Internet Mental Health


Justice: Neither harm nor allow harm

How Would You Rate Your Commitment To Justice?

Science has discovered that the human brain is genetically wired to detect unfair behavior. Thus justice, it seems, is built into our very DNA. Amazingly, this same brain circuit is active in other higher primates; so even monkeys will immediately become angry if they are treated unfairly in comparison to their peers.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Are you fair and sincere (not lying, stealing or cheating)?

  • Are you reliable and careful; able to accept blame, heed correction and make amends?

      Respect For Others:
  • Do you treat others with respect and make them feel appreciated?

      Respect For The Law:
  • Are you law-abiding; neither harming others nor allowing harm?

  • Are you nonviolent (unless required by your job - e.g., police)?

  • Neither harm nor allow harm
  • Be honest
  • Be responsible
  • Be respectful
  • Be law-abiding
  • Be non-violent

Historical Perspective

    Every civilization creates judges - individuals who administer the law. These judges must personify justice. They must be honest, fair, responsible and respectful.

    A nation's laws must be fairly enforced in order to prevent corruption. Otherwise, if this corruption is left unchecked, the nation dies.

    The basis of justice is to neither harm others, nor allow harm.

Neither Harm Nor Be Harmed By Words

We Are Pre-wired To Know Right From Wrong

    Justice requires that we not harm others; either in word or in deed. The most common form of injustice is how we talk to each other. Most people don't realize how harmful their demeaning remarks and sarcastic put-downs really are. "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is scientifically incorrect. Words have a tremendous power either to heal or harm.

    Research by the psychologists John and Julie Gottman found that in long-lasting happy marriages, the partners frequently show gratitude by expressing appreciation and thanks. Whereas in short-lasting unhappy marriages, the partners frequently express contempt, criticism, and hostility.

    In happy long-lasting marriages, couples are focused on what their partner is doing right. In unhappy short-lasting marriages, couples are focused on what their partner is doing wrong.

    Unfair verbal expressions of contempt, criticism, or hostility can quickly end friendships or business relationships. Thus it is essential that you closely monitor your speech and remove unfair expressions of contempt, criticism, or hostility - especially those disguised as sarcasm or "humor".

Neither Harm Nor Be Harmed By Deeds

    Justice requires that you should not respond to evil with evil. Instead, you must counter evil with justice. Justice requires that you solve your disputes peacefully and fairly, that you do no harm, and allow no harm.

      "If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. There are many times when you don't know what to do. When you don't know what to do, get still, get very still, until you do know what to do." (Oprah Winfrey)

    Governments must be just. Your civil rights must be respected by law. Without justice there is poverty and suffering. The character of a society is judged by how its government treats its poor. Justice requires that you must never sacrifice the wellbeing of the many, just to enrich a few.

      "We must ask, not just is it profitable, but is it right." (Barack Obama 12.18.08)

    Governments should not oppress their citizens. In a just society, governments should be a force for good: upholding civil rights, providing social services and reducing the gap between rich and poor.

Adherence To Moral Principles

    Morality, is the cement that keeps a nation together. Nations collapse when they become immoral and corrupt.

    Morality slowly changes over time. Nevertheless, religions teach that the happiest individuals are those that adhere to their own moral principles.


    A core feature of justice is honesty. Honesty is more than not lying, cheating or stealing. Honesty, is also fairness and frankness.

    Honesty is doing what you know is right, even if no one is looking. Honesty is standing up for what you believe in. Honesty is having the courage to speak up, even if your opinion is unpopular.

    Honesty is also being genuine and sincere, and not phoney or insincere. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don?t know who they really are and how they really feel.

    In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive. Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).

    Honesty requires accountability. People should be held accountable for their actions. Thus it is best that financial transactions be kept transparent and public, and not secretly hid away from legal regulation and taxation.

    Dishonesty is a major reason for lack of personal and financial success. Remember, most things in the world can be bought and sold, but not your reputation.


