Is the opposite of love, hate or indifference? Yes, it’s a loaded question. Be carefull you don’t give revealing comments… or not!

Pigeons bob their heads whether they are walking themselves or even if you are carrying them.

Welcome to The Dope!

What an interesting choice for your first post.

My answer would be that it depends on what you mean by love. There are many kinds. So clarify the question further and the answer may become more obvious.


Well, I mean all love directed towards and shared by another biological entity: your lover, spouse, partner, family, friends, forum contacts, even pets. The recognition from other as to your existence as a wonderous, unique human being. Even when you mess up sometimes. That intangible connection that affects us all and that most of the songs and stories are written about.

Hatred is still recognition. Indifference is failure to recoginize you and me as even existing. " If you don’t love me then your will surely know I am around when I raise a fuss." (good or bad fuss)

Heck, look at the people on this site alone that strife for some recognition. “You may not agree with me but you better recognize me as a living person or I will even call you names or tell you what I think to get a rise, (recognition), out of you.”

If I don’t have the love of real friends than I will get it somewhere else. The internet is a fairly safe place to get attention (love or hate) as opposed to indifference.
I am not right I just believe we are affected more by intangibles than tangibles.

I dearly hold on to my friends and family and converse with you because I love and am loved. So my answer to the question is obvious. What is yours?

I see what you’re getting at, and I agree that love and hate do have similarities; both involve spending time and emotion on the person, require thinking about them a lot, and can slide over into obsession, etc.

Nonetheless, I’d say hate is the opposite of love because that’s what opposite means, in a way - the other side of the coin, the thing you get when you go through something and out the other side. That’s why the opposite of “white” is “black” as opposed to, say, “potato salad”, why the opposite of “asleep” is “awake” instead of “Lithuania”, even though you could point out that “potato salad”, not being a colour, has less in common with “white” than “black” does. Opposite doesn’t mean “two things with as little in common as possible”, it means “the reverse of something”. Or at least, that’s the way I’ve always thought of it.

So while indifference may have less in common with love than hate does, to me hate is still love’s opposite.

Don,t you just “hate it” when someone sort of disagrees with you. But it is a lot better than having absolutely no response or just "indifference"to your comments. Yes the other side of the coin is a appropriate way of seeing the opposite meaning. However, if you cannot get attention or your needs thru love you will get them forfilled thru hate. But indifference to your existence is the most horrible of all. Why do you like(love) someone or like(love) someone more then others… I believe it is because they pay attention to you. They seem genuinely interested in what you say or what is going on in your life.

Have you ever been to a party or a gathering and someone “notices” you or a relative comes up and asks how you are doing and actually listens to you. It is a nice feeling and you are attracted to that person. While others don’t even give you the time of day. Sometimes you will go out of your way to be “recognized” by them. Tell a joke, act silly, try and be impressive with some type of meaningful or witty or self knowlegeable information. That gaze of another person that passes over you like you don’t exist. So you think, "The heck with them, they can go pee up a rope. The appropriate "hate’ comes from the indifference. If you won’t like(love) me then you will dislike (hate) me, but you definitely will know I am around.

Isn’t it amazing that 500 people can see the same tree in 500 different ways.


" What a great world it would be, if everyone was just like me." lol

I don’t believe we differ on the opposite of love but more on the meaning of opposite

Defn…opposite…“moving or tending away from each other” -“sharply contrasting”

Why do we “act out” …to get attention or to be loved or hated???

" Hello,out there, will someone please recognize me"

"Did the mass murder hate the innocent humans he killed…no… he wanted some attention, he wanted someone to care about him

Even your dog knows how to get attention…nurturing…love???

Do I? Do you?

I say the opposite is indifference. To hate requires effort, time, attention and some level of caring about the outcome. Indifference has none of those. To put it another way, if you were dying in the street and one person just walked by, but the other came up, looked, smiled and said, “finally, my enemy is hurting.”, who you think (in your dying moments) was more involved in your life and death? The hater, of course.

Hope that’s clear. Probably not. Seems a bit muddled, but I’m distracted over here. sorry.

To me, love boils down to a giving of yourself in a positive manner. Hate can either be the giving of oneself in a negative manner or the distancing of oneself from another. In a way these are like flip sides of a coin. Apathy or indifference, however, is like a totally different coin. Apathy is like an absence of being, or an emptiness. I imagine this is why the bottom of Dante’s Hell was ice cold. Well, I too am not being very eloquent in this post, but my vote lies with indifference.

Welcome to the camp.

Love? I’ll be attending the Vegas production next month. I’ll be on vacation (something I Love to take), on my way from my brother’s wedding (presumably all about Love) to Zion National Park (a place that I Love) with my best friend, (an even different type of Love).

