QUESTION 29: OF HATRED
We must now consider hatred: concerning which there are six points of
(1) Whether evil is the cause and the object of hatred?
(2) Whether love is the cause of hatred?
(3) Whether hatred is stronger than love?
(4) Whether a man can hate himself?
(5) Whether a man can hate the truth?
(6) Whether a thing can be the object of universal hatred?
Article 1: Whether evil is the cause and object of hatred?
Objection 1: It would seem that evil is not the object and cause of hatred.
For everything that exists, as such, is good. If therefore evil be the
object of hatred, it follows that nothing but the lack of something can
be the object of hatred: which is clearly untrue.
Objection 2: Further, hatred of evil is praise-worthy; hence (2 Macc 3:1) some
are praised for that "the laws were very well kept, because of the
godliness of Onias the high-priest, and the hatred of their souls [Douay:
'his soul'] had no evil." If, therefore, nothing but evil be the object
of hatred, it would follow that all hatred is commendable: and this is
Objection 3: Further, the same thing is not at the same time both good and
evil. But the same thing is lovable and hateful to different subjects.
Therefore hatred is not only of evil, but also of good.
I answer that, Since the natural appetite is the result of apprehension
(though this apprehension is not in the same subject as the natural
appetite), it seems that what applies to the inclination of the natural
appetite, applies also to the animal appetite, which does result from an
apprehension in the same subject, as stated above (Question , Article ). Now,
with regard to the natural appetite, it is evident, that just as each
thing is naturally attuned and adapted to that which is suitable to it,
wherein consists natural love; so has it a natural dissonance from that
which opposes and destroys it; and this is natural hatred. So, therefore,
in the animal appetite, or in the intellectual appetite, love is a
certain harmony of the appetite with that which is apprehended as
suitable; while hatred is dissonance of the appetite from that which is
apprehended as repugnant and hurtful. Now, just as whatever is suitable,
as such, bears the aspect of good; so whatever is repugnant, as such,
bears the aspect of evil. And therefore, just as good is the object of
love, so evil is the object of hatred.
Reply to Objection 1: Being, as such, has not the aspect of repugnance but only
of fittingness; because being is common to all things. But being,
inasmuch as it is this determinate being, has an aspect of repugnance to
some determinate being. And in this way, one being is hateful to another,
and is evil; though not in itself, but by comparison with something else.
Reply to Objection 2: Just as a thing may be apprehended as good, when it is not
truly good; so a thing may be apprehended as evil, whereas it is not
truly evil. Hence it happens sometimes that neither hatred of evil nor
love of good is good.
Reply to Objection 3: To different things the same thing may be lovable or
hateful: in respect of the natural appetite, owing to one and the same
thing being naturally suitable to one thing, and naturally unsuitable to
another: thus heat is becoming to fire and unbecoming to water: and in
respect of the animal appetite, owing to one and the same thing being
apprehended by one as good, by another as bad.
Article 2: Whether love is a cause of hatred?
Objection 1: It would seem that love is not a cause of hatred. For "the
opposite members of a division are naturally simultaneous" (Praedic. x).
But love and hatred are opposite members of a division, since they are
contrary to one another. Therefore they are naturally simultaneous.
Therefore love is not the cause of hatred.
Objection 2: Further, of two contraries, one is not the cause of the other.
But love and hatred are contraries. Therefore love is not the cause of
Objection 3: Further, that which follows is not the cause of that which
precedes. But hatred precedes love, seemingly: since hatred implies a
turning away from evil, whereas love implies a turning towards good.
Therefore love is not the cause of hatred.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 7,9) that all emotions
are caused by love. Therefore hatred also, since it is an emotion of the
soul, is caused by love.
I answer that, As stated above (Article ), love consists in a certain
agreement of the lover with the object loved, while hatred consists in a
certain disagreement or dissonance. Now we should consider in each thing,
what agrees with it, before that which disagrees: since a thing disagrees
with another, through destroying or hindering that which agrees with it.
Consequently love must needs precede hatred; and nothing is hated, save
through being contrary to a suitable thing which is loved. And hence it
is that every hatred is caused by love.
Reply to Objection 1: The opposite members of a division are sometimes naturally
simultaneous, both really and logically; e.g. two species of animal, or
two species of color. Sometimes they are simultaneous logically, while,
in reality, one precedes, and causes the other; e.g. the species of
numbers, figures and movements. Sometimes they are not simultaneous
either really or logically; e.g. substance and accident; for substance is
in reality the cause of accident; and being is predicated of substance
before it is predicated of accident, by a priority of reason, because it
is not predicated of accident except inasmuch as the latter is in
substance. Now love and hatred are naturally simultaneous, logically but
not really. Wherefore nothing hinders love from being the cause of hatred.
Reply to Objection 2: Love and hatred are contraries if considered in respect of
the same thing. But if taken in respect of contraries, they are not
themselves contrary, but consequent to one another: for it amounts to the
same that one love a certain thing, or that one hate its contrary. Thus
love of one thing is the cause of one's hating its contrary.
