Something I hear a lot from the "anti-hate crowd", that the opposite of love isn't hate, but its apathy, this is simply not true, Apathy is the absence of love or hate. Love is a passion, and can only be countered by a passion from the opposite end of the spectrum, that is hate. Apathy is that point in the middle. The absence of something does not assume the presence of it's opposite.

The opposite of love, an intense emotion, would be not be a different intense emotion, such as hate. To love something, one must invest a lot of time and emotional energy in it. The same is true of hate. Hatred also takes up a large amount of time and requires a huge emotional investment.

Apathy really is the opposite of both love and hate. The lack of any sort of emotion or investment in a person or thing is the polar opposite of love and hate.

Of course, I don't like binary oppositions, so I probably don't really believe what I just said.

Eh ... I guess I believe it a little more than what's been said so far, at least.

Apathy can also be a necessary defense mechanism used to escape from life. When we resort to an apathetic state we consciously deny ourselves the ability to feel. Indeed, if we absorbed every sensation in life to its fullest extent it might be nearly impossible to survive emotionally. Used in moderation apathy can help to lessen the pain of a negative experience and continue through life seemingly unscathed. However, if we maintain this apathetic stance in the face of the currents of life we become a rock- strong and steady but inanimate and lifeless. Rollo May speaks of apathy and its effects on the human psyche in greater detail in his book "Our Schizoid World".

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