The opposite of hate is …

What is the opposite of hate? I’ve been googling this question, and I’m inserting some of the replies I found, in the order that I found them.  

Rabbi Bradley Artson reports his conclusion from an international conference on hate in Oslo:
“In other words, the opposite of hate is law. The Prime Minister of Norway even bolstered that claim by quoting from the statesman/philosopher Edmund Burke (18th century England) that, ‘When bad men combine, the good must associate, else they will fall one by one.’”

From “The Nazis’ Most Important Arsenal During WWII” by Jan Lee.

Quoting from “Belonging and Genocide: Hitler’s Community 1918-1945” by Thomas Kühne (also spelled Kuehne)

“The opposite of hate is what I call belonging and togetherness.” The Nazi process of indoctrination negated any concern for other individuals and communities than their own, and is broken down in the book in five stages:
– creating a “people’s community” that was limited to Aryan membership;
– camaraderie both on the front and on the street;
– the establishment of societal ethics that not only endorsed genocide but required it;
– community-wide complicity in genocide and oppression;
– and an atmosphere in which apathy and despondency toward helping the “outsider” thrived.

From Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.30-2.34: Yamas and Niyamas, rungs #1 and #2

The opposite of hate is not love.
The opposite of hate is non-hate,
letting go, releasing of that hate.
Then, love naturally arises.

IV: From Upon the Rainbow 
in a context of   EMDR therapy:

“He read to me from a book – didn’t give me the title – about hate and its parts – resentment, vengeance, etc. Part of what he read said that the opposite of hate is not love – it is indifference. That is already what I want – I’ve said from the beginning that my goal is to be able to run into them (the church people) in public and have it not affect me at all. I don’t know that I fully hate them, because some of the “symptoms of hate” (so to speak) that he read, I’ve already gotten over, or never had. He continued and read a couple of pages about forgiveness as well. He wrote down the name of a book that the book he was reading from referred to – Forgiving the Unforgivable by Beverly Flanigan.”

I had to look up EMDR therapy, and found
 a description here. From my viewpoint, 
any therapy that describes emotions
 and reactions as “inappropriate”
and “negative”
 is best avoided.


Uncle Remus 54:

“I always thought the opposite of love is fear and the opposite of hate is compassion.”


My suggestion is closely related to Kühne and Uncle Remus 54:

“The opposite of hate is recognition.”

I am going to write more about this and explain where it comes from later; for now I’d like to round off with two more quotations:

Rollo May:  “Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is.”

Elie Wiesel: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

What does this look like from where you are standing? 

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