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"The opposite of love is not hate,


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#1 Mercurius

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:10 AM

it is indifference."

I have seen this statement countless times, because of how relevant love(or at least, like) and hate are to my desire to even survive, it had a reason to come up a lot in conversation. (It doesn't show up as often now because I don't talk about myself as much. Yeah, I seriously used to do even more of that)

Now, I can totally see why indifference would be opposite to love, love has the requirement of caring. In fact, in this case, absolutely everything that involves the requirement to care, is the opposite of indifference. The opposite of indifference is to care.

However there is a part of this that is rarely paid attention to by itself, the denial of hatred as the opposite of love.

When love is not the opposite of hate, due to their shared quality of involving caring about something, why is:

Red the opposite of green? They share the quality of being colors.
Counterclockwise the opposite of clockwise? They are both relevant to direction.
Optimism the opposite of pessimism? They are both a way of looking at things.
Female the opposite of male? That distinction is only meaningful when speaking of a species that includes both as a possibility.

This is not to say that an absolute lack is not considered an opposite, light and darkness, hope and despair, peace and war, those are still opposites from what I recall of the definition.

Red and green, counterclockwise and clockwise, optimism and pessimism, female and male. Despite how they share a trait or nature, they remain opposites. They are opposites due to their contrary qualities, are they not? They are on the other side, even if both sides are on the same thing.

So why is love and hatred dismissed as unable to be the opposite of the other?

When I love(It should be noted that you may not agree with this as being considered love, but that's a different semantic debate to get into), my desire is most relevant to the beloved's emotions, to the point of having the willingness to sacrifice comfort, to the point of which I have attempted to die for the sake of removing my burdensome existence from who I loved(which didn't work because of that person's intervention). When the beloved suffers, I am overwhelmed by dread and worry, a state that corrodes me with anguish and sometimes, even powerlessness. When I am the cause for their suffering, my immediate response is trying to look for a way to provide compensation, and when I cannot, I despair, with guilt and regret decaying my emotions, causing me to lose interest in everything I do. When the beloved is absent, the longer their absence, the more insecure I become, more anxious, more fearful, even...or rather, especially, once they have died. Perhaps if they had reached a heaven which never disappoints, I would be relieved, however, I am left unable to confirm. In the case I am the cause of happiness for my beloved, I am elated and experience a short illusion of satisfaction, after which I become uncertain of if I could successively meet their desired expectations to become the cause of happiness for them again, to the point of which I even fear disappointing them with failure, being reminded of how it feels impossible to make them happy enough, no matter how many costs I pay. I cannot win in the battlefield of love, where the enemies are countless and often difficult to defeat individually, where they will never stop attacking until my defeat. Victory in love is unfulfilling and temporary, failure in it is devastating and permanent, and the last failure known as death has no current means of avoiding yet.

When I hate, my desire is most relevant to my emotions, to the point of demanding my comfort back at any cost to the hated, to the point of which I have wanted to completely destroy the excruciating presence the hated is. When the hated suffers, I am overjoyed, automatically reveling in their distress, filled with amusement and the desire to witness more harm that inflicts them. When I have actively caused their suffering, I feel empowered and want to prevent them from any pleasure they could access, I feel victorious and enthusiastic, their suffering encourages me to attempt to prolong and continue this entertainment known as the pain of who I despise. When the hated is absent, the longer their absence, the more stable I become, more interested in other things, more inclined towards attaining pleasure that is not fueled by harm of an other, particularly when they are dead. At most, I feel upset considering the possibility of them not remaining within an inescapable afterlife full of eternal torture with no salvation. In the case I am the cause of pleasure for the hated, I am disgusted and can even feel defiled by the smallest reasons, being the cause for their happiness is a great failure in me who suffers at any reminder of restrictions I have in depiving them of their happiness, and every instance of when I feel unsatisfied with their lack of enough suffering only encourages me to try more in any way I can without having to pay too much cost. The battlefield of hate is relatively easy, there is usually only one opponent targeted during a session, and the main problem is the choice of weapons that brings the question of which is the most effective. Given enough distraction from it, I can even reach ceasefire unaware. Victory in hatred can often be sufficient until the hated irritates me again, yet failure in it feels cheap and fleeting. When the hated has died, it is a near absolute victory, and there is no way to avoid it.

