Anger, hatred



anger is triggered when somebody does something that makes you realise that they're putting much too little weight on your welfare than you think you're entitled to, [depending on] the kind of relationship you have with that person.  

anger is a system designed for interpersonal bargaining, for trying to get the person to put more weight on your welfare in the future.  

Leda Cosmides – “The Wright Show”



Recognising anger  

Characteristics (attributes)  

ferocity, is like fire  

Function (what it does)

spreads like fire, consumes you

Manifestation (how it feels)

gives you energy, makes you want to persecute the person who has made you angry


looking at the thing that has made you angry adds fuel to the fire

some kind of threat



How to deal with anger

Acknowledge to yourself, “I am angry because of [X reason] that is relevant to [Y goal]”.

Think consciously and intelligently about how to deal with the situation so as to bring about the best long-term outcome for all concerned.  In your brain, this activity connects the emotions with the decision-making and emotion-regulating prefrontal cortex, which has two effects: 1) it delivers the message that the emotion is carrying; 2) it transforms a fast reaction to a slower and more considered evaluation, and helps to enable a skilful and ethical outcome.  



Moral anger  

Moral anger is the kind of anger we feel when someone has broken what we consider to be a moral rule.  This may lead us not to have empathic concern for them, since we do not approve of their behaviour and feel they do not deserve our good word.  

Some people use manufactured moral anger as an excuse for bullying people or for looking down on a particular out-group.  

For some reason, we often find moral anger enjoyable.  

Sometimes the measures we wish to take against a perceived injustice are worse than the original offence, or are otherwise not warranted in a decent society.  


See also:  “Moral Zealotry and the Seductive Nature of Evil” Spencer Case, Quillette online, 10 March 2019



Moral injury

A moral injury is one received when someone violates an ethical norm and this results in harm.  It is an injury to someone’s sense of proper morality.  It is felt keenly by both victims and perpetrators.  In essence it is a transgression of moral expectations by somebody (or by God, as perceived).

Victims may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, and develop problems trusting others, and a sense of anger, especially at further moral violations.  

Perpetrators may feel a deep sense of guilt and a wish to right the wrong that cannot be righted because it is in the past, through subsequent exemplary behaviour.  A perpetrator may feel a loss of trust with him or herself.

Both may wish to play the story over and over again in the hope that it will finally work out right for them.  


Like psychological trauma, moral injury is a construct that describes extreme and unprecedented life experience including the harmful aftermath of exposure to such events.  Events are considered morally injurious if they “transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.”  Thus, the key precondition for moral injury is an act of transgression, which shatters moral and ethical expectations that are rooted in religious or spiritual beliefs, or culture-based, organizational, and group-based rules about fairness, the value of life, and so forth.  

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs via  


It may well be that a social injury caused by just the wrong kind of negativity may be healed by the right application of the Healing Principle: a social healing caused by just the right kind of positivity: the right kind of love and forgiveness.  


Former gangster Hanif Mohammed spent ten years in jail for killing Alex Holroyd.  “I took somebody’s life man, this ain’t no joke, I’ve deprived a kid of his birthdays, his holidays, his everything, and that I think is where I started to embark on this crazy transformation.  I’m working with thousands of young people in a bid to dissuade them from a life of crime, sharing these experiences with them.”  Hanif, along with his mentor, and ex-prison officer Brian Wreakes, run a charity called In2Change.  They deal with young offenders, gang members, and kids on the cusp of joining the criminal fraternity.  “I want to be a role model for a lot of young kids who are a bit lost, don't really know what's going on, disengaged.”    

“Imagine this is a balance, a weighing scale.  My sins are like ‘that’ [far down].  I'm just trying to balance them out, and I’m nowhere near, nowhere near.  I don’t want my son growing up to think, my father was this kind of evil guy, I wasn’t.  What I did was a mistake.  You’ll never ever be able to redeem yourself because of the damage you’ve done.”

Hanif Mohammed, “Gangland”, Channel 5 TV, UK, 6 August 2018   


See also: extraordinary altruists

“The unforgiven: When soldiers kill in war, the secret shame and guilt they bring back home can destroy them” (Aeon magazine) which shows that forgiveness, service and giving back can be effective therapies.  



“Morally justified” violence

An aspect of morality is that all around the world, throughout all of time, people have engaged in violence because it seems like the right thing to do: redressing moral wrongs that seem egregious to them.  Honour killings and blood feuds are an example.  The police and the army are seen as legitimately engaging in violence for moral reasons in a state that is seen as legitimate.  People can be very ready to use violence for what they see as morally compelling reasons.  

But this neglects the way of peace, and it neglects Perfect Compassion, because non-violence is nearly always a better available option.  Instead of killing one’s daughter, or beating that person to a pulp, we need to think instead of another way that involves much less harm to the person we are angry with.  

The only reasons to use violence are either in self-defence or to prevent further violence.  To use it in response to a perceived moral violation is not proportionate.  There must be some other way of dealing with things, most of the time.  Think of the consequences.  



The Dhammapada:  “Forsake anger”:


211  Forsake anger, give up pride.  Sorrow cannot touch the man who is not in the bondage of anything, who owns nothing.  

222  He who can control his rising anger as a coachman controls his carriage at full speed, this man I call a good driver: others merely hold the reins.  

223  Overcome anger by peacefulness: overcome evil by good.  Overcome the mean by generosity; and the man who lies by truth.  

226  Those who are for ever watchful, who study themselves day and night, and who wholly strive for NIRVANA, all their passions pass away.  

227  This is an old saying, Atula, it is not a saying of today: 'They blame the man who is silent, they blame the man who speaks too much, and they blame the man who speaks too little'.  No man can escape blame in this world.  

228  There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a man whom men always blame, or a man whom they always praise.  

229 230  But who would dare to blame the man whom the wise praise day after day, whose life is pure and full of light, in whom there is virtue and wisdom, who is pure as a pure coin of gold of the Jambu river?  Even the gods praise that man, even Brahma the Creator praises him.  

231  Watch for anger of the body: let the body be self-controlled.  Hurt not with the body, but use your body well.  

232  Watch for anger of the words: let your words be self-controlled.  Hurt not with words, but use your words well.  

233  Watch for anger of the mind: let your mind be self-controlled.  Hurt not with the mind, but use your mind well.  

234  There are men steady and wise whose body, words and mind are self-controlled.  They are the men of supreme self-control.  



Anger, hatred, fear, is very bad for our health.

The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.

― The Dalai Lama



Anger is a negative emotion, and hence, will make you feel negative.  This is why a bully will try to make you angry.  For the sake of your health, replace anger with compassion.  



The clichéd saying of "Love conquers all," is true. Love can melt the hardest of hearts. There are hearts that are dead and cold forever, but even if they're at the center of the love they're receiving and they're not moved, there are witnesses everywhere that see Love working and they will be moved. So Love still has an effect, a really good one.



BBC Radio 4 – “Why are we so angry?” – programme on biological and social evolution of anger



Every bitterness is heavy bag.  Why carry?  You are hot-air balloon. Tell me, you want to go up or down?  Let go of anger, hurt.  Drop the sacks.  

from “Honour” by Elif Shafak