalm 5". Bible Hub. 
  16. ^ "Luke 14:26". Bible Hub. 
  17. ^ "Revelations 2:15". Bible Hub. 
  18. ^ "Revelations 2:6". Bible Hub. 
  19. ^ "Matthew 5:44". Bible Hub. 
  20. ^ "Matthew 5:45". Bible Hub. 
  • Haters Gunk - Spread Love, Share Hate

Further reading

  • The Psychology of Hate by Robert Sternberg (Ed.)
  • Hatred: The Psychological Descent into Violence by Willard Gaylin
  • Why We Hate by Jack Levin
  • The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others by Ervin Staub
  • Prisoners of Hate: The Cognitive Basis of Anger, Hostility, and Violence by Aaron T. Beck
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing by James Waller
  • Ethnolinguistics and Cultural Concepts: truth, love, hate & war, by James W. Underhill, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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