Reply to Objection 3: In the order of execution, the turning away from one term
precedes the turning towards the other. But the reverse is the case in
the order of intention: since approach to one term is the reason for
turning away from the other. Now the appetitive movement belongs rather
to the order of intention than to that of execution. Wherefore love
precedes hatred: because each is an appetitive movement.
Article 3: Whether hatred is stronger than love?
Objection 1: It would seem that hatred is stronger than love. For Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 36): "There is no one who does not flee from pain, more than he desires pleasure." But flight from pain pertains to hatred; while desire for pleasure belongs to love. Therefore hatred is stronger than love.
Objection 2: Further, the weaker is overcome by the stronger. But love is
overcome by hatred: when, that is to say, love is turned into hatred.
Therefore hatred is stronger than love.
Objection 3: Further, the emotions of the soul are shown by their effects. But
man insists more on repelling what is hateful, than on seeking what is
pleasant: thus also irrational animals refrain from pleasure for fear of
the whip, as Augustine instances (Questions. 83, qu. 36). Therefore hatred is
stronger than love.
On the contrary, Good is stronger than evil; because "evil does nothing
except in virtue of good," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). But hatred
and love differ according to the difference of good and evil. Therefore
love is stronger than hatred.
I answer that, It is impossible for an effect to be stronger than its
cause. Now every hatred arises from some love as its cause, as above
stated (Article ). Therefore it is impossible for hatred to be stronger than
But furthermore, love must needs be, absolutely speaking, stronger than
hatred. Because a thing is moved to the end more strongly than to the
means. Now turning away from evil is directed as a means to the gaining
of good. Wherefore, absolutely speaking, the soul's movement in respect
of good is stronger than its movement in respect of evil.
Nevertheless hatred sometimes seems to be stronger than love, for two
reasons. First, because hatred is more keenly felt than love. For, since
the sensitive perception is accompanied by a certain impression; when
once the impression has been received it is not felt so keenly as in the
moment of receiving it. Hence the heat of a hectic fever, though greater,
is nevertheless not felt so much as the heat of tertian fever; because
the heat of the hectic fever is habitual and like a second nature. For
this reason, love is felt more keenly in the absence of the object loved;
thus Augustine says (De Trin. x, 12) that "love is felt more keenly when
we lack what we love." And for the same reason, the unbecomingness of
that which is hated is felt more keenly than the becomingness of that
which is loved. Secondly, because comparison is made between a hatred and
a love which are not mutually corresponding. Because, according to
different degrees of good there are different degrees of love to which
correspond different degrees of hatred. Wherefore a hatred that
corresponds to a greater love, moves us more than a lesser love.
Hence it is clear how to reply to the First Objection. For the love of
pleasure is less than the love of self-preservation, to which corresponds
flight from pain. Wherefore we flee from pain more than we love pleasure.
Article 4: Whether a man can hate himself?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man can hate himself. For it is written (Ps. 10:6): "He that loveth iniquity, hateth his own soul." But many love
iniquity. Therefore many hate themselves.
Objection 2: Further, him we hate, to whom we wish and work evil. But
sometimes a man wishes and works evil to himself, e.g. a man who kills
himself. Therefore some men hate themselves.
Objection 3: Further, Boethius says (De Consol. ii) that "avarice makes a man
hateful"; whence we may conclude that everyone hates a miser. But some
men are misers. Therefore they hate themselves.
On the contrary, The Apostle says (Eph. 5:29) that "no man ever hated
his own flesh."
I answer that, Properly speaking, it is impossible for a man to hate
himself. For everything naturally desires good, nor can anyone desire
anything for himself, save under the aspect of good: for "evil is outside
the scope of the will," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). Now to love a
man is to will good to him, as stated above (Question , Article ). Consequently,
a man must, of necessity, love himself; and it is impossible for a man to
hate himself, properly speaking.
But accidentally it happens that a man hates himself: and this in two
ways. First, on the part of the good which a man wills to himself. For it
happens sometimes that what is desired as good in some particular
respect, is simply evil; and in this way, a man accidentally wills evil
to himself; and thus hates himself. Secondly, in regard to himself, to
whom he wills good. For each thing is that which is predominant in it;
wherefore the state is said to do what the king does, as if the king were
the whole state. Now it is clear that man is principally the mind of man.
And it happens that some men account themselves as being principally that
which they are in their material and sensitive nature. Wherefore they
love themselves according to what they take themselves to be, while they
hate that which they really are, by desiring what is contrary to reason.
And in both these ways, "he that loveth iniquity hateth" not only "his
own soul," but also himself.
Wherefore the reply to the First Objection is evident.
Reply to Objection 2: No man wills and works evil to himself, except he apprehend
it under the aspect of good. For even they who kill themselves, apprehend
death itself as a good, considered as putting an end to some unhappiness
Reply to Objection 3: The miser hates something accidental to himself, but not for that reason does he hate himself: thus a sick man hates his sickness for the very reason that he loves himself. Or we may say that avarice makes man hateful to others, but not to himself. In fact, it is caused by inordinate self-love, in respect of which, man desires temporal goods for himself more than he should.