I want the beloved to be as close to bliss as possible, as removed from even the slightest of discomfort, to an absolute extent, what is only known to be possible is inadequate, and what is considered realistic is unacceptable.

I want the hated to be as close to adversities as possible, as removed from even the slightest of pleasures, even if it may only be within the realm of possibility.

The most effective escape I have from love's adversities is victory in hatred, the most effective escape I have from hatred's failings is love's curse.

I never hate someone I love, I never love someone I hate. (That said, this is mostly due to luck, having never experienced the impression of who I love, or who I hate, being betrayed or contradicted far enough to convert to the status of a hated or of a beloved, never falling to a deception that is revealed to be too far otherwise or an honest that turns to enough deception. There have been cases where I liked or didn't mind someone until I discovered enough about them to hate or love them, though. The extremes just don't convert to the other.)

Love and hatred, with so many possible related differences, with so many possible exclusions and extremes in the other direction, why are they not eligible for being the opposites of each other? Why must their shared trait of including the requirement of caring make them incapable of being contrary to the other?

inb4 I missed the obvious and show yet another instance of me being incredibly stupid

I believe in judgment of humans through their judgment of fiction, for nothing else tells better of their disposition freed from apprehension.


#2 Rujio

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:17 PM

I'm assuming that is one of those quotes people say (i.e. "nothing is impossible - the word itself says 'I'm possible'") that is not strictly speaking true, but gets an idea across. Here I don't think it's meant to really say that hate is not the opposite of love. Hate is at least an opposite of love. But I would guess that the point of saying that is to get people to care and to show that they care. I mean, love is one of those "duh, it's good" things, so it follows that its opposites are bad. If you don't like indifference, argue that it's the opposite of love, and maybe you'll get something done.
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#3 arimibn

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:20 PM

Holy crap. Look at all that text.

I should just get you to write the filler in my essays. Lol

But I think that Hatred can be considered one of love's opposites, because love can be many things.

It is possible to love someone and hate them at the same time. How many people both love and hate their parents? Lol

But if you are indifferent towards someone, you just don't care about them. You don't really acknowledge them. Thus, it could be considered the true opposite of love, where you not only acknowledge someone, but you find yourself thinking of them even when they aren't around.
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#4 kirant

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 04:48 PM

The quote by Elie Wiesel is, in full
β€œThe 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.”

It's obvious that he does not mean that in the literal sense.

Weisel, who I'm sure you remember from the memoir book Night, has suffered a lot in his lifetime. In specific, the holocaust. Contextually, he's a huge advocate of public activism. In this light, his quote obviously stands as support of action and to not simply become indifferent; we need to be active, vibrant, and take just about any road but that of apathy.

In reality, yes, indifference isn't the opposite of love the same way atheism isn't the opposite of religious and bald is a hair colour. They're simplifications. But the meaning of the quote is fairly plain.

(side note - it's actually quite possible to be religious and atheist by the way - just pick a religion without a supreme being in it. And there's your random piece of knowledge of the day)

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#5 Mercurius

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:24 PM

QUOTE
I'm assuming that is one of those quotes people say (i.e. "nothing is impossible - the word itself says 'I'm possible'") that is not strictly speaking true, but gets an idea across. Here I don't think it's meant to really say that hate is not the opposite of love. Hate is at least an opposite of love. But I would guess that the point of saying that is to get people to care and to show that they care. I mean, love is one of those "duh, it's good" things, so it follows that its opposites are bad. If you don't like indifference, argue that it's the opposite of love, and maybe you'll get something done.

However in that case, it would also make hatred relatively acceptable ("At least it's not indifference, right?") despite how the same people often decry hatred itself as self-destructive, meaningless, and pathetic. (And don't get me started on the promotion of going as far as deliberately trying to reach indifference to others...)

In the case getting the idea across is preferable, and in the case hatred is so worthless, would it not be better to label hatred, which is more likely to cause harm, as particularly unwanted instead of indifference using that method?

And it would not explain the statement that disgusted me the most when people talked about this subject, "Hate is love in another form." (That statement itself could explain a lot of why rapists, abusers, bitter "nice guys", etc. that claim to have loved who the targets of their actions are exist though, along with why "love" is easily used as a synonym for such hideous intentions)
QUOTE
I should just get you to write the filler in my essays. Lol

that's funny cause i'm usually feeling inadequate about how I can't get enough words/sentences/paragraphs in to make it look long enough
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But I think that Hatred can be considered one of love's opposites, because love can be many things.

