If I say to an individual, who belongs to a higher social caste, that I will not help him but only those who are socially outcast and downtrodden, will it be considered as an abuse to the higher caste?

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    What kind of abuse? Jan 25, 2022 at 13:04
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    What is an higher caste ? Jan 25, 2022 at 13:04
  • To clarify, are you asking whether this will be considered an abuse? If so, by whom? (Would this question be answered by philosophizing about it, or by public opinion polling, or...?) Or are you asking whether it ought to be, or would rightly be considered such? Jan 25, 2022 at 14:40
  • To add to AlabamaScholiast's comment, if the person who is considering the act as an abuse is, in fact, the person that you did not help, they are highly likely to consider it to be abuse. Caste systems have a tendency to enforce this sort of thinking, so its statistically likely the particular caste system in question will do so.
    – Cort Ammon
    Jan 25, 2022 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


You need more context.

If you are giving a gift, it is completely fair to grant it to someone who is more in need.

But ethical action isn't always best modelled on gift giving. Should you "help" a higher caste person who had collapsed in the street? Of course.

One thing I really dislike is when people treat ethics like a zero sum game, so that any injury to someone belonging to privileged group helps those in an under privileged group. Not least because it always seems the marginalised within the former who lose out (white, but disabled and working class).

My answer was accepted already, but I had something to add, about an ethics of care. I agree that we should "care" for those that have a claim (be that due to our moral duty or something else) to that. It seems natural to suppose that the underclass have more of a claim for our kindness, but that needn't end up in abuse of anyone else.


Almost certainly not. You are talking about positive discrimination, or affirmative action. Different jurisdictions have different frameworks for what is allowed. But the core principle is correcting for past discrimination, is not discrimination.

See the discussion here for a detailed answer: Paradox of resolving discrimination

“A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro.” - Martin Luther King

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    This answer relies on the implicit assumption that it is groups rather than individuals who are abused. This is not only a false assumption, it is an evil assumption. It is the very assumption that led to the mass murder of the Jews by the Nazis and the mass murder of the Kulaks by the Soviets. It makes history a never-ending war of tit for tat. Are Christians justified in attacking Muslims because 1400 years ago, the Muslim raped and pillaged their way through the peaceful Christian lands of the Middle East, North Africa and Spain? Reject identity-based ethics. It is evil. Jan 25, 2022 at 20:53
  • @DavidGudeman: Pretending racism doesn't exist, will not end racism.
    – CriglCragl
    Jan 25, 2022 at 23:27
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    I didn't suggest that anyone pretend racism doesn't exist. I said that racism is always evil, even when it is retaliatory racism. Jan 26, 2022 at 2:05
  • if you mean refusing to help some but not all privileged people in need, that's very different to helping the downtrodden more. our moral choices are not a zero sum game
    – user57343
    Jan 26, 2022 at 5:14

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