I don't mind stealing bread

<p>From the mouths of decadence
But I can't feed on the powerless
When my cup's already overfilled
</p>

<p>So, philosophical question: When, if at all, is it morally acceptable to steal?</p>

<p>I consider it as such: It is more morally right when the person being stolen from is rich. It is more morally right when the person doing the stealing needs the stolen thing to survive (bread, money for food, etc), or will be giving the stolen thing to someone who does. Basically, when greed is taken out of the act, and the person being stolen from is not being put at risk of starvation or homelessness or undue hardship.</p>

<p>Thoughts?</p>

<p>

Never. </p>

<p>
[quote]
I consider it as such: It is more morally right when the person being stolen from is rich.

[/quote]

Since when does the quantity of wealth a person possesses have to do with morality? Is it more or less moral to rape a hot chick versus an ugly chick as well? Drawing arbitrary lines with no justification is foolish.</p>

<p>
[quote]
It is more morally right when the person doing the stealing needs the stolen thing to survive (bread, money for food, etc), or will be giving the stolen thing to someone who does.

[/quote]

The victim who is being stolen from is having property taken from him/her without his/her consent and the fact that one may or may not survive without stealing does not change this fact.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Basically, when greed is taken out of the act, and the person being stolen from is not being put at risk of starvation or homelessness or undue hardship.

[/quote]

Greed? It's greedy to take something that's not yours in the first place.</p>

<p>PS- Something can't be more/less moral. Something is either moral or immoral.</p>

<p>A thief is a thief, is a thief is a thief.</p>

<p>Does the fact that I really don't care at all at 1:15 in the morning make me an amoral person?</p>

<p>^^ Correct. </p>

<p>^ No, it makes you apathetic. =P</p>

<p>
[quote]
Since when does the quantity of wealth a person possesses have to do with morality? Is it more or less moral to rape a hot chick versus an ugly chick as well? Drawing arbitrary lines with no justification is foolish.

[/quote]

It isn't arbitrary, and there is justification. There are enough resources on this planet to support all human beings living (actually, around 8 billion, so more than the number of living human beings) if the resources were distributed evenly. However, when a rich person has 1000x what they need, those are an extra 1000 people who go without what they need, or 2000 who only have half of what they need. Now think of all the billionaires and multimillionaires. The poor are poor because the rich are rich. In such a system, it is perfectly acceptable for the starving poor to steal from the decadent rich.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The victim who is being stolen from is having property taken from him/her without his/her consent and the fact that one may or may not survive without stealing does not change this fact.

[/quote]

What right do they have to excess wealth?</p>

<p>
[quote]
PS- Something can't be more/less moral. Something is either moral or immoral.

[/quote]

Ah, I love arguing over this, though I'm usually against the moral relativists. I would say that certain immoral actions are less immoral than other immoral actions, and certain morally acceptable actions are more moral than other morally acceptable actions. However, I do agree that things are either moral or immoral, though there are differing degrees. If you like, just take the word "more" out of my post.</p>

<p>But thank you for replying, it's this kind of discussion I'm looking for.</p>

<p>
[quote]
It isn't arbitrary, and there is justification. There are enough resources on this planet to support all human beings living (actually, around 8 billion, so more than the number of living human beings) if the resources were distributed evenly. However, when a rich person has 1000x what they need, those are an extra 1000 people who go without what they need, or 2000 who only have half of what they need. Now think of all the billionaires and multimillionaires. The poor are poor because the rich are rich. In such a system, it is perfectly acceptable for the starving poor to steal from the decadent rich.

[/quote]

The last sentence does not follow from the former. You have failed to give a justification why a person with $1 can steal from a person with $10. You have simply stated there are some poor people, and some rich people. </p>

<p>Just a quick bit on your economic misconceptions though. "If all resources were distributed evenly" is something I hear a lot. However, these resources only come into being via investing and production. People need an incentive to invest and produce. This incentive is almost always money. Thus, these resources would not come into being without the rich and people who want to become rich. If you take out the incentive and flat out distribute resources, then there would be no investing and production -- as there would be no incentive. </p>

<p>
[quote]
What right do they have to excess wealth?

[/quote]

"Excess wealth" is relative. They have a right to keep what they own. They have either gotten wealthy through (a) inheritance (b) investing or (c) working. You have a right to your jeans and the crumpled up $5 bill in them. A thief cannot walk up to you, take your pants off, and run away with them with the $5 in them. Just the same, other people have the right to their yachts and gold bullions. And just the same again, there is no justification for taking their yachts and gold without consent. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Ah, I love arguing over this, though I'm usually against the moral relativists. I would say that certain immoral actions are less immoral than other immoral actions, and certain morally acceptable actions are more moral than other morally acceptable actions. However, I do agree that things are either moral or immoral, though there are differing degrees. If you like, just take the word "moral" out of my post.

[/quote]

Fair enough.</p>

<p>
[quote]
But thank you for replying, it's this kind of discussion I'm looking for.