    Justice requires responsibility. Responsibility is being reliable and careful. Responsible people are dependable and can be counted on to deliver on their promises.

    Responsible people are self-correcting. They take responsibility for their mistakes, heed correction, make amends, and don't repeat their mistakes.

Justice Requires Both Punishment And Forgiveness

    For justice to work, there must be both punishment for wrongdoing, and forgiveness after the wrongdoer has made adequate amends.

    In child-raising, one of the most effective ways to administer justice is the "time-out" technique. In this technique, the child is sent to her room after wrongdoing and told that she must stay in her room for 5 minutes. Then the child can only come out of her room if she says she's sorry, and can tell the parent what she is sorry for. Once the apology is accepted by the parent, the parent tells the child that the parent loves the child, but doesn't approve of the wrongdoing. Thus there is both punishment (being sent to the bedroom for 5 minutes), making amends (child apologizing), and forgiveness.

    If parents seldom discipline their children; these children grow up not knowing right from wrong. Worse still, the child never learns how to be self-correcting (i.e., apologizing for wrongdoing, and making amends).

    Research into modern game theory has proven that the best strategy in any competition is "Tit For Tat".

    Rules For The "Tit For Tat" Strategy:

    • Cooperation: Start off cooperating with people. If people continue to cooperate with you; continue cooperating with them.

    • Punishment: At some point, if people become uncooperative; stop cooperating with them.

    • Forgiveness: If these people go back to cooperating; return to cooperating with them.

    Notice that this "Tit For Tat" strategy only works well if the other person is willing to cooperate. If the other person is never willing to cooperate, this "Tit For Tat" strategy becomes "An Eye For An Eye" strategy of perpetual retaliation.

    Thus cooperation only works if the other person is also willing to cooperate. Research into game theory shows that it is very self-defeating to forgive or cooperate with a totally uncooperative person.

Divide and Conquer

    Psychopathic (antisocial) individuals often attempt to usurp power by secretly playing one group off against another. Thus psychopathic individuals purposely foster rebellion against the authority figures they wish to replace. Thus it is often disastrous to have a psychopathic individual join a group; since that individual immediately sets about to foment rebellion against the leader of that group.

    From the time of the Roman Empire, colonial powers used this divide-and-conquer technique to neutralize opposition to their colonial occupation. The colonial power would pit one foreign group against another in order that the ensuing conflict would weaken both. Thereafter, the waring groups would be too weak to oppose their occupation by the colonial power.

    Often oppositional children use this same manipulative technique against their parents. They purposely will play one parent off against the other parent in order to neutralize parental authority.

    The only defence against such unfair manipulation is strict adherence to the rule of law. There must be clearly defined rules of fair behavior that the psychopathic nation or individual is forbidden to break.


    Life unfortunately is unfair; poverty and injustice are everywhere. Some religions teach that inequality is the source of most social evils. These religions believe that we must fight inequality in all its forms - especially economic and sexual inequality. These religions argue that the rich are not more virtuous than the poor. Men are not superior to women. Thus these religions ask that we combat inequality by sharing our abundance more fairly.

      The 85 Richest People In The World Have As Much Wealth As The 3.5 Billion Poorest

      • Almost half of the world's wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

      • The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That's 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world?s population.

      • The bottom half of the world's population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

      • Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

      • The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.

      • In the US, the wealthiest 1% captured 95% of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90% became poorer.

    Some religions promote civil rights - especially the rule of law and freedom of speech. They teach that governments should derive their power from the consent of the governed, and not be controlled only by the rich and powerful. Unfortunately, some of the world's major religions are turning a blind eye towards the re-introduction of slavery for migrant construction workers in the United Arab Emirates.

What Makes People Evil?

Rewards Of Justice

    What do we get in return for upholding justice?

    It won't make us richer. It won't make us famous.

    Our reward is that upholding justice brings happiness to others and relieves suffering. Our just deeds will make the world a more beautiful, more loving place for our families.
Internet Mental Health 1995-2018 Phillip W. Long, M.D.