Is harming others always considered bad?



Do any philosophers either explicitly avoid condemning harm, or condone it, especially harming others, in their ethics?

Why do humans consider causing bad to others as bad and represent it as bad act ?

Amruth A

Posted 2019-01-11T11:57:13.820

Reputation: 155

1Is a basic principle of most ethics and religions: Respect for Life. Never consistently applied ... – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2019-01-11T12:21:29.523


Because, as the Golden Rule says, one should treat others as one would wish to be treated. This would allow "tough love", when the lesser harm is caused for the greater good. This is one answer. Please specify what moral framework you have in mind. Without that, this can only be answered based on personal choices, and we try to avoid opinion-based posts here.

– Conifold – 2019-01-11T12:22:33.573

1It's just common sense. One has less chance of being harmed if one lives in a world where to total amount of harm is reduced. Just as one stands less chance of getting wet if it's not raining. There is no need for some underlying moral framework. – Richard – 2019-01-11T13:28:27.803

1I can't see an easy answer to this question. Finding an answer would require discovering more about the way the world works. – None – 2019-01-11T13:33:06.760

1i can't work out if your possible scenario is meant to be literal or is an appeal to mockery (fallacy) against morality. maybe you should ask something like "which ethicists don't incorporate 'harm' in their philosophy"? – None – 2019-01-11T14:06:12.313

1is "tough love" really harming the other person though @Conifold the question seems to be confused about the role of other people in ethics. most ethics is about other people, so in that sense asking why we ought not harm them amounts to asking if harm matters or is just a trick of ethics – None – 2019-01-11T14:32:35.520

1@richard. But, if it doesn’t rain nothing grows. Just expanding on a bad metaphor. – Robus – 2019-01-11T19:43:35.247

1Even if there are no situations that justify deliberately harming others, there are situations in which the right course of action would be to do something that might well harm another. One example would be self-defense against a potentially lethal attack. – David Thornley – 2019-01-11T21:14:23.947

1It is drastically harmful to oneself if one enjoys harming others. Because hate and homicidal feelings toward others is only a serious psychological projection of the same sentiments one feels toward oneself. – Bread – 2019-01-12T04:44:45.357

1People do that because that's how evolution works. Those who thought this way could spread their genes (and ways of thinking) faster than those who did not. – rus9384 – 2019-01-12T08:38:26.597

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because OP didn't bother to do even slightest prior research – rs.29 – 2019-01-12T17:28:39.923

1"War is the father and king of all, and has produced some as gods and some as men, and has made some slaves and some free. " - Heraclitus – rs.29 – 2019-01-12T17:29:09.730

1Hmmm. This notion that it is evolutionarily good for everyone is kind of shallow. The Huns and Vikings left lots of genetic influence everywhere with great success. Refusing to join wars has not done great things for the genetic heritage of Moravian Brethren (or Shakers for other reasons). Carefully considered bellicosity is at least equally good for your genetic future, but we still have a genetic predisposition to value peace. There is a totally different reason. – None – 2019-01-12T18:31:36.277



Why do humans consider causing bad to others as bad and represent it as bad act ?

For an answer to this question you can simply apply this: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'.

Treat other people with the concern and kindness you would like them to show toward you. This saying has come to be called the Golden Rule.

In other words, you have no right to expect something good if your behavior towards others is not good.

Do any philosophers either explicitly avoid condemning harm, or condone it, especially harming others, in their ethics?

If we verify different types of Bhakti (i.e., devotional worship directed to one supreme deity) we will come across a particular type of worship called 'Satrubhaav Bhakti'. And if you select some particular part and project only the actions, you will feel that it is not bad always. This is seen with examples in Indian philosophy.

Read the relevant part:

Satrubhaav Bhakti – This is the most interesting bhaav. The bhaav of an enemy which intensifies the connection of the subject with his/her object of hatred. Kamsa hated Lord Krishna but almost always remembered him and thus connected to his object of hatred with great intensity. Ravana always remembered Ram. It was impossible for them to forget their object of hatred through day and night. Thus their connection with their enemy made their satru-bhaav bhakti so intense that Lord Vishnu himself had to take human form as Avatar Krishna and Ram to despatch Kamsa and Ravana respectively. So, the enemy bhaav is very fierce and powerful even though it is negative. It binds and even destroys. It is based on fear. All other bhaavs bring peace in mind while enemy bhaav always keeps the mind contaminated and restless. Because of that, those who slip into this bhaav knowingly or unknowingly will always be mentally active in the negative way, scheming and plotting to destroy the object of their enmity. But, the flip side is that, they would be connected to their object of enmity, much more than a regular devotee. They would be connecting with extreme intensity and would be even drawing energy from the object of their hatred for energizing and executing their hatred towards the very same object that they hate. Whatever we resist always persists because we are indirectly or unknowingly energizing them. It is said that the soul of Kamsa and the soul of Ravana merged with Lord Krishna and Lord Rama respectively because the avatars themselves performed their execution. This is a peace-less bhaav and many around them suffer because of their enmity. Hence, this can be considered only on an academic basis and not for practice. And it takes an aggressive constitution spiced up with expectation, greed, ownership, possessiveness and control-hunger to have any kind of enmity towards anyone. Yet, in absolute sense, the enemy bhaav also is a bhaav of devotion, especially if the object is an avatar – even though the subject is not aware that they are worshipping and using the energy of their object. This is an ignorant bhaav.This is totally a deluded bhaav. (Bhaav means feeling, flavor, attitude etc)

If you want more details regarding certain people's approach, please go through the following link:


Posted 2019-01-11T11:57:13.820

Reputation: 2 594

1Then you should answer why Golden Rule is considered right. Others are not me neither my copies. Why should I treat them as myself? Golden Rule by itself is insufficient. You don't treat rocks as yourself. There is some difference between rocks and other people. – rus9384 – 2019-01-12T08:37:17.683

1@ rus9384: This quote of Vivekanada may guide you to that route: "After so much austerity I have known that the highest truth is this: He is present in every being! These are all in manifold forms of him. There is no other God to seek for! He alone is worshipping God, who serves all beings!" – SonOfThought – 2019-01-12T15:37:09.980

1@ rus9384"You don't treat rocks as yourself." This is not impossible for him/her who sees God everywhere. "There is some difference between rocks and other people." This is true in one aspect; but basically false in another aspect. – SonOfThought – 2019-01-12T16:45:51.173