William Hazlitt's 'On The Pleasure Of Hatred'

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The number of genocides committed in the history of the human race is inconceivable. In the Holocaust the minimum estimate of fatalities is five million, in the Holodomor Genocide the minimum was two million, in the Congo Genocide the minimum was three million,and this list could go on. Humanity has killed itself in massive numbers over and over again. Why, but for joy of the violence, of the death, and of the destruction? Humanity justifies these atrocities with religion, racial and ethnic superiority, and patriotism, in other words hatred. In his essay, “On The Pleasure of Hatred”, William Hazlitt claims that, humans inherent enjoy the act of hating, causes them to hate themselves and create toxic societies. To further his claim, Hazlitt showcases the institutionalized belief systems that groups within humanity use to execute their …show more content…

Hazlitt argues that specific belief systems are justifiers to in act the inherent hatred in humanity. The worst offender of these belief systems, according to Hazlitt, is religion which is a “pretext… set up for men to wrangle, to quarrel, to tear one another to pieces”. Religion as a tool to induce human suffering, promotes Hazlitt’s argument that humanity hates itself because it means that all the differing religions are justifiers to fight . The willingness to cause human suffering, imbedded in amount of religions in existence, implies a deep hatred for others humans. Correspondingly Hazlitt’s conceptualization of religion exemplifies the toxicity of society, because religion is so key to society, and religion is only a justifier to in act human hatred. Consequently society is toxic, because it heavily values and is defined by belief systems which are only there to condone human caused human suffering. Hazlitt also claims that the belief system of patriotism is “an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other

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