Love Sinners and Hate the Sins in the light of feelings


Love the sinner and hate the sin is like somebody saying they have nothing against black people and try hard to embrace them.  Both types of person are trying to convince themselves of what is not true.  They do hate sinners and do not really accept black people when they have to persuade themselves with some difficulty to accept them.   Love the sinner and hate the sin really means love the sinner but hate the sin.  There is a but there.  When they cannot just love people but have to say they are sinners but we love them anyway that is not real love.  It is slow poison.
The Bible says, Hebrews 1:9, "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." "Hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good" (Romans 12:9).  Psalm 97:10 says, "Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked."  Amos 5:15 says, "Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate."

To hate means to will evil for another person so to hate a sin is to will evil to a sin as if it were a person.  You cannot really hate something except on the personal level.  Religion says we must love the sinner and hate the sin.   This is contradictory if you mean that you can feel hate for a sinner for being a sinner and love for the sinner for being a sinner.
At most you can feel love for a sinner in some ways and not as a sinner. You might love Hitler's drive and ambition but not his sins. If love the sinner and hate the sin means anything like that it is endorsing hatred for a person. You can murder a person because you see enough good in them and this good makes the bad they do make you angrier.
Bad means that which should be willed out of existence. If it were possible to make evil vanish by the power of your will you would have to do it. Religion says you should feel you want it to cease to exist. Thus calling somebody bad is hate speech. It is saying the person should cease to exist if he or she is bad. If something deserves it, then you should feel with all your power that it should be destroyed. Your feeling of hate reinforces your attitude of hate or the way you look at the thing as hateful.
Love sinner and hate sin is often presented as an outlook rather than feeling love for the person and feeling hate for the sin. Loving the sinner means seeing the person as doing their best and being flawless under the circumstances. The act then is seen as something that is not coming from the person but as something that is parasitic on the person. This fails to understand what an act is and accuses you of being a robot. If you are a robot then you cannot be a sinner! If you objectify sinners you will soon end up killing them faster than you would if you seen them as people to be hated. Psychopaths kill far more easily than hate-mongers.
The love the sinner and hate the sin brigade often seem to say you must not judge. The person who judges seems to be the person who the ill-feeling is reserved for. The judger is never seen as doing their best. So assessing an action as bad is seen as worse than any sin including murder!
People can learn to feel the right or best emotions at the right time for such emotions. Few of us are masters at this.  It is said that does not mean we cannot or should not be faulted if we feel inappropriate emotions or don't feel appropriate ones.  But the problem is that fixing your emotions and conforming yourself more emotionally to reality is a lifelong journey.  If you are really trying, feeling the right things won't happen overnight.  It would be wrong to condemn a person who is trying for say feeling happy that an enemy has died.  The person may be battling this feeling.  Also, if it is wrong to have inappropriate feelings  Aristotle said that if you can't help but feel your emotions you are responsible because you made yourself the kind of person who feels that sort of emotion.  Aristotle sees the wrong emotions as a sickness and feels we can train our responses by forcing ourselves to act in the right and moral way.  If the emotions rebel at first we will develop the ability to enjoy the right actions.  Philosopher Daniel Dennett says that educating ourselves about the bad effects our actions have on others can help us have the right feelings.  Notice how Aristotle held that your feelings indicate what you are as a person, what kind of person you are. Thus to love the person who has a lot of bitterness and spitefulness inside means that you love the person as bitter and spiteful for they are part of the person. This teaching makes it impossible to love the sinner and hate the sin and even to love the person with nasty feelings never mind a sinner.
The view that we should not be too annoyed when things go wrong for there are people being tortured and slaughtered in the world is common.  That something worse exists does not make a bad thing less bad.  It may make you feel less bad about it.  But feeling less bad by Aristotle's reckoning would make you a bad person. A sin is not a thing. Strictly speaking, a person never commits a sin but a sin shows what kind of person he or she is - a sinner and sinful person. To hate the sin is to hate the sinner.
Religion says that love is not a feeling but acting to help others while intending to help them. But we need people to like us so this love will not do us much good. Real love requires feeling or at least trying to like the person. Regardless of what religion says, we do act as if love is a feeling nearly all the time. That cannot be ignored.
Hate is a feeling. But if you are going to make out that love is not a feeling then you have to say that hate is not a feeling. Some teach that hate is merely being willing to hurt others even if you feel nothing bad towards them. Religion uses the excuse, "We feel no hatred for those who go deserve go to Hell for their sins" to answer those who accuse it of hate. Love needs feeling more than hate does.
If love is not a feeling then neither is hate. This teaching allows religion to incite people to hatred and then deny responsibility on the basis that it did not ask them to feel hate. Thus religion then can deny that it incites to hatred if it stirs up huge ill feeling against anybody. That is dangerous. Religion is well aware of all this for there are plenty of examples of people hating each other on theological or religious grounds. Religion has given those people a licence to hate while denying that they hate.
If you hate somebody for insulting you then why can't you hate those who turn away from loving you and loving others and who turn away from loving God to endure the suffering of Hell? They must hate everybody a lot if they would choose torment over love. Whether it manages to get a person to hate or not, the Hell doctrine is an attempt to incite to hatred.
So love for most of us is acting and feeling.
Love in theology and religion is acting.
Two options.
Your mental health will deteriorate fast if people have no warm feelings for you but do good for you. It will not deteriorate as quickly - if at all - if they do but mess you around. The first necessarily will do grave psychological harm and the second may or may not. We do not really want a gospel of love that isn't warm love. Love your neighbour as yourself loses its appeal in that light.
If you keep the Christian doctrine that when they love you, they do not need to feel love for you and the feeling of love is irrelevant, in mind you will not feel so warm inside when a Christian does something good for you. Christianity's doctrine of love will lose its shine. It is manipulative of Christians to attract people to their religion by engaging in personal warmth.


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