Is hate a more heinous motivation than revenge?

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This is an interesting question because it has practical implications for both sociologists and law enforcement.

Someone who is motivated solely by vengeance is most likely focused on a specific act, real or imagined, of a particular person against the "victim."  Whatever the act is, the person seeking revenge perceives...

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This is an interesting question because it has practical implications for both sociologists and law enforcement.

Someone who is motivated solely by vengeance is most likely focused on a specific act, real or imagined, of a particular person against the "victim."  Whatever the act is, the person seeking revenge perceives it as something that requires a response, and the saving grace in a revenge scenario is that the vengeance is limited usually to the person or persons who have committed the original transgression or are believed to have committed the transgression.  In other words, vengeance is most often focused on a single person or small group of people.

Hate, on the other hand, is generally a free-floating non-specific dislike of a group of people who most likely have never actually done anything to the person who hates them.  More important, the people who are hated often have absolutely no connection to the person who hates them and therefore are unaware that they are hated by that person and take no precautions to shield themselves from the hatred.  People who become victims of hate are usually completely surprised by the level of hate they inspire in others.

From a law enforcement perspective, then, a revenge crime usually has a specific victim who is intimately connected to the person seeking revenge whereas the victims of hate crimes often have no clue that they are targets simply because they haven't done anything to inspire the hatred.  Vengeance can be understood, if not justified, but hatred of a group of people who have done nothing can neither be justified nor understood.

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