The Corner

The Virtue of Hate

Erudite readers supply supporting texts for my, and Homer’s, thesis that hate is a jolly good thing in the right cicumstances.

Reader A: 

“Gentlemen—If you peruse Josef Piper’s The Four Cardinal Virtues, You will find, under ‘Temperance,’ a discussion of The Power Of Wrath. It focuses on, among other things, a question that Aquinas asks in De Malo (On Evil) ‘whether all wrath is evil?’  Later on, Pieper continues:  ‘Lack of sensuality is not chastity; and incapacity for wrath has nothing to do with gentleness. Such incapacity not only is not a virtue, but, as St Thomas says, a fault: peccatum and vitium. … Only the combination of the intemperateness of lustfulness with the lazy inertia incapable of generating anger is the sign of complete and virtually hopeless degeneration. It appears whenever a caste, a people, or a whole civilization is ripe for its decline and fall.”

Reader B: 

“Mr. Derbyshire—As usual, the Right Honorable Edmund Burke said it best in one my personal favorite outakes from one of his works. To wit:  ‘A kind Providence has placed in our breasts a hatred of the unjust and cruel, in order that we may preserve ourselves from cruelty and injustice. They who bear cruelty, are accomplices in it. The pretended gentleness which excludes that charitable rancour, produces an indifference which is half an approbation. They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.’  ( Letters on a Regicide Peace)  Just so!”


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