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Never Hate. Only Ever Destroy.

May 2008

I came across these today; Giles Bowkett's two cardinal rules:

  1. Never hate, only ever destroy.
  2. Forgive everything.

He says of them:

Obviously, I don't hold to these rules as perfectly as I'd like. They're more perpetual goals, really. If I held to them perfectly, I'd be some strange Web 2.0 combination of Jesus Christ and Lord Shiva, a fire-breathing, forgiving, perpetually-twittering angel of death.

The rules appeal to me. My paraphrase would be roughly 'deal with things as thoroughly and quickly as possible, then get over it and move on,' which doesn't seem a bad general principle. (Although it's beginning to smell a bit Nietzschean.)

Fraser commented:

Whut?

Matt commented:

It occurs to me that these actually do a reasonable job of describing the righteous wrath of YHWH. (See: Sodom and Gomorrah, The Flood, The Plagues.)

KT commented:

Hm. I have issues reconciling forgiveness and destruction. But I may just be a product of my time in that respect.

Matt commented:

Perhaps destruction is not quite the right word. Maybe ‘neutralise’? De-fang, disarm? I think what I like is the idea of dealing with something as necessary, then moving on.

Jim commented:

hmmm.. disarm, I remember the, their singer went on to be a part of the legendary tragedy of the commons - destroying (not hating) eardrums and stages

Nato commented:

Think about what you'd do if you went back in time to meet Hitler prior to him starting his regime. Killing him seems to be a reasonable option, in an attempt to save the world from what he did. However, it shouldn't be out of hate, not out of revenge, rather, doing it because it needs to be done for the greater good. Looking in his eyes, saying 'sorry man' (meaning it), and shooting him. Perhaps? What would you do?

KT commented:

Nato: I hate the idea of not giving people a second chance, is all. I would try to fix him. That, to me, would be forgiveness: helping him become better, willing his regeneration. I would probably fail though, which is a flaw in the theory. (Note: this isn't an argument from the innate sacredness of human life, which I'm not sure I hold to; more based on feelings. Yep.)

I suppose the word 'destroy' in the maxim doesn't have to be about destroying people; it could be about destroying the evil they generate.

Nato commented:

Yeah. I'd avoid destroying people because there is usually a chance for redemption, and people often can bring good into this world.

I'd also advocate that you shouldn't really go round doing too much destruction, because who are you to judge what is and isn't right? I feel it's often better to leave people to their own devices, because I'm far from omniscient. When you must make a call about something, don't bring hate into it, love everyone, and do something.

Destruction should never become the norm, rather it should remain the last resort. In a list of what's ideal, you have at the top something like love, down a wee way you have destruction, and then even lower, hate.