While anger and hate are generally considered necessary emotions, I do not believe this to be the case. One situation which demonstrates this is anger or hate towards people, as opposed to towards objects or concepts. This essay’s points also apply to hate, but for the sake of brevity only the word “anger” will be used.
To explain the next point, it should first be said that desert is not a justified concept in relation to people’s actions. This means that someone’s past actions do not mean that that person deserves a reward or punishment. Therefore we can consider anger to be some of those unjust deserts. It is assumed that if one is angry at a person, it is because that person has done something to deserve it, such as making a mistake or committing a crime. Since their wrongdoing is in the past, being angry at them cannot change what they did, nor will it fix anything, so anger is impractical. It can be argued that anger helps people cope with their loss by directing their focus towards the perpetrator as the one to blame, and away from processing their sadness. It is this coping mechanism that requires criminals to be punished, not as a practical solution, but as an emotional “band-aid”. This only serves to appease those who have created an illusion of desert because they do not know how to properly handle grief.
Besides anger being useless, it is also harmful. Being angry -at- someone, I think it is safe to say, is a negative thing. Anger feels bad; it is not an emotion that people generally want to experience. It results from a bad situation and perpetuates badness. An intuitive demonstration of this is that people do not like when others are mad at them. Good parents will be sad when their child is angry at them, someone in a relationship will likely be sad or worried if their partner is angry at them, the same applied between friends, and can happen even if a stranger is angry at you. There is something inherently bad about anger directed at a person, which could be considered as malicious. While the person who is angry might not explicitly have ill will, it is the coping mechanism that makes them not just blame someone, but continuously feel angry at them, expressed by doing things such as not talking to them, or saying mean things to them, or even hurting them. They might see this as just deserts, but that is only to make themselves feel better by covering the sadness with anger. A reasonable person not carried away by their emotions would, as seen in criminal justice systems, punish the criminal once for their crime as a way to balance their perceived injustice.
Since anger is neither necessary nor justified, and is instead harmful, it is consequently immoral. To feel angry at another human being is similar to feeling spite or other negative thoughts. It is to see the person poorly enough to treat them worse than you usually do, and feel that it is justified to have negative emotions towards them. The same way that the subject would feel bad that someone is angry at them, one should feel bad that they are angry at someone. To be angry at someone is to disrespect them, think less of them, and to direct negativity at them, maliciously and harmfully.
Instead of avoiding sadness and replacing it with anger, people should realise that people don’t want to make mistakes, and that being angry at them just makes things worse, while not solving your own problems. Avoiding emotions like sadness is unhealthy, as it gets bottled up and makes you feel bad and want to repeatedly feel a bit better to compensate. Like a drug addiction, anger can only momentarily sate your desire, while causing damage to everyone including yourself. It will never solve the problem, leaving you bitter or cynical. The best and fastest way to deal with loss is by processing it through acceptance and forgiveness. If you think the person should have known better, consider that you may be holding them to too high a standard. If you think they didn’t care, don’t be so quick to make assumptions about their intent. Accepting loss can be painful, but it’s far less pain than the grinding process of being angry at someone.
Some people might say that anger is necessary as the only proper response to injustice. One explanation for why that might be would be that this is a simplistic view that would think that without anger, there would be no emotional response to injustice. Another explanation would be that without anger, injustice would be tolerated. These are both wrong because the appropriate emotional response to injustice is one that expresses sadness for those negatively affected by it, and the non-emotional response where you know that this should not be done. Anger is entirely the wrong response to any injustice, and can lead to irrational behaviour in response to it. An angry person can fall prey to the “we have to do something” fallacy, where they feel any action, even a token gesture or a self defeating attempt to fix it must be attempted, even if it makes things worse. Better and more appropriate emotional responses would be sadness, disappointment, and the acknowledgment that it is bad and should be stopped. Beyond that, moral obligation should be what drives you to correct it.
There is no reason to have anger or hate at someone as they make you mean while harming them.