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See also: Harmlessness and Nonviolence

Harm is a moral and legal concept encompassing anything that causes injury, damage, or loss.


  • And finally remember that nothing harms him who is really a citizen, which does not harm the state; nor yet does anything harm the state which does not harm law [order]; and of these things which are called misfortunes not one harms law. What then does not harm law does not harm either state or citizen.
  • As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help, or at least to do no harm. The art has three factors, the disease, the patient, the physician. The physician is the servant of the art. The patient must co-operate with the physician in combating the disease.
    • Hippocrates, Epidemics, book 1, section 11; Hippocrates, trans. W. H. S. Jones, vol. 1, p. 165 (1923). "To do no harm" is echoed in two places in the Hippocratic Oath, as given in this translation: "I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing" and "In whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm" (pp. 299, 301).
  • I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way.
    • John Paul Jones, letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont (November 16, 1778); in Lincoln Lorenz, John Paul Jones, Fighter for Freedom and Glory (1943), p. xiii.

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