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Is it ever OK to steal?

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
And if yes - in what circumstances?

What kind of theft does the most damage?

What kind of theft does the least damage?

Is there any theft that happens that is legal?

:chin:

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    And if yes - in what circumstances?

    What kind of theft does the most damage?

    What kind of theft does the least damage?

    Is there any theft that happens that is legal?

    :chin:

    It's a very very fine line between when it's acceptable or not. I think theft will always be wrong, but you could be justified in certain circumstances. Perhaps a homeless child starving on the street taking an apple? You can always have an endless discussion about things like that, but whilst it's a very fine line, it's a grey line. Different things to different people.

    I think the kind of theft that does the most damage would be something that is irreplaceable, or highly sentimental, but also combined with that feeling of un safety. If people get burgled, the damage of feeling insecure and not safe can sometimes be worse.

    I don't think that theft can ever be legal, as if its theft then you would consider it to be a crime, ie the definition of the word. Otherwise you would use a word other than theft.


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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's when it gets to stealing things that cost a lot...
    Because I stole a sweet when I was little, ohmmm it was a penny sweet as well!

    I agree with mostly everything G-raffe has said!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As G Raffe says it is a very fine line.

    I'd say the worst kind of theft is burglary/stealing from friends/family or large scale fraud. These kind of things can ruin people's lives in more ways than one.

    A starving homeless person stealing a loaf of bread from Tesco/Asda does relatively little damage to anyone....

    I'd say it's never right to steal, but for some people it's sometimes necessary.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I agree with G-Raffe on the first point, about it being OK.

    I think the theft that does the worst damage is the kind that takes advantage of people's kindness, for example someone saying they need to make an urgent call and asking to borrow your phone, then running away with it. Burglary might harm a few people mentally (the ones that got burgled) but this kind hurts the entire society: it makes people afraid to be kind and at the same time makes it more difficult for people who genuinely need help to find it.

    As for when it's legal... well, that depends on one's definition of theft. You may say that theft includes illegality in its definition, in which chase it's impossible for it to be legal. Other people may think that something like taxes is a kind of theft, for example.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    And if yes - in what circumstances?

    What kind of theft does the most damage?

    What kind of theft does the least damage?

    Is there any theft that happens that is legal?

    :chin:

    I think if its ok to steal when your needs are greater than the potential consequences I.e. life or death situations. I do sometimes understand when people use that justification for stealing from huge companies - that their individual needs are greater than that of the company, but if everyone thought the same it then means that the company has losses which it passes back on to their paying customers. I guess these are thefts which do have the least damage.

    I think charitable embezzlement does the most damage. Not just to those who benefit from the charity but also the morale of those working in the charity and its reputation. Thefts which can put someone's life at risk or greatly affect them (asides those mentioned) are just as bad in my eyes - stealing copper from school roofs so that schools are closed for days, sometimes weeks, stealing medical supplies, etc.

    I guess you can legally steal someone's heart!! :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As for talk of your need being greater than that of a company, that could easily be confused with a comparison of your wants, and the companies need.


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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I meant to give an example (but my prescription-drug addled mind forgot) - small food items, hacking into wifi of companies, things that can just be written off as small "damages" by retailers. I'm not suggesting that I personally agree with this idea, but I can understand why many may see stealing a cup of coffee from Starbucks as just "sticking it to the man" - almost another form of protest against a company's market dominance or corporate attitude. I think a lot of people see music piracy as exactly that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes but with many of those things, do you need to steal wifi or just want it, do you need to commit music piracy or just want to? There's a difference between doing something through necessity, or doing something you want rather than need to do under the guise of "sticking it to the man"


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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you're Lisbeth Salander trying to help prove your innocence you need to steal wifi!! :p

    Ok, again bad examples. I know many people might do some of those things with the intention of doing over the man, but its also meeting their wants. But there also something to be said about fair access to cultural media - the cinemas price many people out of watching a film, and CDs are still fairly expensive. Yes that's not a life or death situation, but article 27 of the universal declaration of human rights states:

    " (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. "

    That could be interpreted in various ways, but I think saying that everyone should have fair and free access to the arts is one of them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can get heavily involved in the arts for a lot cheaper than going to cinemas or buying CDs.


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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also I think that line you quoted might be more aimed at oppressive regimes where such fun things are banned.


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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From experience I burglary and robbery are the worst kinds of thefts. Yes, large scale fraud may affect a lot of us but usually all you lose then are money and/or pride. Being robbed/burgled can be very traumatic experiences for the victims.

    I'd love to see burglars/robbers locked up for a hell of a lot longer than they are. As for other kinds of theft, it's difficult to quantify. Would I treat a homeless man who's stolen a pasty differently to a man who's stolen a basketful of meat? Most certainly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Examples? Even some cheap paints and a board cost more than a CD and certainly more than an MP3

    As like I said, the article from the universal Declaration of human rights can be interpreted in various ways.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    And if yes - in what circumstances?

    What kind of theft does the most damage?

    What kind of theft does the least damage?

    Is there any theft that happens that is legal?

    :chin:

    I think it's ok to steal when you need to. Like nicking a sleeping bag or some food if you're homeless and skint or whatever. Obviously the ideal situation would be people not being in that situation in the first place, but anyway.

    I think theft that does the most damage is that from charities, because it's more difficult for them to make up what's lost, whether it's in products from charity shops or people involved in the charity siphoning off large quantities of money. It used to make me really sad when I had friends who stole shit from Oxfam and the like :(

    Theft that does the least damage is from big businesses like Tesco's I think, where really a vast amount of stuff would have to be stolen to make a difference to profits or to prices for other customers.

    I'd say theft is by nature illegal. I can't think of any type of legal theft.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i wouldnt judge a hungry child or a homeless guy nicking something to eat in the same league as the burglars that ransacked my home a few days ago :(
    Its all stealing and its never ideal, but in some cases the circumstances that led someone to steal to live are more criminal in themselves than the act of stealing something and anyone with any compassion could see the difference
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    grace wrote: »
    I'd say theft is by nature illegal. I can't think of any type of legal theft.

    when the people steal from the companies, its called theft.
    when the companies steal from the people, its called making a profit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    when the people steal from the companies, its called theft.
    when the companies steal from the people, its called making a profit.

    When companies steal they call it theft. When they sell something and make a profit on it, its called trade
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Take an iPhone for example, a few companies end up making profit because of that, you don't have to have one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When companies steal they call it theft. When they sell something and make a profit on it, its called trade

    I do agree, but I think suzy's point is that often when big companies / more powerful entities commit wrongdoing, then they get away with it. Ergo, we are a society that punishes the impoverished chav fag+booze thief harshly, whilst being very understanding about the powerful rich company doing a bit of illegality on the side. I mean, obviously we all condemn it, but normally you just have to act humble and make an apology and there will be few legal consequences. You might have to move to a different position in your organisation (in exchange for a golden parachute) but, nothing like the consequences to the man on the street.
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