Chad Ellis
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Paul's recent thread about giving up talk radio for Lent reminded me of a thought I've been having lately. We (both our society at large and RSP) use the word "hate" way too easily.

In Paul's thread there's a discussion about whether Rush Limbaugh is a hate monger, with the "pro" side pointing out that he calls for the eradication of liberalism, and said that Reagan warned us about the coming of people like Obama.

Maybe it's just me, but that sounds more like contempt or dislike than hate. Hate for me is a much stronger term.

Same thing with some of the threads we've had about same-sex marriage. We sometimes end up in sub-threads about whether people who oppose same-sex marriage hate homosexuals. Some do, sure, but there's a lot of room between "Joe sees homosexuals the same way he sees heterosexuals" and "Joe hates homosexuals."

It's like calling people Nazis -- 99.99% of the time it's not just inappropriate it's dead wrong.

I hate that.
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Paul Sauberer
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At its root I think that the misuse of the word "hate" is a symptom of the tendency to confuse means with ends.

There seem to be many people who can't accept the fact that common goals exist, even if there is disagreement about the methods that need to be used to achieve those goals.

"If someone doesn't agree with my views on how to help the poor, then they don't want to help the poor. This makes them evil haters."
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Psauberer wrote:
"If someone doesn't agree with my views on how to help the poor, then they don't want to help the poor. This makes them evil haters."
Someone who hates evil can't be bad
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Paul DeStefano
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Linguistic evolution.

Once upon a time you couldn't say Damn on TV.

The word softened.

"Hate" has softened.

To really go for what the original intent of Hate was, you have to now use Despise.
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Reminds me of a thread somewhere else on this site (probably chit chat?) where someone posted about an annoyance and one response was "you need to find something more important to get enraged about" (or something similar). It seems a lot of people don't recognize varying degrees of emotions anymore. If you don't like something, you must "hate" or be "enraged".

Personally, I prefer to talk things out before they get to the hyper-emotional state. That's why I decided to start following RSP
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
It's like calling people Nazis -- 99.99% of the time it's not just inappropriate it's dead wrong.


You are clearly a hate monger and intend for your readers to go out and shoot a random person who has ever used the word "Nazi".

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Chad Ellis
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Psauberer wrote:
At its root I think that the misuse of the word "hate" is a symptom of the tendency to confuse means with ends.

There seem to be many people who can't accept the fact that common goals exist, even if there is disagreement about the methods that need to be used to achieve those goals.

"If someone doesn't agree with my views on how to help the poor, then they don't want to help the poor. This makes them evil haters."


I think that's definitely one part of it. The other, I think, is that as information outlets have grown in number they have become more and more specialized. This, combined with the human tendency to prefer reinforcement of beliefs over challenges to them has led to a growth of niche polarized outlets (sort of like how certain types of proportional representation encourage single-issue or fringe parties).

I forget where I first heard this, but a political analyst was talking about the mixed blessing of talk radio for Republicans. They fire up the base and help with fundraising but they also alienate the middle and have a tendency to wag the dog. A talk radio host who appeals strongly to 5% of the market is a huge success and it doesn't matter if 60% of the market hates him. By contrast, a talk radio host who is mildly liked by 60% of the market -- but not enough for them to tune in when they could be listening to music or someone else -- is looking for a new line of work.

Whether you're Olbermann or Hannity, you're rewarded for exciting your angry base rather than for making reasoned arguments. It's no accident that Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" segment wasn't called "Worst Argument" instead, or that Ann Coulter writes books accusing liberals of treason rather than of being really-unfortunately-but-really-really-wrong. They are appealing to the subset of people who are energized by being told that the other side isn't just incorrect (and actually with some valid points that bear reflection) but that they actually want to destroy America and puppies.
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Paul Sauberer
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Geosphere wrote:
Linguistic evolution.

Once upon a time you couldn't say Damn on TV.

The word softened.

"Hate" has softened.

To really go for what the original intent of Hate was, you have to now use Despise.


It's not all that's there, though.

"Hate" is used as a dialogue stopper. "You're a hater" shift the focus from whatever issue is under consideration to the opponent. It makes it personal and no longer about the issue. It also demonizes.

No more rational exchange is possible once that comes out. It's kind of like a correlary to Godwin.

"Whoever uses the word 'hate' ends all chance at productive discussion." (Can't say "loses" because quite often rational productive dialogue was never the point of the exchange.)
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Paul DeStefano
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Psauberer wrote:
"Hate" is used as a dialogue stopper.


I disagree. I don't see that at all. Its an accusation at best and usually belies a lack of actual platform.
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Clay
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Psauberer wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Linguistic evolution.

Once upon a time you couldn't say Damn on TV.

The word softened.

"Hate" has softened.

To really go for what the original intent of Hate was, you have to now use Despise.


It's not all that's there, though.

"Hate" is used as a dialogue stopper. "You're a hater" shift the focus from whatever issue is under consideration to the opponent. It makes it personal and no longer about the issue. It also demonizes.

No more rational exchange is possible once that comes out. It's kind of like a correlary to Godwin.

"Whoever uses the word 'hate' ends all chance at productive discussion." (Can't say "loses" because quite often rational productive dialogue was never the point of the exchange.)


Not necessarily, it really depends on who the two parties are. Anyone who sees the modern usage as being yet another synonym for "dislike" isn't going to be phased about it and almost certainly isn't going to let it end all participation on their part. If both people see it that way, the dialogue survives.
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In our neighborhood and home hate is a powerful word not to be used lightly. It speaks much of a person who will commonly use it, stay away they are very negative.
Back to gaming, i recall last summer, we had games night outside at my place it was so nice out. The neighbor Rick (Salvation Army Pastor) came over to see our 2 groups of gamers in play. The next day Rick commented on my Sons girlfriend who was casually flinging out the hate word. To date she is the most negative person in our games group, and has been all but banned because of it (that and a few other game disrupting reasons). Most will try and avoid playing any game with her, and all but try and get all games started without her.
Do we hate her, naaaa, but we all do ask my Son if he can come to games night without her. Some of us even changed games night to a night she works when they host.
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J
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Thumb whore.