[/quote]

Thanks, I appreciate this discussion as well. I definitely have much more knowledge, expertise, and time reading on topics involving politics and economics -- but a good morality/ethics debate is fun too.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The last sentence does not follow from the former. You have failed to give a justification why a person with $1 can steal from a person with $10. You have simply stated there are some poor people, and some rich people.</p>

<p>Just a quick bit on your economic misconceptions though. "If all resources were distributed evenly" is something I hear a lot. However, these resources only come into being via investing and production. People need an incentive to invest and produce. This incentive is almost always money. Thus, these resources would not come into being without the rich and people who want to become rich. If you take out the incentive and flat out distribute resources, then there would be no investing and production -- as there would be no incentive.

[/quote]

I did not mean that a poor*er* person can steal from a rich*er* person, I meant that if someone was starving, and had no alternative, I would consider it morally acceptable to steal some bread from Walmart or $100 from a millionaire, as it would be to preserve their life (or the life of their family).</p>

<p>Also, you seem to have a misconception about resources. I meant food, water, materials for shelter, not the imaginary numbers and cotton-fiber paper we assign value and call "money". The Earth currently produces enough of the resources I refer to for 8 billion people, but so much wealth is concentrated in the top 1% that it is impossible for others to have all they need. Literally impossible. When a system is this corrupt, it is the right of those being oppressed to fundamentally alter it, or not obey the laws that oppress them.</p>

<p>
[quote]
"Excess wealth" is relative. They have a right to keep what they own. They have either gotten wealthy through (a) inheritance (b) investing or (c) working. You have a right to your jeans and the crumpled up $5 bill in them. A thief cannot walk up to you, take your pants off, and run away with them with the $5 in them. Just the same, other people have the right to their yachts and gold bullions. And just the same again, there is no justification for taking their yachts and gold without consent.

[/quote]

I hold that no person has a right to an amount of wealth that makes it impossible for all other human beings to have what they need to survive.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Thanks, I appreciate this discussion as well. I definitely have much more knowledge, expertise, and time reading on topics involving politics and economics -- but a good morality/ethics debate is fun too.

[/quote]

Politics gets worn out after years of arguing, though economics is pretty interesting. If you can't tell, I love to debate, and my next debate tournament isn't for more than a month.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The victim who is being stolen from is having property taken from him/her without his/her consent and the fact that one may or may not survive without stealing does not change this fact.

[/quote]

What right do people have to privately own anything?</p>

<p>Gotta call it a night, catch you tomorrow.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I did not mean that a poorer person can steal from a richer person, I meant that if someone was starving, and had no alternative, I would consider it morally acceptable to steal some bread from Walmart or $100 from a millionaire, as it would be to preserve their life (or the life of their family).

[/quote]

Eh, may I ask why? You haven't given a justification yet -- you're simply stating: it is morally acceptable for one to steal from the rich if one is about to die. Explain why.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Also, you seem to have a misconception about resources. I meant food, water, materials for shelter, not the imaginary numbers and cotton-fiber paper we assign value and call "money".

[/quote]

Tehe. Where do you think the food, water, materials, and shelter comes from? Businessmen must produce and invest in order to get the food, water, materials, and shelter. The production and investment for the products mentioned above are no different than the production and investment for laptops and cars.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The Earth currently produces enough of the resources I refer to for 8 billion people, but so much wealth is concentrated in the top 1% that it is impossible for others to have all they need. Literally impossible. When a system is this corrupt, it is the right of those being oppressed to fundamentally alter it, or not obey the laws that oppress them.

[/quote]

How is it oppressing to others to keep something you own? Oppression involves laws, rules, and regulations. In a free market it is impossible to oppress. Only government can oppress. </p>

<p>
[quote]
I hold that no person has a right to an amount of wealth that makes it impossible for all other human beings to have what they need to survive.

[/quote]

How and why? You're making a lot of assertions without much to back those assertions up.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Politics gets worn out after years of arguing, though economics is pretty interesting. If you can't tell, I love to debate, and my next debate tournament isn't for more than a month.

[/quote]

There is no formal debate team at my school for some reason, which is kinda annoying. Oh well.</p>

<p>I have to agree with boston1993</p>

<p>oh and billymc you are socialistic</p>

<p>is it morally right to live</p>

<p>

Where do you live? I am gonna take your house and call it mine. You will be my slave and do what I say. We will then go around to your neighbors and demand their wallets. What do you say? Since no one owns anything, it should be fine, right?</p>

<p>^^^So?</p>

<p>^^Yeah, that as well.</p>

<p>^That's my point.</p>

<p>

This is an amoral topic. There is no moral action going on here.</p>

<p>^^How is that your point? That's my point. If there were no private property, I could do anything I wanted, taking and stealing anything I wanted.</p>

<p>
[quote]

What right do people have to privately own anything?

[/quote]

This is probably a right that is recognized in the "social contract" of many societies.</p>

<p>
[quote]

The Earth currently produces enough of the resources I refer to for 8 billion people, but so much wealth is concentrated in the top 1% that it is impossible for others to have all they need. Literally impossible. When a system is this corrupt, it is the right of those being oppressed to fundamentally alter it, or not obey the laws that oppress them.

[/quote]

Is it then also the right of those top 1% to use their vast resources to prevent the alteration of their system and put down the revolt of the unwealthy?</p>

<p>
[quote]
^^How is that your point? That's my point. If there were no private property, I could do anything I wanted, taking and stealing anything I wanted.

[/quote]

My point is that Humans define rights. You can't say such-and-such is or isn't a right.</p>