Tuesday 27 May 2008

Love and Hate

A long time ago someone told me it was impossible to know love without knowing hate. Is that true?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 23:00 | Comments (50)

Comments (50)

  1. love and hate 是相互的,不是独立存在的,如果有LOVE就不能永远存在HATE,如果有HATE,LOVE也可能是存在的。爱恨交加或许说的就是这个意思吧!对于老人来说彼此之间的感恩或许更重要,不是年轻的时候感恩不重要,大多时候年轻人很少去想彼此的恩情,老年人会常常想起来。

  2. Unlikely yes, impossible, no. Now the inverse….

  3. Bulls**t! A baby loves without knowing hate. I am not so sure about the other way around. It is impossible to know hate without knowing love. (And I think George Lucas agrees with me in his story when telling how Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader in Star Wars (Just wanted to show I am a real geek) and as Yoda said “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (I think I am in a Star Wars mood today)).
    BTW, I love Fan JIN comment.

  4. Doesn ‘t it depend on how emotionally unstable you are?

    Say, for instance your emotional hormones stick within a very narrow band, you might feel a little affection, then a little disaffection. If your hormones have wild and large swings, and approach simple harmonic motion

    then it seems to me that the individual is MUCH more likely to experience both love and hate.

    btw Is it true that the female of the species experiences wild and dramatic hormonal swings? Maybe its more a male female thing?

  5. I do… so i guess that it must be.

  6. Hate is not the opposite of love, that’s “no love”. In taostic believe (Yin/Yang) that is true (love/no love). Remove one side and the other one will disapear. Who can say something is big, if there were no tiny things.

  7. I’m of the opinion that hate is just another form of love – to hate someone, you must care about them; if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t have the emotional investment to hate.

  8. Surely it’s possible, but in the same way that if everything in life was pleasant and good we wouldn’t know how good it is, hate brings a contrast that allows us to appreciate love all that much more, as the bad things in life make us enjoy the good ones…

  9. I would say it’s very, very, very difficult to do otherwise, but not the way some are taking it: knowledge of hate, in that statement, is not being presented as a precondition for knowledge of love. At least the way I read it.

    It also depends on how seriously you take the word “hate”, I suppose.

  10. I don’t think that’s correct.

    I think more likely it’s that you can’t know love without knowing deep, crushing *sadness*.

  11. An interesting question…

    I suppose it how you define Love & Hate. If you see tham as antonyms, then this is probably a valid conclusion, since they would be opposite ends of the same spectrum.

    If, however, one were to define love and hate as distinct emotions with the antonym of any emotion as apathy, then one could effectively argue that it would be possible to experience any emotion in a absence of any other and still be “human”.

    My sense, however, would be that without the breadth of human emotional expression, it is difficult to experience any individual emotion to any depth. No one can truly be “human” without experiencing some emotional extremes in life.

    This got a bit more metaphysical than I intended…I trust that it helps in your quest.


  12. Yes and No. The primary emotions of a child of two years of age is:


    It also depends on how you define love. Is this something like a crush or is it an emotion that allows a child to bond with their parents. Hate leads on from Anger when the needs of the child are not met (no naturing). Usually the least recognized feelings of hate is the hate we have for ourselves. We may think we hate this person or that person but really is this just the hate that we have deep down for our non nurturing parent or parents?

  13. Echoing some of the comments here – the opposite of Love is not Hate, it is Indifference.

    Therefore, it is theoretically possible to know Love without knowing Hate, and vice versa. I don’t know if it is practically possible to know either without the other (we could imagine historical figures who seem to have come close), but they are not mutually exclusive.

  14. Let’s just say that both are so strong as emotions that we humans have been confusing the two for way two long to deny the confusion. Maybe they even grow into each other or swing back and forth. Both build a dependence relationship.

