Is it a sin to laugh at someone's reaction because they were scared?


#1

Hey everyone. If someone suddenly gets scared and screams or something, is it a sin to laugh about it if you think their reaction is funny?


#2

No, I don’t think so. It’s like watching “funny videos,” where someone falls or gets hit by a baseball. Your laughing is in itself a reaction.


#3

You just summarized the basis for a lot of comedy.
People have an reaction to the unexpected. Like the punch line of a good joke.
Although I must admit I really dislike the shows who constantly present people injuring themselves as “hilarious”. But in general, no, it’s not inherently sinful. It’s a normal reaction.


#4

Not inherently sinful, but people can get carried away and make a funny situation deeply unpleasant by vindictiveness. If someone falls down and gets hurt, some people laugh and laugh and forget that the hurt person is actually hurt and needs help. Maybe the best thing to do is laugh WITH the startled/scared person rather than AT them.

Example: I was playing racquetball with some friends and got pegged in the eye–I was startled and so I screamed like a little girl. My friends have NEVER let me forget about it (so I don’t play racquetball with them anymore). What they did was not sinful, I suppose, but it sure is annoying :slight_smile:


#5

I would say no, especially if it is spontaneous and you have been caught off guard. I can imagine we have all done it.

Now to laugh at someone’s fear on a regular basis, or to make fun of that fear, that would be a sin. It would at least show a lack of compassion.


#6

One of the great comedians once said, “Everything is funny if it happens to someone else.” It may have been Will Rogers, but I’m not sure.


#7

Once, at work, I fell. I exclaimed, in an “exaggerated” voice: “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” expecting to get my co-workers to laugh. As long as no one is hurt and the person is not offended–laughter can counter-act the fear in a positive way!


#8

Depends. If it’s accidental or they are a friend and you’re laughing with them then it’s ok. But if you are making fun of them or making them feel bad about it then it’s being unkind to your neighbours.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.