Is it morally wrong to laugh at someone who stumbles, falls or slips?

Is it morally wrong to laugh at someone who stumbles, falls or slips? by Tony Garcia

Answer by Tony Garcia:

Pratfalls make people laugh; they always have. You apparently have a more self-effacing approach to humor directed at yourself; it certainly helps to lessen our embarrassment at our physical gaffes when the only thing injured is our pride.

For some people, however, the reasons for their laughter go much deeper. They laugh at those who stutter, or make fun of people with physical disabilitiies. They find it humorous when they see others in pain, or take pleasure in humiliating people. For me, there is nothing funny about any of this.

The emotion of pleasure-in-others'-misfortune (Schadenfreude in German) is generally regarded as morally evil. Some people do this to feel superior to others, particularly someone whom one doesn’t like. Things get worrisome when one takes pleasure less in the justness or absurdity of the misfortune, and more in the victim’s pain and suffering, that crosses the line into sadistic pleasure.

Your recognition of and empathy with the victim, however, sets you far apart from this extreme group; your tinge of conscience is the proof.

Your moral compass is working wonderfully; you need not worry.

P.S.: I have used “moral compass” in a previous response to a question regarding Donald Trump and company. I happened to Google it and got this as the top response:

mor·al com·pass


  1. used in reference to a person's ability to judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly.

"he is by no means the only senior politician who has mislaid his moral compass"

The above direct quote was taken from my Quora answer. Thank you, Google.

Is it morally wrong to laugh at someone who stumbles, falls or slips?


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