Oh, almost forgot: I might be hearing “If I Didn’t Love You” or “Peace and Love” at the Squeeze/Fountains of Wayne concert on Tuesday.

Indifference. To hate a person, you still need to attach some significance to him, in your life. But if you’re indifferent to him, it’s almost as if he doesn’t exist.

Mm, I think you’re right, that is where we differ.

I was going more with the definition of “contrary or radically different in some respect common to both, as in nature, qualities, direction, result, or significance; opposed” (emphasis mine). To me opposites still have things in common, they’re two sides of a coin, they’re not supposed to be “two things as different as they can possibly be in every respect”.

Love just is. Now, let’s hope that Mariah doesn’t love you too roughly when you get tossed into the tank, squiddie. I hope you have a positive outlook on squids, because Mariah doesn’t like negative folk. She can smell fear.

And lust.
starts cranking the handle to load the newbie-trebuchet.

Take a seat right here on this…um…this seat that closely resembles a large sling.

Welcome to the boards.

Heh. Reminds me of my 3rd grade teacher who pounded into our heads that opposites were things THAT HAD NOTHING IN COMMON. So when she asked me what was the opposite of left I said kangroo.

She thought I didn’t get it (and that 3rd grades were incapable of making jokes…whoosh) , I know she didn’t get it.

That said, hate would be the opposite of the same coin. But on an emotional level indifference is closer to the fact. Whole different coin.

Speaking in purely logical terms:

The opposite of anything is NOT anything.
Therefore the opposite of love is not love, which comes as close to indifference as I can get.

My mother died two days ago. Honest. I will miss her very much. All my children and grand children (therefore, my mom’s grand children and great grand children) drove up to the house. There was a lot of love from my mom when she was alive, There is a lot of love at Dad’s home and mine in the last two days. My dad and mom where together for 74 years. My brother, who has severe cerebral palsy, has been with them in their home and in their care for 59 years. There will definitely be a lack of a loved one for my Dad and my brother after things go back to the “regular” routine simple because Mom is gone. My wife and I only live 4 blocks away. The rest are much farther.
Many relatives who seemed indifferent to our existence have phoned or sent messages, etc. So, since I joined " The Straight Dope" a few days ago, it now seems like a very long time ago. Yes, Mom’s death, will bring our family closer together, but what about the void. What have you done to cope, as the days go by, to hopefully help others and yourself.
We will be celebrating my mom’s life in a few days with a private gathering of family and friends. Then what?

Sad and yet comfortable about my mom, who many times repeated that she “was lucky to have such a wonderful life.” I am now the sort of head of the household guy that everyone looks to for lots of things

Well, yeah, but… what AndLuna said. “Opposite” doesn’t mean “most different.” The opposite of hot is cold, not lukewarm. The opposite of 10 is –10, not 0. The opposite of north is south, not east or west or up or down or right here where I am now. Likewise, the opposite of love is hate.

So, what I read from some is that love and hate are the opposite feelngs…opposite sides of the same coin…even tho both emotions give some control or empowerment to one from another.

While indifference is having no feeling neither good or bad for one from another, neither right nor wrong.

Therefore as a feeling entity ( a human) it is better to have a "feeling’ either love or hate, directed at you or from you, rather then to only exist with no feeling for you, that being indifference

Do you notice some people say “I see…” or “I believe…“and others say " I feel…” in many sentences? Is there some connection to this debate on opposites” ? What do you “see” or “believe” or “feel”? What about you?


We are such a DIFFERENT biological enigma!

The more we debate and differ in our preceptions the more we learn? or the more we are indifferent the the "other’ point of view. But we must debate or agree or disagree.

Are we cooperating or producing or innovating or creating, rather tham reaching a state of “assumed disability”? When we ask a question are we making a statement.

Why do we say “we”, when I mean “I”?..You know… sorry I mean I know.

Someone’s point on lust and love…I mean lust or love??? opposites? No just because love is so much more ,but we are driven by both.

Opposites existing on the SAME coin or just different coins

Can Mariah smell love too?
Thanks for the welcome… See you around

Throw some more into the “potato salad”.

Eleanor … the Four Big Myths " I can make you feel good"
" I can make you feel bad"
" You can make me feel good’
" You can make me feel bad"
Some believe these falsehoods to be true because we have been indoctrinated by society from day one.

Blondbear …Love in sin city…wow!

Hell is cold? Cold as hell sometimes ,where I live Auto.

Some kangroos box…Are some south paws??? …lol …noir.

I was NOT INDIFFERENT to your comments Drag.

Thud,… 10 and -10 have both opposite directions but the same numerouness.

