Fear Leads to Anger. Anger Leads to Hate. Hate Leads to Suffering.

Everything leads to something. That’s the nature of both the good and the bad. Good habits lead to more good habits, bad habits lead to more bad habits. Kind of like the idea of karma, whatever a man sows, that he will reap. And that’s the nature of today’s quote.

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda, Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace, 1999

Is that true? Biblical? What the Bible does say is that there is no fear in love, that perfect love casts out fear. So, I guess we could assume that without love, there is fear. And the opposite of love is hate, so it is rational to see that connection between fear and hate – they go hand in hand. So, perhaps anger is the step from fear that leads to hate.

FEAR → ANGER → HATE → SUFFERING

Now getting from hate to suffering is easy. God is love, so the Bible tells us. And also, those that do not know love do not know God. And without God, where does that put you? Having a lack of love in your life is painful, and in this life just the beginning of suffering. If we live with hate in our hearts, then we cannot live with God in our hearts, and we therefore will die without God. That is the ultimate suffering.

So, did I sufficiently make the case that Yoda’s wisdom stands up to the Bible? How did I do? Let me know if you enjoyed this, or if you think I’ve gone off the deep end.

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear. – James Thurber


Comments

Fear Leads to Anger. Anger Leads to Hate. Hate Leads to Suffering. — 8 Comments

  1. “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.” ~Psalm 37:8

  2. This is not biblical. However it is very philosophical, Taoist if you must. But biblical? Um, no.

    Simply described, we fear things we do not understand. For example, we don’t understand why extremists are so willing to take what we would call extreme actions. Because of the possibility of those actions, we fear them. What if they take those actions against me? This then leads to frustrations because our own egos force us to try and change them to fit our belief mold. When that doesn’t work (it never will, change must come from within), that frustration leads anger because again, we can’t understand why they can’t “see the light”. As that anger continues, we become more and more frustrated until we ultimately give in to hate as a solution. Forced with facing our failure of changing them, we choose to hate them rather than face the failure (again, it’s ego that causes us to make this choice). And it is that failure that causes our suffering. Through all of this, it is our own suffering we cause.

    You see, we are only responsible for our own suffering. We cannot change others. We cannot lead others to happiness. They must find it for themselves. All we can do is show them the path. They must then choose to follow it. If they refuse, we cannot force them. It is their choice and THEY are responsible for following it.

    So we must be tolerant. It’s our lack of tolerance that causes the fear in the first place. And ultimately, that leads to or OWN suffering.

  3. Thank for your opinion on this somewhat famous fear quote. I say “somewhat” since for fans of Star Wars it is a famous Yoda quote, but for those not into the Star Wars movies, they probably don’t have a clue. Yes, you are quite right, philosophical but NOT Biblical.

  4. So, another way of expressing this is, “We hate what we fear, and we fear what we don’t understand”. The root solution to the problem would seem to be a requirement to understand the viewpoint of those we stand opposed to. The problem is to get those “others” to appreicate that our viewpoint is no less (or more) valid than their own. And we wonder why conflict is so hard to resolve!?

  5. Interesting spin, thanks for adding to the conversation. Either way you look at it, in the end hate still leads to suffering.

  6. This seems like a fun conversation to be a part of! Thanks Admin for kicking it off.

    I personally disagree with the assertion that Yoda’s quote is not “biblical” in the sense that it contradicts any particular truths revealed in God’s word. It is not straight forward to make this assessment, especially as the quote itself is very aphoristic, speaking in abstract terms that could cover a broad range of scenarios. To understand what exactly Yoda is referring to would require some more careful exegesis. I can’t offer this careful exegesis, but I would further clarify his statement in the following way:

    Fear (of losing control of one’s environment [e.g. the universe or one's life]) leads to anger (a defensive, self-preserving response to the fear). Anger leads to hate (a further intensification of the anger based on some justification or sense of entitlement). Hate leads to suffering (given the context or Star Wars, this seems to be less about the suffering or misery of the individual doing the hating but rather the suffering of individuals who are subjected to it by the actions of the hater [consider the destruction of Alderaan (I am aware that this occurs chronologically after Yoda makes the comment, however as a character Yoda is more a voice for the writers who were of course aware of the whole Star Wars story)]).

    On the basis of this (which of course is open to challenge), I feel like perhaps Yoda’s quote was misinterpreted in the initial article with regard to the nature of the suffering that Yoda was indicating. The original article seems to assert that the suffering involved is the suffering of the individual who is doing the hating and has thus separated himself from God. This certainly can’t be excluded as a possibility (as I said before, Yoda’s quote is very general) but to me it seems more likely that the suffering involved is that of those subjected to it by the perpetrators of hateful actions.

    A biblical example of this in my mind is found in the attitude of the Pharisees to Jesus. Consider John 11:48 – “If we let him (Jesus) go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (NIV) This is clearly a fear driven response to Jesus and his ministry which threatened their political standing. The anger and hatred aspect is clear in their attitude towards Jesus’ during his ministry (claiming that he works by the power of the devil) and also his trial and the accusations brought against him and of course their insistence on a shameful mode of execution. In this case, fear made its way through the path of anger and hatred to eventually cause the suffering of Jesus, reflecting the transitions in the expanded Yoda quote above. I am aware that this is just one way of interpreting these events in Jesus life, but I still see it as a valid approach.

    As to the statement that we are only responsible for our own suffering, I am struggling to see the logic behind this. Suffering, as spoken of in the bible and I believe in Yoda’s quote, refers to being subjected to pain or discomfort as a result of some event or action which may or may not be out of the suffer’s control. Suffering is not antithetical to happiness; indeed Paul’s letter to the Philippians seems to stress the idea of joy in suffering. We can subject others to suffering in the sense of being able to inflict on them unpleasant circumstances. I think we are responsible for our attitude in suffering, but as for the suffering being induced in the first place, this is out of our control.

    When fear causes an anger response which is acted upon in a hateful action, individuals can be subjected to suffering as a result of this hateful action. I don’t see that this as a statement contradicts anything that the bible has to say on the topic of fear, anger, hatred or suffering and the causal links between them. Some good points have been made, but I can’t agree with the conclusion that Yoda’s quote is not “biblical” in the sense that it contradicts any theme of scripture or particular doctrine derived from God’s word.

    Sorry if I have missed the point at all in my response!

  7. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment. I don’t think you missed the point, afterall the Star Wars saga epitomizes the classic battle between good and evil, and so does the Bible.

  8. Technically, the bible would argue fear leads to perseverance. If fear leads to anger, then to hate, then to suffering, the Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:3-4 “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” Thus, if you combine the teachings of these two greats, you realize how beneficial fear really is.

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