Tax evasion is no more moral than theft or fraud or assault or any other crime.
I can't agree with that as it is too broad.
Perhaps 'scroupulously honest' is the wrong phrase but there can be no crime without a victim. If I deprive 33 million Canadians out of $13 worth of sales tax is there a real victim or just a theoretical victim? This is not the same as the Royal Bank of Canada legally avoiding taxes on $billions worth of economic activity. Illegality and immorality are not synonymous.
No, I am not saying that my crime could have been worse. I am saying that, although it is illegal, it is not a crime. And even though the accounting prowess of the Royal Bank of Canada is, most likely, perfectly legal, it may not be moral.
Amazing how you can make up your own definitions to justify behavior.
Yes, I realize that I am against the grain. Tell me though, when you hear the word crime do not imagine a victim?
I have one rule and that is to treat others as I would be treated. If you have a tree and choose to cut it down and sell it to your neighbour I honestly do not feel that I have any right to any portion of the deal. If you are a bank earning billions off of the day to day economy of the nation I think that you owe something to the nation.
You are absolutely right that if I do something illegal then I am labelled a criminal but it is not me who has usurped the definition.
It does not matter what you consider right or wrong, if it is illegal then it is a crime.
Yes of course comrade citizen.
A crime requires a victim. Not a theoretical victim but a flesh and blood victim who can demonstrate that they have been harmed in some way. In most cases, illegal activity is criminal but not always. Rosa Parks broke the law but committed no crime. The protesters in Syria are apparently in opposition to the law. Are they criminals? What crime did Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn commit and against who? Or the gay Iranians that hang from the gallows. Or the pot smokers. Crimes against the state are just like crimes against god, they don’t exist. You need a person suffering on the other end. So no, I don’t agree that all illegal activity is criminal. We all have a sense of right and wrong and it precedes the law. The law is dependant on it and you have an obligation as a sentient being to follow your conscience before the law.
Stealing is criminal and it is a crime because there is a victim not because it is against the law. We allow it to be against the law because it is a crime. When you work it your way we end up with laws that turn citizens into criminals.
Is the corollary then true that if it is not illegal then it is not a crime?
In the land of simple definitions, does your right to property trump my right to life? If I steal a loaf of bread to avoid starvation is that really a crime? It is certainly illegal and it is certainly theft but is it a crime? If I legally manage to obtain all the bread and then allow you to starve is that not a crime even though perfectly legal?
My brother and I were discussing the looming apocalypse. The question was, ‘would you shoot someone who came to pilfer your potatoes?’ Are we obliged to defend our potatoes or should we starve together?
In any event, I don't understand the distinction between criminal and non-criminal behavior being made in this thread.
We are examining the justifications for theft. An examination of what constitutes a theft seems to be in order. If some cases of theft are not actually crimes is that not pertinent?
Jar keeps insisting, without support beyond an appeal to popularity, that anything illegal is, by definition, criminal. I disagree and assert that determining what constitutes a crime comes before any law defines it. The crime exists with or without the law that forbids it. When you understand this you understand that going through a red light at a deserted intersection is not a crime.
If we were to determine that stealing a loaf of bread when motivated by hunger is in fact not a crime does this not impact the question of why people the steal?
What I mean is...our company would usually turn a blind eye to shoplifting, racking it up as a necessary expense of doing business...and would then go after labor as a bottom line expense! In other words, these people were indirectly affecting my job!
Sorry Phat, I didn't mean to derail the topic. I am not sure what my point is other than to look at the fuzzy edges of the issue.
What the corp. is doing to it's employees is also theft. The arbitrary distinction is that it is not illegal.