It is possible to love someone and hate them at the same time. How many people both love and hate their parents? Lol

I don't think I can guess the answer to how many both love and hate their parents, i'm more inclined to think of most people as loving their parents simply because it is promoted as an obligation and that doing otherwise is almost heresy.

About love being capable of being many things...well...I know I said that's a different semantic debate so I would prefer not getting into that as much, but i'll ask this:

Why are there so many cases of people trying to define true love?
QUOTE
Weisel, who I'm sure you remember from the memoir book Night,

right...totally remember... >.> <.<
QUOTE
has suffered a lot in his lifetime. In specific, the holocaust. Contextually, he's a huge advocate of public activism. In this light, his quote obviously stands as support of action and to not simply become indifferent; we need to be active, vibrant, and take just about any road but that of apathy.

In reality, yes, indifference isn't the opposite of love the same way atheism isn't the opposite of religious and bald is a hair colour. They're simplifications. But the meaning of the quote is fairly plain.

Certainly, action over inaction is a rather simple message. However, when the people using this quote are also decrying emotions that give others the drive to be active(or are going as far as promoting indifference, although they usually don't do so in the same context), was the meaning so plain? When I personally read that full quote at first, I did not understand what it meant either other than what it may literally imply.

I believe in judgment of humans through their judgment of fiction, for nothing else tells better of their disposition freed from apprehension.


#6 SmashedFish

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:51 PM

To sum up my thoughts on the matter, there is no absolute truth to relation of emotions. Compare, for example, a person with a masochistic mindset to a person with a non-masochistic one; whereas the former may associate pain with arousal or pleasure, the later likely won't. As such, due to the different levels of value placed on certain emotions and associations made between various emotions by different people due to their preferences, instincts, or upbringings, some people can see some emotions as opposites while others don't.

Kudos on sourcing the quote, kirant. I thought it sounded familiar, but I wasn't sure.

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#7 Ristau

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:39 PM

Isn't the quote about apathy though? We literally just talked about this in my English class (We're reading about the horrible things that happened in Sierra Leone) and Eli Weisel was an example since my entire grade (was supposed to have) read Night. When my teacher read us the quote, she said "The opposite of love is not hate, it's apathy." Being that he is German, could it have just been a translation difference? Or I guess in this sense indifference literally means apathy. Eh no matter the case I disagree with hatless. Apathy, in my mind, makes more sense to be the opposite of love or caring, as by definition it is just the lack of caring. Hate may be a different feeling than love, but not the opposite. Whether you love or hate something, you still have strong feelings about it.

Let's put it this way. Someone whom you are not on the best terms with decides that they are very fed up and want to take action. Said person then confronts you and starts to beat the pulp out of you in the middle of a public place. He comepletely blindsides you, and therefore you have no chance. While being beaten, there are countless people just walking about minding their own business, not doing a thing about your agressor. What are you more upset about? The fact that someone you KNOW does not like you decided to beat you up, or the fact that there were tens if not hundreds of people that just stood by and did nothing?

I know this doesn't matter but:
QUOTE (kirant @ Oct 9 2013, 11:48 AM)
(side note - it's actually quite possible to be religious and atheist by the way - just pick a religion without a supreme being in it.  And there's your random piece of knowledge of the day)


From what i've seen this is not true. Every definition of 'religion' i've seen defines it as a belief in God/gods. For example (from just googling "definition of religion") "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods." and the rest of the page seems to agree with that wink.gif

Just puttin' my two cents out there.
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#8 Mercurius

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:48 AM

Is there a difference between indifference and apathy?
QUOTE (Ryokutheman @ Oct 9 2013, 02:39 PM)
Apathy, in my mind, makes more sense to be the opposite of love or caring, as by definition it is just the lack of caring. Hate may be a different feeling than love, but not the opposite. Whether you love or hate something, you still have strong feelings about it.

QUOTE
Now, I can totally see why indifference would be opposite to love, love has the requirement of caring. In fact, in this case, absolutely everything that involves the requirement to care, is the opposite of indifference. The opposite of indifference is to care.

