Friday, July 16, 2021

On Thought-less-ness and Hate

 The population can be divided between those people who think and those who do not. (*) The thought-less should not be blamed, for our education system and mass media do not teach people how to think. At its most basic, thinking consists of logical argument and empirical evidence. Logical thought kicks in about age 7 to 9, yet we do not teach basic principles of logic to children.

The thought-less person simply EMOTES. Now there is nothing wrong with emotion, in many senses it is our driving force, but the problem comes when emotion is ALL you have, logic and evidence be damned. In the case of the harsh disagreements in the social, economic and political realms, that emotion is usually hatred. This hate is based upon fear. Hatred leads to a situation of non-thought – the hater spews invective, grasps at any straw to denigrate the supposed opponant. A vicious circle of non-thought ensues, hatred leading to ever greater irrationalism. The more irrational, the greater the fear and the greater the hate. The non-thinker uses a broad range of logical fallacies to “defeat” the person or group they hate. These include the straw man, the red herring, the false syllogism, out and out denial, as well as innuendo taken as fact.

Hate closes all doors. It is an all-consuming fire. The person hated is written off, no dialogue is possible. The hater will never take the olive branch offered. The opponant is a threat that must be destroyed. But we must not confuse hate with anger. We have all been angry with someone we love, but we get over it. We can be angry with politicians and corporation bosses, but we know they are merely parts of a system. Hate is something else. It precludes forgiveness and understanding.

Hatreds, and the fears that underly them, are often handed down through families and friends, while others are the products of mass media propaganda. Not being able to think, the person swallows these stories whole. But hate gives meaning to an otherwise purposeless existence. “Them (fill in the blank) are the cause of my unhappiness.” You become trapped in a circle of mutual reaffirmation, if one is in a group which shares common hatreds. Hatred of certain groups gives meaning and interconnection with other people of similar mind. There is a feeling of great superiority over the target group, and so the ego comes into the mix. The insecure individual gets an ego boost from the collective hatred of a group which is usually superior to them in education, culture and ability. There is truly a power in inverse snobbery.

These social aspects of non-thought also make it extremely difficult to grow emotionally and intellectually. If you were to start thinking and reject those hatreds and fears, you would lose the emotional support of your familiy and friends whose views you so fervently shared.

Dialogue with a thought-less person becomes impossible in these circumstances. You must try to reach them, but if rebuffed too often, it is better to draw back. Some day thay might break out of their irrational prison, but for now, all your logic, evidence and patience account for nothing. There are some people you can never reach, and you have to accept that fact. Your only hope is that you have planted some seeds of awareness that may sprout later on.

(*) Of course it is more complex than this. I have created a dichotomy to clarify a point. Scratch many a well read, logical, person in the right place and out pops a demon. Indeed, I would say we all have our shadow, our hidden irrationalites we protect with unreason and project upon others.


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