Article 5: Whether a man can hate the truth?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man cannot hate the truth. For good, true,
and being are convertible. But a man cannot hate good. Neither,
therefore, can he hate the truth.
Objection 2: Further, "All men have a natural desire for knowledge," as stated
in the beginning of the Metaphysics i, 1. But knowledge is only of truth.
Therefore truth is naturally desired and loved. But that which is in a
thing naturally, is always in it. Therefore no man can hate the truth.
Objection 3: Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "men love those
who are straightforward." But there can be no other motive for this save
truth. Therefore man loves the truth naturally. Therefore he cannot hate
On the contrary, The Apostle says (Gal. 4:16): "Am I become your enemy
because I tell you the truth?" [*St. Thomas quotes the passage, probably
from memory, as though it were an assertion: "I am become," etc.]
I answer that, Good, true and being are the same in reality, but differ
as considered by reason. For good is considered in the light of something
desirable, while being and true are not so considered: because good is
"what all things seek." Wherefore good, as such, cannot be the object of
hatred, neither in general nor in particular. Being and truth in general
cannot be the object of hatred: because disagreement is the cause of
hatred, and agreement is the cause of love; while being and truth are
common to all things. But nothing hinders some particular being or some
particular truth being an object of hatred, in so far as it is considered
as hurtful and repugnant; since hurtfulness and repugnance are not
incompatible with the notion of being and truth, as they are with the
notion of good.
Now it may happen in three ways that some particular truth is repugnant
or hurtful to the good we love. First, according as truth is in things as
in its cause and origin. And thus man sometimes hates a particular truth,
when he wishes that what is true were not true. Secondly, according as
truth is in man's knowledge, which hinders him from gaining the object
loved: such is the case of those who wish not to know the truth of faith,
that they may sin freely; in whose person it is said (Job 21:14): "We
desire not the knowledge of Thy ways." Thirdly, a particular truth is
hated, as being repugnant, inasmuch as it is in the intellect of another
man: as, for instance, when a man wishes to remain hidden in his sin, he
hates that anyone should know the truth about his sin. In this respect,
Augustine says (Confess. x, 23) that men "love truth when it enlightens,
they hate it when it reproves." This suffices for the Reply to the First
Reply to Objection 2: The knowledge of truth is lovable in itself: hence
Augustine says that men love it when it enlightens. But accidentally, the
knowledge of truth may become hateful, in so far as it hinders one from
accomplishing one's desire.
Reply to Objection 3: The reason why we love those who are straightforward is
that they make known the truth, and the knowledge of the truth,
considered in itself, is a desirable thing.
Article 6: Whether anything can be an object of universal hatred?
Objection 1: It would seem that a thing cannot be an object of universal
hatred. Because hatred is a passion of the sensitive appetite, which is
moved by an apprehension in the senses. But the senses cannot apprehend
the universal. Therefore a thing cannot be an object of universal hatred.
Objection 2: Further, hatred is caused by disagreement; and where there is
disagreement, there is nothing in common. But the notion of universality
implies something in common. Therefore nothing can be the object of
Objection 3: Further, the object of hatred is evil. But "evil is in things,
and not in the mind" (Metaph. vi, 4). Since therefore the universal is in
the mind only, which abstracts the universal from the particular, it
would seem that hatred cannot have a universal object.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "anger is
directed to something singular, whereas hatred is also directed to a
thing in general; for everybody hates the thief and the backbiter."
I answer that, There are two ways of speaking of the universal: first,
as considered under the aspect of universality; secondly, as considered
in the nature to which it is ascribed: for it is one thing to consider
the universal man, and another to consider a man as man. If, therefore,
we take the universal, in the first way, no sensitive power, whether of
apprehension or of appetite, can attain the universal: because the
universal is obtained by abstraction from individual matter, on which
every sensitive power is based.
Nevertheless the sensitive powers, both of apprehension and of appetite,
can tend to something universally. Thus we say that the object of sight
is color considered generically; not that the sight is cognizant of
universal color, but because the fact that color is cognizant by the
sight, is attributed to color, not as being this particular color, but
simply because it is color. Accordingly hatred in the sensitive faculty
can regard something universally: because this thing, by reason of its
common nature, and not merely as an individual, is hostile to the
animal---for instance, a wolf in regard to a sheep. Hence a sheep hates
the wolf universally. On the other hand, anger is always caused by
something in particular: because it is caused by some action of the one
that hurts us; and actions proceed from individuals. For this reason the
Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "anger is always directed to
something singular, whereas hatred can be directed to a thing in general."
But according as hatred is in the intellectual part, since it arises
from the universal apprehension of the intellect, it can regard the
universal in both ways.
Reply to Objection 1: The senses do not apprehend the universal, as such: but
they apprehend something to which the character of universality is given
Reply to Objection 2: That which is common to all cannot be a reason of hatred.
But nothing hinders a thing from being common to many, and at variance
with others, so as to be hateful to them.
Reply to Objection 3: This argument considers the universal under the aspect of
universality: and thus it does not come under the sensitive apprehension