Keith Kahn-Harris, writing at Comment is free in The Guardian, discusses How to hate ethically.
What person could say they have never hated? From the momentary hate of a child directed at a parent who denies them another portion of ice-cream, to the hate directed at a love rival, to the hate directed at a proponent of a rival ideology – hate unites us. Perhaps few of us are contorted by the continuous corrosive hate that a fundamentalist zealot or an obsessive stalker demonstrate, but all of us have felt those occasional spasms that both frighten and invigorate us.
While hate may be a near-universal tendency, it is also a near-universal problem. There isn’t a religion, moral code or political ideology in the world that advocates constant hate. Indeed, some religions advocate the active resistance to, and liberation from hate.
Perhaps part of the widespread concern about hate is that it implies an uncontrollable, violent force that can rip social bonds asunder. It is something to either be channelled in certain directions or to be fought and suppressed. For this reason, it is seen as beyond the bounds of ethics, or only ethical when it is directed at certain kinds of people, practices and ideals. Hate is destructive, yes, but it is a productive kind of destructiveness that some try to harness for certain purposes.
Hating ethically means accepting our hatred, but working hard on how we actually express it. How might this work in practice? I have three brief suggestions:
First of all, when we express our hate, we do not have to imply that this expression necessarily represents our most elevated feelings. Nor do we have to justify our hate as high principle. Instead, we can acknowledge our hate for what it is – inevitable human frailty – even while we express it. …
My second suggestion is that we explore our hate in the world of art. …
My third suggestion – and the most counterintuitive – is that hate can also be expressed politely and civilly. …
Read more here.