incomplete wonderings on dignity

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As long as people feel a sense of dignity, they will do no harm.  

Is this a true statement? It seems possible to think of an example illustrating the exact opposite. What about the wealthy businessperson who’s taking advantage of others less financially fortunate than them? Presumably, this businessperson has full access to their rights as a human being. In fact, it’s possible they have the best access to their rights. More so than the poor.

Yet, I wonder if there’s a deeper understanding of dignity. Is it possible that an absence of dignity could be undetectable? Is it possible that by taking advantage of others with less resources, the business person is diminishing their own quality of dignity, unbenounced to them?

In other words, is dignity interpersonal? Do the actions of one person have bearing upon the dignity of another person at the receiving end of those actions? Perhaps.  

But is it possible to take someone’s dignity without them also giving it up? For one’s dignity to be taken, they must choose to relinquish it. Perhaps.

There’s yet another piece to this, however. Dignity is not a contained entity to be completely lost. A malicious assault on one’s dignity may be inherently injurious. It may simply be a fact that this attack hurts dignity. The only part we can play then, is determining how deep this hurt goes…