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I've tried to throw away hate... but it's like that booger on the end of your finger. You flick and flick and flick but it stays stuck... right there...for he whole world to see.
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nastycleavage wrote:
In our neighborhood and home hate is a powerful word not to be used lightly. It speaks much of a person who will commonly use it, stay away they are very negative.


I think that's a big strong of a generalization. Would feel the same way about the person if they replaced every instance of "I hate" with "I dislike"?

 
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Geosphere wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
"Hate" is used as a dialogue stopper.


I disagree. I don't see that at all. Its an accusation at best and usually belies a lack of actual platform.


It sounds like you agree?

Accusations and lack of platforms are dialog stoppers, are they not?
Quote:

Or were you being tongue in cheek and I missed it? blush
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Les Marshall
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Chad you make a valid point but, I would hesitate at using Rush Limbaugh as an example. While some of his rhetoric falls short of expressing outright hatred for a specific person, his relentless labelling and marginalizing of people and groups does nothing to address issues and everything to promote a dehumanized view of those he targets.

I believe that Rush actually intends that his audience not just disagree with his targets but actually despise them. If he doesn't actually intend to foment hatred, his words represent a callous indifference to any hatred which he actually does fan in his listeners.

That said, I think it is somewhat axiomatic in our culture if not most cultures for words to evolve and perhaps cheapen. "Hate" is cheapened by overuse as are many other words. Unfortunately the talking heads of radio and television are driving us down that road even faster.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
In Paul's thread there's a discussion about whether Rush Limbaugh is a hate monger, with the "pro" side pointing out that he calls for the eradication of liberalism, and said that Reagan warned us about the coming of people like Obama.

Maybe it's just me, but that sounds more like contempt or dislike than hate.


As the pro side to whom you refer, I'm amused by the continual hair-splitting on this point. It reminds me of the Devil's Dictionary. "You hate; we only dislike." An honest approach would be to look at what the speech does, not what it's called.
 
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In spite of the Christian microbadge below my avatar, I tend to be far more reserved about my faith than you might expect, precisely because I tend to fear that any discussion about religion or politics will invite hateful vitriol towards me. (I'm not saying that Christians and other religious folks are completely innocent of this, but the anti-religion and specifically anti-Christian vitriol I've seen some atheists use is some of the most acerbic language I've ever seen.) I don't even know why I ventured into the RSP forums, but this post was so heartening that I had to tip it and reply to it.

Chad_Ellis wrote:
Paul's recent thread about giving up talk radio for Lent. . . .


I thought Paul was dead after having written all of those epistles in the Bible, but apparently he's tech-savvy now. Incredible. I admire this apostle more than ever before.

Chad_Ellis wrote:
[T]hat sounds more like contempt or dislike than hate. Hate for me is a much stronger term.

Same thing with some of the threads we've had about same-sex marriage. We sometimes end up in sub-threads about whether people who oppose same-sex marriage hate homosexuals. Some do, sure, but there's a lot of room between "Joe sees homosexuals the same way he sees heterosexuals" and "Joe hates homosexuals."


QFT. We live in a culture, I believe, where I'm afraid to even admit that I'm the slightest bit squeamish about the topic of homosexuality, never mind that I'm a conservative Christian, lest I be labeled as a "bigot" just for that. I defy you to cite a better example of the word "hate" being overused.

Chad_Ellis wrote:
I hate that.


i c wut u did their ;3
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Chad, you and I have had some strong disagreements on this forum. But I'd like to say now that it is to your credit that you do not use pejorative words like 'hate' as a weapon to throw at people the way so many folks do anymore - especially when it comes to debates about same-sex 'marriage'.

Whatever our differences are Chad, this is one time when I could not agree with you more. In fact, on one occasion I was inspired by an excellent article by Matthew J. Franck titled "In the gay marriage debate, stop playing the hate card" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12...) to write my own thread in turn on the issue titled "The Hate Card is Hypocrisy" (http://www.ruthblog.org/2010/12/21/the-hate-card-is-hypocris...)

What participating in the same-sex 'marriage' debate has taught me (especially after having been on the receiving end of the hate-bomb so many times) is that I need to be extraordinarily careful not to even sound like I might be hurling epithets or engaging in ad hominem when arguing over this. (I know, in the past on occasion my tone - at least - has become far too personal and caustic. And I apologize to anyone who I've ever offended in that way.)

This isn't just a matter of courtesy; a free people have to be able to engage in civil discourse. And it's just like Matthew Franck said in his article:
Quote:
Robust debate is necessarily passionate debate, especially on a question like marriage. But the charge of "hate" is not a contribution to argument; it’s the recourse of people who would rather not have an argument at all.
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mathgrant wrote:
I don't even know why I ventured into the RSP forums, but this post was so heartening that I had to tip it and reply to it.


Glad you wandered in. RSP has some pretty good, if vitriolic, debates and some naughty trashtalking at times. It's almost always entertaining.
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Rulesjd wrote:
some pretty good, if vitriolic, debates ....
I'm wondering if the challenge is to demand respect. From others and myself.
 
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Pinook wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
some pretty good, if vitriolic, debates ....
I'm wondering if the challenge is to demand respect. From others and myself.


If we all work toward that goal, some of the "discussions" we have here might actually be useful.
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