    When you are love you can’t stop thinking about someone. The same with hate. I mean real hate not just bitchy workplace “she stole my job” hate. Both should be pursued with passion, and I’d suggest if someone isn’t worth everything to you then abandon ship – only love the worthy and if someone’s not worth hating passionately then they’re just another ant under your everyday feet. Let go time.

    You ask a really good question. Yes, babies love unconditionally. Psychopaths hate unconditionally. Neither has fully developed. And I agree the opposite of love and hate is indifference.

    You can actually measure the calibre (or depth) of a person quite well by the way they conduct their passions (love or hate), and the degree of indifference that they show.

    Love and hate are life’s wine, take them in moderation and don’t become their slave. Sip, enjoy and they enhance life. And it seems only when one has hated can one appreciate real love, and vice versa. Before that was a puppy love, not quite real.

  15. Pingback: Are Love and Hate the Same Thing? :

  16. I think it is quite possible to know love without knowing hate. Heartache might be a more appropriate word to use than hate.

  17. Knowing love doesn’t require knowing hate, but it certainly does widen the possibility for it. Think about someone that you truly love, all the way, someone that you would do everything in your power to protect. Now think about someone that wants to hurt that person.

  18. Ahhh love as a boner or infatuation. Hate as a slighted discontent.

    You see the trouble is as humans we’re always going to be using these two words to fit our own mental model. Hot to me is as hot as I’ve experienced. Cold as cold as I’ve experienced. Someone who nearly froze to death on Everest has a completely dissimilar perspective on hot and cold. Its a relativity thing.

    As life goes on I notice the appreciation of each – true love and true hate – go hand in hand. Most people don’t truely love or hate. A boner? Infatuation? A slight that embarrassed us? Not love or hate.

    So I guess the conversation is circular.

    What we call love and hate is actually personal to our own life experience. Just like hot and cold.

    I wish everyone joy in their journey and hope a little sip of living makes the world a better place on both ends of that experience. The good and the bad make life great to live.

    I will not judge you for either your love or hate but for the passion with which you pursue your intended audience 🙂

    Ahh life is good. No?

  19. OK I own up… today was the first day of my holidays, I’m suddenly between contracts and enjoying a few beers 🙂

  20. Love and hate are powerful emotions and powerful words. I think that the words should be used sparingly, as to protect their meaning. Hate is not simply the absence of love. Love is not simply the absence of hate. I know it is possible to love without hating, as I don’t hate anyone/anything.

  21. I think the opposite of love is generally indifference or being ignored.

  22. I think so too Steve. I think the general gist is going in circles.

    All I’m really saying is that both can be very powerful. More killings, for example, are from love and hate than indifference. And they often turn into each other as lovers grow to hate each other and haters grow to love.

    And then we have “in love”. Again a different kettle of fish.

    Ahh OK maybe that’s our problem… Being in love and hating are similar. Loving, however,is something wholesome and good where only nice thoughts prevail… 🙂 Those don’t send you mad in excess at all.

    Emotions IMO are like diet – balance is everthing.

    Ha ha well lucky none of us are psychiatrists… are we???

  23. Is it possible to know love without knowing hate? Yes.

    The same can be said for the inverse (knowing hate without love) and the fact both feelings intertwine each other.

    Both love and hate, being each end of the spectrum of feelings are and can quickly be reached when in love, or in a relationship or even in other things like programming, sports, etc.

    Interesting question though, it made me really think. 🙂

  24. A friend of my always used to tell me that you can never truly hate someone without first loving them. I am not a big fan of the word “hate” because I don’t think I could ever truly hate someone in all the sense of the word. But when someone you once loved does something that hurts you so bad it’s much easier (and you tend to do it more passionately) to “hate” them than a random stranger who cuts you off in the street.

  25. I came upon your site purely by accident,, supposedly.!!
    It will sound pompous and possibly condescending, but I found this place for a reason, not too sure what the reason is just yet, but I was searching for information on cellular memory for a piece I am struggling to write when I got here.
    I was supposed to spend no more than ten minutes here, but us Irish can never keep to deadlines and in fact we see deadlines as targets to surpass, so 45 minutes later, here I am waffling without jam and simply wanting to say, what a fantastic site.

