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This is pretty much the same but concerns our effect on humans rather than on the world.
7 years ago
Have you considered, the least harm stance? While I believe the intention behind “do no harm,” or as you state it, “cause no one to suffer,” is noble in some contexts it can be an obstacle to sober thinking.
In the context of medicine, “do no harm” contains the implication of necessary harm. A surgeon most harm a patient with his scaple to operate on the patient. It’s a lesser harm to operate than to let the patient be overtaken by illness. Even when a doctor prescribes medicine, that medicine has harmful side effects. Again, it’s a lesser harm to medicate the patient than to allow the patient to succum to illness.
When faced with tough choices, the “least harm” concept allows for more nimble situational ethics. During a moral delima, it can allow a thinker to more easily weigh between options. For instance, when slaughtering a cow, a butcher could perform a ceremony where he slits the cows throats or he could use a modern stun gun. Because the throat slit requires the cow to suffer minutes longer than the instant stun gun, using a stun gun is the more ethical choice. Either way, the cow receives harm, but there is still a merciful “least harm” for the cow.
Please consider the idea and if you can think of any issue feel free to let me know.