It’s bad enough that hate leads to murder, but even sillier when the targets are wrong. In some ironic situations people say that God has a sense of humor, but apparently the devil does too. A man wants to show his hatred of Jews, so he kills three Christians. That certainly demonstrates the stupidity of violence.

The lesson here is: “Double check your hatreds — you might injure a friend.” People aren’t always (or ever?) what they seem. And when you hate a whole group there are always nice people in the mix. Is it possible to aim hatred accurately?

Of course we must all have pre-judgments, also called generalizations or prejudices. They give us quick categories for dealing with the world. They fail us when we take them as absolutes. Many of us presume that police are good, but there are exceptions. Similarly, psychopaths are bad but some can be medicated. How stupid it is when people assume that every person in some category should be hated and eliminated.

Reaction to animals follows this pattern. There are good snakes and beneficial insects, even though all of them are generally despised. Fear of the unusual, the foreign and alien is understandable but you can get over it. Expanding one’s world is a vital part of education and personal growth. Paranoia is a disease to be treated not treasured.

So we must add to the evil that human beings create that they do so stupidly. In fact, it might be argued that all evil is stupid. Hate and violence are not truly rational. One not only kills the wrong people but weakens one’s cause in killing at all. Capital punishment, after years of litigation, regularly kills the innocent. It seems to be as random and stupid as terrorism.

So, if you want to kill and maim, please aim.

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