"Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one's belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one's right to believe,
and obey, his own conscience." ~ Viktor Frankl
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A summary of Matt Zwolinski's criticism of the NAP, as well as summaries of multiple articles both supporting and challenging his premises.
What does it all mean? I have never cared for the term NAP as it seems somewhat limited. I take the position of "do no harm unless absolutely necessary and all common courses have been taken to settle the matter."
The meaning depends on who you ask. Your position is fairly close to most presentation of the NAP. Zwolnaski began with a fairly utilitarian assertion that the NAP was unfeasible, and followed with articles asserting that the NAP is inadequate because the principle only distinguishes acts of aggression by degree as opposed to kind.
I personally disagree with most of Zwolnaski's criticisms, but he's done a good job sparking a debate on the morality of leaving other people alone.
It makes me believe there is more emotional content inserted into debates, dialogues or discussions rather than the use of common sense. When I say common sense I mean an intuitive sense of what is right and wrong. The majority would probably cede to the idea of common sense and that it does not always have to depend upon rational thought. This gets sticky when you start considering inter-cultural differences even on this land mass. I do believe though the majority would agree with the idea of "first do no harm until all other options have been made if and only if it is immediately available" I am trying to cover my butt here to escape non-action when life is in eminent danger.
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