    I will be back, failing a barring order against me.

    Take care


  26. OOOps, and now I have just realized that what I said to begin with was not included.

    To know love is to equal hate.?

    For me both are so closely linked they may in fact be scientific twins,.
    I hate with the same passion that I love, but I love frequently and hate infrequently.
    I love daily, but hate is not a daily consumption.
    I love to love., I hate to hate.


  27. The thoughts here are all overwhelmingly insightful.

    I’m particularly interested in the idea that “indifference” or “ignorance” are the true antitheses of “love”

    There are times I’ve felt very very very deep rage. It’s come, then quickly gone in all cases.

    But hatred? If I’ve known hatred it’s mostly been self-hatred.

    Love I feel lots of places. Indifference strikes deep. Even as a child I’d think “Love me or Hate me but don’t ignore me!” I didn’t even know what that meant, then, but I do now.

    @steven clark and all: Always welcome to have a drink here at Whether coffee, tea, beer, wine or spirits, so long as you’re well-behaved my house is your house.

    Just don’t be indifferent to or ignore other guests 😉

  28. 没有黑,哪来白?

  29. All these philosophical issues, questions, responses over emotion. Hate is much simpler, perhaps, of the two .. expectations are not generally involved. In that vein, experience in hate may be necessary to know a love, shared between adults, that is without expectation or a need for reciprocity. The only emotion worth a damn is lust. Keep it simple and stupid.

    ::Re-inserting the tequila I-V into the jugular::

  30. @thacker

    Listen to your own words. Philosophical issues, lust, simple and stupid. Words and thoughts that will guide and influence your life. Love is an emotion that bonds a baby with it parents but you refer to love as something that happens in a romance such as the feeling of infatuation.

    There are terms from the east called ‘loving kindness’ or ‘loving compassion’. Do you understand what they mean?

    Molly, I will bring the Baileys. 😉

  31. Gresley–

    Love/Hate in relation to children, friendship, stated eastern interpretations is automatically precluded because the concept of inclusion/comparison of hate into it is just too damn bizarre.

    Hate in its absolute form precludes expectation. The parallel to the original question is to love without expectation. Since most people get jammed up on the expectation/reciprocity thing, fall back onto lust. It is simpler. Let love happen on its own accord and in its own way.

    That ends my “Dr. Philisms” before I puke.

  32. You definitely know hate if you know love. They’re opposite sides of the same coin, even if you’re lucky enough not to really truly experienced that other side.

  33. One quick addition. Many people mistakenly assume that baby’s experience complex emotions like Love. That is incorrect. It’s (adult/parent) human nature to assign complex feelings we understand to things that have no concept of them. We don’t know what else to call it, so we simply say that babies know “love” to simplify the message we communicate to other adults. It’s unprovable in either direction. I prefer to call it love myself, but I know deep down that it’s probably not yet what adults know as “love” and probably far different. Pesky infant amnesia prevents us from finding out in either case. Kids rock nonetheless.

  34. @Joy

    You write “Many people mistakenly assume that baby’s experience complex emotions like Love.”

    I would put it that many people mistakenly confuse the complex emotions and feeling of love, aka infatuation with love in it’s true essence. The meaning of love really becomes meaningless in the whirlpool of emotions, feeling and thoughts that Adult become accustom to experiencing.

    Firstly Molly didn’t initially qualify what she meant as love. She wrote “it was impossible to know love without knowing hate.” In this thread many assume that love is the opposite of hate where Molly rightly put it as indifference or ignorance are the true antitheses of love.”

    Adults who have endured childhood abuse and neglect will fell both love and hate for there caregiver or caregivers. Both love and hate coexist together (how about that). They grow up projecting this hate towards others where the true hate is the hate for themselves which was instill upon them from childhood. Caregivers who have ‘healthy’ emotions will instill these ‘healthy’ emotions upon their children, aka nurturing. It a biological process that help species reproduce themselves. We don’t fall in love with a partner since love should be already innate within us. We just experience infatuation and when that wears off (3 year inch) hopefully you have a enduring respect for our partner.

    So from a core emotion of ‘anger’ (a 2 year old), ‘resented’ forms and that can lead on to hate (a 6 year old), but who do we hate or what are we hating? I after 40 year of experience (life) can not say that I now have hate for anything.

  35. @thacker

    The more you write the more I see between the lines. Preclude means “to prevent the presence, existence, or occurrence of; make impossible.” So since you mention this word, your argument make less sense all the time.

    My question was do you understand the terms ‘loving kindness’ or ‘loving compassion’? My style of philosophy is much like Socrates. All he did was ask though provoking questions.

    Thacker, I love you brother. Shall we embrace each other or will that make you puke. 😉


    Do we have to invite Dr Phil???? Maybe so as you write “Just don’t be indifferent to or ignore other guests.” BTW, what else should I bring to the party?

    Isn’t life wonderful! I getting there personally but I have to always remember to be mindful of my own emotions. At this moment I feel sadness deep down.

  36. Gresley–

    I wouldn’t read too much between the lines regarding any blog post but that is your choice. No argument is presented/intended .. just personal observation from places I have been. Take it or leave it, either is fine. No, to answer your question, I do not know kindness or compassion … which would explain why, if you did hug me, I wouldn’t puke but I would kick you in the balls. ::chuckling::

  37. @thacker

    Well since I am an Australian which is a country that plays cricket a lot, I will bring my hector protector with me to the party before we become acquainted. 🙂

    Have you ever been downunder? We are generally quite different and very friendly as Molly can attest.

  38. love comes ever without hate – it came, comes and will come without hate for all times!
    hate is not the opposite to love – hate comes from envy and jealousy;
    You can only really love without this 3 things…


  39. Depends on if you want to grok in fullness.
    Of course, looking on you helps people understand love.

  40. I can only speak for myself. Hate is a VERY strong emotion which is not too common, in my experience. When younger, I did believe I hated this person or that, but came to see that it was the way I reacted to them that I disliked.
    Love comes in many shapes and forms. Real love sort of negates hate. To really love, you accept another as an individual and not try to control them or change them. Why must we have hated first, in order to love?

  41. If i knew the answer of this question, i would be the happiest person in the world..

  42. 升降机液压机械有限公司是专业生产液压升降机,根据您的要求,定做各种不同尺寸的升降机,主要产品有固定式升降机,移动式升降机,二轮牵引式升降机,铝合金式升降机等

  43. Yes,i think hate and love are related with each other..

  44. In order to validate this argument assumptions have to be made. A strong one could be that hate is the opposite of love. Another weaker one that hate comes along with love. I would conditionally agree to the second one, since both emotions are mostly linked with interpersonal relationships. But thinking about this question under inclusion of empiricism leads me to following conclusions: People can´t be influenced to love something. They love it or not, but people can be manipulated to hate something via radacil propaganda, see fundamentalists for example. So here is my answer: NO.

  45. We are generally quite different and very friendly as Molly can attest.

  46. If love and hate are on the same spectrum then is omnibenevolence = omnimalevolence?

    Omnipresence means existing in all space simultaneously (not just the farthest location)

    Omnipotence means possessing all powers (not just the best power(s))

    Omniscience means possessing all knowledge (not just the most useful or least obvious knowledge)

    similarly, omnibonevolense would mean possessing the capability to exist any where on the spectrum of love (and therefore hate) in fact existing everywhere on the spectrum simultaneously… so loving and hating everything, This explains the existance of suffering in the world if the Christian God is omnibenevolent.

Upcoming Travels