Specifically: How does one set the emotional mechanism in reverse?
One's emotional mechanism is set by the ideas one holds.
In this specific case, the ideas regard the nature of human virtue.
This case involves judgment of those who possess virtue as being worthy of hatred.
One hates whom one fears.
What state of mind would cause one to fear virtue? How might virtue be seen as a threat?
If one has grown tired of the pursuit of values, if one sees others "getting ahead" much more than oneself, one can get frustrated about never having figured out "the trick" to life.
One can give up the moral pursuit of values, and attempt to find a short-cut. In giving up, though, one must rationalize the choice by believing that "I couldn't be good". The virtue-hater believes that he is a victim of his own lack of virtue -- that the universe has shafted him and has gifted the virtuous.
To the virtue-hater, every person of virtue is a reminder of one's own failings. The virtue-hater fears knowledge of his own failings. He wants to know, for sure, that he couldn't have done better. Virtue reminds him that he could have, and so he desires to destroy it.
answered Sep 04 '12 at 12:34
John Paquette ♦