The title is a line from the poem “زيديني” by the poet “نزار قباني”
“You’re free to do whatever as long as you don’t hurt anybody”.
Here’s a slogan endorsed by many people around you today. It is derived from the “harm principle” worded by John Stuart Miller. The principle says that no government, no group, no individual has the right to erectify a deviant personal preference since this so-called preference harms no one. This principle gives the green light to practices like euthanasia, prostitution, abortion, pornography and drug abuse and their likes as long as they involve consenting adults only.
This bullshit of a principle eliminates absolute ethics and gives the green light to ethical relativism. Therefore, harm becomes relative. But if there are no ethical principles for the general masses applied across all spectrum, how the hell is “the harm principle” going to measure harm!? There are cases where harm is obvious. Like in a situation where a man is flailing a sharp knife in the middle of a crowded room, but harm isn’t only physical or that obvious! What I might perceive as harmful you may not, and vice versa! For example, sometimes you may criticize my religion, then I get butthurt about it. That is harm by definition! Does that mean you get stripped away from your right to criticize, or practice your right of free speech just because you just offended my God? This is what’s happening in the age of political correctness and cultural appropriation! Therefore, we must set absolute boundaries and rules. We must have an ethical frame that we all work within. So that if you decided you’re butthurt when I am behaving within this frame, then it’s your firkkin problem!
Here’s another example from a true incident that happened back in 2001 in Germany! A cannibal published an ad in a newspaper asking people to volunteer to be eaten! He was asking people to allow him to eat them! Multiple people responded to the ad agreeing to his terms, agreeing to be eaten! Anyone with a sense of logic and ethics would find this appalling! But under the harm principle this is acceptable! Both parties, eater and be eaten, are not causing anyone else harm! Does that mean we tell our governments and groups, oh please don’t intervene? They’re happy the way they are? They’re FREE!?
So I repeat, whenever we eliminate the authority that imposes a certain set of ethical frame, then we anoint ourselves to be the ultimate source of ethics! Individuals become the ultimate judge of right and wrong! Then every individual becomes their own reference to ethics! Then chaos happen!
Think of your best friend reaching out to you telling you they decided to be heroin addicts! That they wanted you to inject them with herion everyday because they’re afraid of needles! Then imagine yourself agreeing because, hey they’re only harming themselves! They’re free after all! Don’t tell me that was an extreme example. Because the harm principle doesn’t exclude impossible situations, or imaginary situations! Because if it did, then it would contradict itself! Then it would anoint itself to be the decider of what’s free and what’s not! Plus, we’ve all read history. It proved that humans can reach low levels of morality and ethics!
Anyway! What does religion tell us about all this bullshit of “being free as long as you don’t hurt no one”?
Religion calls to put others ahead of you. Religion, being the basis of all ethics, gives you the principle sacrifice for others. God asks you to abandon things that you are allowed to enjoy if they would harm others. Don’t get me wrong I am not the one to call for sacrifice, but I am also not a fan of this “harm principle” bullshit and I don’t cheer for the relativity of ethics.
Religion asks you to plant a crop if it were the last thing were about to do before judgement day! Religion pushes you to work hard, and push yourself forward. So what if someone decides to be a potato could and veg out? They’re not harming no one? But is that ethically acceptable? We, as believers, are expected to run after the interest of bettering this world and build it for generations to come. Therefore, we benefit ourselves, others and the world through God! But this “harm principle” gives a person an ultimate freedom to do whatever! Then this individual becomes the center of their own universe; therefore asking you to not harm them, but they’d do whatever!
In the end, I would like to clarify that our lives must follow a certain set of absolute ethical frame! These ethics center around the will of God. These ethics must consider the religious view of human nature, and the calls of religion to protect others and search of good!