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Violence is physical force applied for unethical reasons such as aggression, abuse or exploitation. Its ethical opposite is self-defense or defense of another.

Virtually all moral codes forbid violence.

Most countries have laws against violence, although some governments habitually employ violence against their own citizenry. International legislation on human rights is meant to prevent this, but has proved difficult to enforce in practice.

Some people believe that atheists have no moral code forbidding violence. This is not borne out by the facts.

Violence as a Sin

In Christian thought, violence can include any sin that is malicious, but does not use the human intellect. As well as direct physical violence, Dante's Inferno categorizes tyranny, suicide, self-harm, blasphemy, usury and homosexuality as forms of violence. The last three are considered the most serious forms, as the violence is directed against God or nature.

See Also

Atheism and violence: