Unfortunate it is, that this article falls in a timeline when many young innocent lives are lost in one of the deadliest attacks on human race (Peshawar School Attack in 2014 and anyway attacks on humanity is quite common nowadays). Analyzing the politics behind the incident is not in the scope of this article. But it is worth to think upon what makes men love and hate others in the name of ideologies. Does hatred really exist in each human being naturally and what is the cerebral process involved in evoking this emotion of disgust? There has been a lot of study done on hatred even considering it as an evolutionary phenomenon. This article will inform you some of those scientific facts about hatred which is unquestionably the curse of our civilization.
Hatred is nothing a new concept with the life becoming more advanced. It has always been there getting mentioned in the Book of Genesis and Vedic literature in India. Aristotle in 4 BC is one of the first to scientifically inquire about this vehement emotion, which he understood has the capability to cause harm to others or a group, whom one dislikes.
Role of Brain in Hatred
When it comes to hatred and love, there is not much difference how our brain induces such emotions. The areas in the brain that are activated for both love and hatred are similar, namely putamen and insular cortex.
Also, one difference between the two extremely opposite emotions is the frontal cortex- which is responsible for judgement – of the brain being more active at the time of hatred emotion than at the time of loving others.
Thus it is a fact that love blinds your judgement, but the fact of being more judgmental at the time of hatred deserves more attention. This can attribute the emotion of hatred to our thought process that we reason out to hate someone or a group, but not just an uncontrolled emotional outpour.
The evolutionary angle of this problem supports the same.
Hatred in Evolution
Hatred can date back 150,000 years ago when human species first originated on earth along with the power of reasoning. This made men to compete with others or group of men as a community with other community to ensure their own sustenance under conditions of limited resources and reduced safety.
Thus men started becoming judgmental and concluded that the different groups cannot co-exist together harmoniously and only in the failure of one group one, the other can thrive by protecting themselves and continue their species.
As good news, research says that one positive emotion about the group or individual one hates can suppress the emotion of hatred by being less judgmental and can promote harmony contributing to a united healthy living.
One thing that needs to be understood is that different communities surviving together cannot be a threat to any individual or a community as long as they learn to share resources and live together. Being judgmental about the status of others makes one to hate and becomes the root cause of every problem in the world as hatred begets only hatred resulting in an avalanche of hatred everywhere.
Hatred to love
There can be a smooth transition from hatred to love in light of some research findings. The theory named Intergroup Contact theory states that the more one come in contact with the other, whom they consider as a different community or to a lesser extent think positive about them, hatred can be controlled or even nullified.
A lot of personal responsibility lies in uprooting hatred, as actions in groups can make our reason stronger to hate others. In other words, we are more prone to commit crimes of hatred as a group than as an individual.
In a group, as we find a common identity, we tend to conceal our mistakes to justify whatever we do that can be tragic to a different community, as it has happened always, like the one in Peshawar.
It is high time to take responsibility as an individual to do some soul searching and applying the same logic to the actions of the group, holistically.
Living in a group together is desired when your values and ideas promote humanity. On the other hand, when you are in an uncivilized inhuman group, by hatching actions of terror to promote hatred, you are not anything other than a baseborn.
This statement may sound errant on account of discussing hatred scientifically and replacing it with love, but it was just to show, how hatred begets hatred. It is high time we realize it individually!