Lust is to love as Hate is to______?

I’m indifferent toward pigeons who walk on their own, but I would hate to carry one around.

Hmm…that doesn’t really get me anywhere.

I’m gonna say indifference. Hatred is pretty close to love, I think. They are both very passionate emotions.

Speaking of passion, don’t fall for LOUNE’s goat trick. Always gets the newcomers.

I’ve heard of this “Opposite of love is not hate, but indifference” thing before. I can relate to it somewhat, but I disagree.

The context in which such a question is asked is key. I would say that the opposite of love is ignorance, as in “Who the hell are you?” Love and hate are strong emotions, but indifference implies knowledge of the subject at hand. If one says that they feel no way or the other about someone, they at least acknowledge the persons existence. If one says “Who?” about someone that they have interacted with, and should rightfully recognize, it shows that the person didn’t even show up as a person on their radar.

Love means that a person wants to be closer to the person they love, hate means that they want to be far from the person they hate. Indifference means that one recognizes another persons existence, but is not affected by their presence. Ignorance means that the person in question is a stranger, an unknown entity, one that should be treated with caution, if not suspicion.

On the surface, and I guess in LOLcat speak, love means “I want” and hate means “Do not want!” These are extremes, and it follows that if one hates another, they at least have a solid opinion of them, and that counts for something.

The above is my answer to the construct you presented.

If someone asked me what the opposite to love is, I’d say vengeance. Love is about caring, protection, affection, and positive thoughts. Vengeance is about, hatred, injury, pay-back (a vengeance synonym I guess), and active wanting to hurt another person.

If you love someone, you will do whatever it takes to make them happy, and keep them alive, even if it means you die. Vengeance means that you will do anything in order to hurt a person, make them suffer, and possibly make them dead. Even if it means you die in the process.

While indifference is a good poetic opposite to love, it’s only that in theory. Hate is as ugly as love is beautiful. Vengeance is quite possibly the most ugly thing of all. People that are loved feel safe. People that are hated feel uncomfortable. People that have Vendettas against them fear for their lives. Where does Indifference fit into this?

Okay…dnoorman…I will try.

Indifference does not involve any feeling about anyone…it is not them …it is you who feels the indifference.

Hatred is the emotion or the feeling…vengeance is one of the behavoir that comes from that feeling. Also, everyone will act or react out of love. Some of us do crazy or incredible things from the feelings we have. Some of us just react internally.

Or we can just be indifferent to many people and what ever they say or do does not affect us. They are not important enough to us to bring up any feeling, matter of fact, they do not concern us one bit…thus no reaction, thus indifference.

Have you ever tryed to "get’ someones attention because they facinate you to a degree, but they “could not care” or worse yet, do not even notice you exist…indifference… it is frustrating to you…you have feelings …good or bad toward them… they on the other hand are in the state…out of sight …out of mind…someone or someones occupy there reality… you are not in their minds at all…don’t you just hate that!..thet are indifferent to you

So, you say " to bad,…I’m such a nice person…look what they’ve missed…and you move on…

Then…whamo!! meet that person who seems to notice your evey move or word…they are attentive…don’t you just love that… you are immediately attracted to them…next time you meet them…gosh… they still pay attention to you… don’t you just like that…you are also attracted to them… now it’s really nice…OR YOU DON"T REALLY REMEMBER THEM…indifference.

So, what I am really trying to say is we humans are the most important… everything else isust things!! we matter… we need to be recognized (loved or liked)… but to be ignored ( yes…ignorance)… man that sucks!!

So, I say…ove me or dislike me ,but doen’t ignore me…

As a human being…indifference is the opposite of love.

Literally…it doesn’t matter…but you do matter.

Team of Scientists

Our pigeons name is Razor. My wife and I found him abandoned under a river bridge. We raised him from a featherless ugly newborn to a mature and responsible adult that is free to fly outside anytime and anywhere. He does just that, associates with other wild pigeons, but always returns to mingle with our family and friends and loves to be the centre of attenton at all our functions. A Rock Pigeon that has no cage and only his built in instincts to survive.He has adopted all the traits of other pigeons in the wilds of the city, that i ahve recently studied about…even talks pigeon… What will happen next, I have no idea. But in the mornings especially, he refuses to be ignored and demands attention like any domestic pet. Yes, reluctantlyI was the last member of the family to become attracted to him.I tryed to be indifferent, but he wouldn’t let me. Now, darn it, I like the silly bird.

So… I don’t carry him around. He just "hikes’"a ride on my shoulder or anywhere else he decides to land. Crazy eh!!

PS…thanks for the tip about the goat trick

PPS…I still miss my mom, but this helps.