Asked of me on Quora, 17Mar2022
“Why are people so comfortable with being hateful?”
People are very uncomfortable with uncertainty. Taking a simple, direct, “stand" on an issue or cause gives them a sense of certainty. Self-righteous certainty is a simple and direct philosophy.
The place where people get set against each other is rooted in their childhood environment and experiences.
People with a lot of painful childhood experiences, whether physical or emotional, or both, have an undercurrent of hurt and a desire to fight back against their mistreatments, even decades later.
In adapting to life, those pains are pushed to the “back" of the mind, the “sub"— or “un-concious".
Regardless of what strategies or philosophy a person has adopted for navigating through life, those pains and desires to strike back in defense are always invisibly coloring every reaction, every thought process, no matter how “rational” they think that they are being.
People who were exposed to a loving and kind environment throughout their childhood have a love and compassion for others and like to take a simple and direct “stand" against the people who are inherently resentful and angry, because they truly want to help others rather than fight them and push them away.
Given those two approximate and opposing positions, when you add into the “mix" of individual psyches, different experiences and adopted strategies for survival,(both physical and emotional), you get, in a population, a very wide variety of people, behaving, reacting, responding, interacting with others and the result is the chaotic and volatile state of human relations, anger, hatred, opposite loving kindness, compassionate understanding, versus refusal to even try to understand, simply condemning anyone who is different…. you get our society, as it is now.
The closer humanity gets to *universal* loving kindness and compassionate understanding, the better the chance for humanity to survive, and even thrive.
The closer humanity gets to *universal* fear, anger, hatred, distrust and suspicion, the better the chance that humanity will continue to fuss and fight and hate and kill and eventually destroy ourselves.
Understanding this balance is where the idea of “good and evil", suffering and happiness, yin and yang, as opposed to peace and harmony comes from.
I have vastly simplified the explaination here, of necessity, but I think that most people will get the idea.
Thank you for the question. Answering these questions helps me to sort things in my aging noggin 😉.