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Sadism is the taking of pleasure in inflicting pain or suffering on others.

This is morally wrong if the victim is innocent, or does not consent. Although it becomes difficult if the victim desires punishment, in which case the denial of inflicting pain would be more cruel than physical punishment.

More difficulty arises in passive sadism: if, for example, a jailer with a fulltime job takes passive satisfaction in watching the inmates suffer their imprisonment; he harms none and it makes him more attentive to his job, and he takes no actions to further their suffering.