I use the term hate-mongering a lot in this blog.
This is not just an exercise in name-calling. I have a specific charge in mind when I make the accusation.
In the sense in which I use the term, it is related to the term ‘fish-mongering’. Fish mongering is the act of selling fish on the open market. A fish-monger is not just somebody who eats fish. In fact, a fish-monger might even hate fish. He is not somebody who advocates the eating of fish the way that a dietician might do so. A fish monger is somebody who sells fish. The selling of fish is his vocation.
Similarly, a hate monger is not somebody who hates others. In fact, he might not hate others at all. He is not somebody who prescribes hate. A hate-monger is somebody who sells hate. You look at a hate monger and ask, “Where does his money come from?” and you see that it comes from the manufacture and sale of hate.
Using the term ‘hate monger’ as I do here requires that statement be marketed using claims that are not true and arguments that are invalid. The falsehood and invalidity of those claims are masked by the desire for hatred. Buyers simply blind themselves to these flaws because, if they allow themselves to see the flaws, they risk finding the product less satisfying.
Ben Stein provided us with an excellent example of hate mongering with “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. This was an attempt to make money through the manufacture and sale of hatred against those who believe in evolution. In Ben Stein’s case, he almost certainly believed in his product he was selling. That is to say, he was not only a manufacturer and seller of hate but somebody who actually used the product he was selling. Still, those things merely made Stein a bigot. He did not become a hate monger until he got into the business of selling bigotry.
Ray Comfort is a hate monger targeting atheists. He has gotten into the business of manufacturing hate and selling it through the selling of books and of products on his web site. He asserts, for example, that atheists believe that something can come from nothing, and takes his defeat of that proposition as proof of his superiority over atheists. In fact, the atheist that Comfort defeats is a straw man of his own invention. However, he has discovered a way to profit from these puppet shows he engages in, and in doing so managed to create a successful hate mongering enterprise.
The next question to come up is, “How do we deal with this issue of hate mongering?”
Well, you can’t just shut down the supply of hate and hope that solves the problem. Since hate is so easy to manufacture, a new supplier will emerge to replace any supplier that is removed.
Instead, one must target the demand for hate. If there was not a demand for hate, the suppliers would close up their shop and get into a different line of work. This time, we would not have to worry about some new hate monger expanding his business to take the place of those hate enterprises that folded. There would be no slack to make up.
On this issue, it is important to point out that hate is not limited to religion. This is one of those cases in which people do not get their values from religion. They assign their values to religion. Nature has given us a disposition to value hate – a disposition to buy what the hate mongers are selling. Our brain takes to it like an intoxicating drug. Some religions prospered by meeting that demand. However, religion is not the only way to meet such a demand.
There is a very real danger of atheist hate mongering. Atheists need to realize that we have evolved this disposition to value hate. It is well within the realm of possibility for an entrepreneur in the business of hate might see us as a market for a new hate product, and get into the business of manufacturing and selling that product.
The way to prevent that from happening is by spreading a warning among atheists not to become buyers for that kind of product. Just because somebody writes good things about atheists and bad things about everybody else, this is not good enough reason to buy their product. They may just be a hate monger hoping to profit by selling hatred to those atheists who are in the market.
The best response to this type of threat is to not be in the mart, and to warn others to avoid buying those products as well.
When it comes to deciding to spend your own money, make sure that you are not spending it on the products of the hate mongers.