However there is a part of this that is rarely paid attention to by itself, the denial of hatred as the opposite of love.

When love is not the opposite of hate, due to their shared quality of involving caring about something, why is:

Red the opposite of green? They share the quality of being colors.
Counterclockwise the opposite of clockwise? They are both relevant to direction.
Optimism the opposite of pessimism? They are both a way of looking at things.
Female the opposite of male? That distinction is only meaningful when speaking of a species that includes both as a possibility.

This is not to say that an absolute lack is not considered an opposite, light and darkness, hope and despair, peace and war, those are still opposites from what I recall of the definition.

Red and green, counterclockwise and clockwise, optimism and pessimism, female and male. Despite how they share a trait or nature, they remain opposites. They are opposites due to their contrary qualities, are they not? They are on the other side, even if both sides are on the same thing.

QUOTE (Ryokutheman @ Oct 9 2013, 02:39 PM)
Let's put it this way. Someone whom you are not on the best terms with decides that they are very fed up and want to take action. Said person then confronts you and starts to beat the pulp out of you in the middle of a public place. He comepletely blindsides you, and therefore you have no chance. While being beaten, there are countless people just walking about minding their own business, not doing a thing about your agressor. What are you more upset about? The fact that someone you KNOW does not like you decided to beat you up, or the fact that there were tens if not hundreds of people that just stood by and did nothing?

I would be more upset with myself for not being able to retaliate personally, I don't feel that others should have an obligation to help me, they have their own problems to deal with and it's entirely possible they don't want to get in someone else's business when it may end up in a mess they could have avoided. Sure, it's not like I would reject getting help and would feel that it is preferable if someone else does so, but that's not something I have a reason to expect of others.

I believe in judgment of humans through their judgment of fiction, for nothing else tells better of their disposition freed from apprehension.


#9 Ristau

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 03:32 AM

We're assuming you get totally blindsided, like you have absolutely no chance to retaliate because of how everything goes down. And I also clarified... somewhere... that indifference and apathy were not different biggrin.gif
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#10 kirant

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 03:53 AM

QUOTE (Tenebrae Candidae @ Oct 9 2013, 11:24 AM)
Certainly, action over inaction is a rather simple message. However, when the people using this quote are also decrying emotions that give others the drive to be active(or are going as far as promoting indifference, although they usually don't do so in the same context), was the meaning so plain?

How people use a message and its original intents aren't always the same. Erwin Schrodinger would be rolling in his grave right now - he mean his "cat in a box" analogy to mock the ludicrous extremes you could come up with using the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Personally, I find there are a few points where his statements don't seem to entirely match up with the understanding. Maybe it is because he's a German native (unlikely though - he was a US citizen for 30 years and has a strong control of the English language, being an accomplished writer), it's a translation issue. However, he also had another quote from the same article stating:

QUOTE
Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.


So it seems to me that whatever he labels as indifference is integrally defined as evil. Not having love, lack of art, faith, or life. All of it evil.

He seems to want to encourage a certain way to look at our life and the way we act.

QUOTE (Ryokutheman @ Oct 9 2013, 03:39 PM)
From what i've seen this is not true. Every definition of 'religion' i've seen defines it as a belief in God/gods. For example (from just googling "definition of religion") "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods." and the rest of the page seems to agree with that wink.gif

Religion is, and I'll quote directly from Wikipedia since you can check this source if you're not sure, "an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence". It doesn't use the term "supreme being", "god", or anything like that in its definition. The two are often interwoven, yes, but having a religion is no predicate on believing in a supreme being. For example, Buddhism actually outright rejects the notion of a supreme being. There are enlightened beings who can live a long time if memory serves, but not one who created the universe, ultimately wields something against us, or has all the marbles.

Unless you're saying Buddhism isn't a religion biggrin.gif

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#11 Ristau

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:04 PM

Well, technically enlightened beings that live a very long time could be considered supernatural, since they don't really go by the laws of nature I guess *shrug* oh well! biggrin.gif
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#12 Fire Blazer

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:47 PM

I see your point... this kinda subject is slightly too deep for my silly brain, but I guess I'd say that the opposite of love can be hate or indifference... "I love video games", "I don't love video games"... this implies indifference by default, but who's to say that if I don't love video games, I'm indifferent, I could hate it which is also not loving it... does there have to be just one opposite? *shrug*

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