Non-Maleficence

f0263a3559a6f3e55206f1eb875be376This is #3 of seven related blog posts, the first being Autonomy, and the second being Benevolence. Please take a look at them in order before continuing on.

Hopefully, I manage to make this series a post a day for the first week of 2017. We shall see, dear reader…

We shall see…

Non-Maleficence

Here, the meaning of this word is “to do no harm; to not allow for harm to come to others or yourself”. This means outright selflessness to the point of “the ultimate sacrifice” is unreasonable; which is funny because there are times where life seems quite hopeless, and that I should just kick the bucket because “my death will benefit a thousands lives by saving one from starvation.” I say “funny”, because I never end up taking that sort of action. I just end up being too tired to really do anything.

A problem with doing something that is non-maleficent is when the person you wish to “do not harm” actively tries to harm you. Prime example: hospital staff violence. When you want to help someone ease their pain (as a qualified nurse), and you wish to administer a pain-killer, some people simply refuse to allow such a medication to be administered. This may be to personal preference, or religious reasoning. Whatever the reason, people can become physically aggressive about it, especially in defence of a loved one who cannot speak for themselves.

Another more general situation: being mugged on the street. In this sort of situation, if you somehow have multiple weapons pointed at you, there is obviously no way out the involves not harming yourself or others. And even IF you manage to get a hold on such a weapon, how many would be harmed in the process of acquiring one? And how many will be harmed in order to secure your safety?

Now, that’s not to mention whether severity counts or not. If severity of the damage matters, how much is too much? When do you stop and when do you keep attacking? Does disabling their legs count as sufficiently defending yourself, or is that evidence of attempted murder? You honestly, can’t consider a person’s own word as evidence, because opinions can be forged like Nigerian princes with financial problems (that’s an old-school spam e-mail, by the way).

But… what do you think? Comment down below and share your thoughts on the matter. Stay tuned for the next one on Justice.

Thank you, my dear reader. And as always, DFTBA.

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2 thoughts on “Non-Maleficence

  1. This reminds me a lot of the argument in law about self-defence and to what extent we should allow it…
    Frankly, killing a person is definitely bit too much to claim self-defence in my opinion, but maiming a person would probably have to be considered self-defence. Things don’t really work out smoothly in a life-threatening situation, so an attempt to knock their legs out could result in broken leg bones or something. But you can’t exactly blame the defender for it, since the attacker forced the situation.

    Anyways, that’s pretty much my opinion. This debate is still going on in many parts of the world, and people have vastly differing ideas about it, so I can’t really say one opinion is right or wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you’re opening up your opinion, and being respectful of other opinions and how they vary. That’s the sign of a great philosopher, and we need more now than ever.

      Like

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