Do We Have a Right to Hate? "Pro und Contra" for Philosophie indebate

Recently, I participated in a brief online debate for Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie Hannover, where I am a fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. Along with another fellow, the brilliant scholar of religion Monica R. Miller, we discuss whether or not we have a "right" to hate? Check out the following excerpt below, then hit the link to read more. 

Thanks to FIPH, Philosophie Indebate, and of course, the inimitable Dr. Monica R. Miller. 

 

Pro und contra: Do We have a Right to Hate?

Contra: Christopher Driscoll

No.

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. – Reinhold Niebuhr[i]

The same holds true of the law, and laws made from, and making, democracy in its varied iterations. Laws must be written and enforced that protect the citizens of a nation from those who would hate particular groups on the basis of belief, biology, geography, or culture. Anti-hate legislation is a powerful step in not only curbing hate-motivated violence, but in organizing the values that hold up any democratic apparatus.

Hatred is not an object in one’s heart, a disposition or ontological viewpoint. It is a verb, a “choice” according to Jean Paul Sartre.[ii] To be a “hater” is to be found “hating.” To be “hateful” is to be prone toward “hating.” Too often, we imagine hate to be a feeling. Even in framing this choice, Sartre, too, overemphasizes hatred as rooted in “passion”[iii] when in fact, expressions of hatred often – as was the case with the routinized Shoah – require a disjuncture between feeling and thinking or feeling and acting. We often fear emotional response will grow violent. However, where hatred is concerned, acute emotional catharsis may be a valve ensuring a community or individual does not succumb to hatred. Nevertheless, Sartre’s suggestion that “hate is a faith,”[iv] a particular kind of bad faith, does well to emphasize the action-basis of hatred but does little to emphasize the ordinariness of bad faith towards any given life. Bad faith is not something limited to the anti-Semite, but is a failure of action all of us (as humans) run risk of perpetuating.

continue reading at philosophie-indebate.de