Passivity, when considered as a virtue either by religions or secular authorities, can be interpreted as a justification for inaction in the face of social problems and human suffering. Essentially this is a failure to distinguish between checking the instinct of revenge for personal or collective injury, and active concern to remedy the sufferings of others. Such absence of moral resentment, in the presence of oppression, lawless wrong-doing, or trampling on the rights of others, undermines social organization. Mere passivity on the part of a group or nation whose just rights and liberties were imperilled would mean the abdication of its true place and function. Equally forms of passivity enjoined upon people by such groups to discourage formation of coalitions against inequities constitutes a direct hindrance to human and social development.
Certain religions, notably Christianity and Buddhism, strongly advocate passivity, passive obedience and submissiveness, and passive endurance in the face of the pressure of the hostility and hatred of the world. Whilst this may be understood as being the spirit which recognizes that suffering is an indispensable law of the spiritual life, it can also be interpreted as justifying inaction on social problems.