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Author Topic:   Why Do People Steal?
ProtoTypical
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Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


(1)
Message 82 of 270 (641385)
11-18-2011 8:06 PM


Who doesn't steal?
How many readers would engage in a cash transaction in order to avoid paying the tax? I know I would and I consider myself to be scrupulously honest. Is that theft?

I know a few people who wouldn't but they are kinda strange.


Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by jar, posted 11-18-2011 8:16 PM ProtoTypical has acknowledged this reply
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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 86 of 270 (641390)
11-18-2011 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Shield
11-18-2011 8:23 PM


Re: Who doesn't steal?
"Render unto Caesar"

Remembering, of course, that I do all kinds of rendering unto Caesar. Perhaps as much as 50% of what I earn is rendered off by the time I am done spending it.

If I buy $100 worth of fire wood from my neighbour, should I pay an additional $13 to the state?


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 90 of 270 (641396)
11-18-2011 9:25 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by jar
11-18-2011 9:03 PM


Re: Who doesn't steal?
Assume that it is illegal. Is it theft?
This message is a reply to:
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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 93 of 270 (641400)
11-18-2011 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by jar
11-18-2011 9:41 PM


Re: Who doesn't steal?
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.


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 95 of 270 (641403)
11-18-2011 10:30 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by jar
11-18-2011 10:10 PM


Re: Who doesn't steal?
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.
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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 98 of 270 (641406)
11-18-2011 10:44 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by jar
11-18-2011 10:35 PM


Re: Who doesn't steal?
If it is illegal it is a crime.

I disagree. I think that you have to hurt someone to have committed a crime and I think that if you have hurt someone then you have committed a crime regardless of the legality of your actions.


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


(1)
Message 103 of 270 (641411)
11-18-2011 11:33 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by jar
11-18-2011 10:51 PM


Re: Make up your own definition.
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.


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 115 of 270 (641518)
11-19-2011 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by jar
11-19-2011 10:25 AM


Re: Make up your own definition.
jar writes:

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 dont exist. You need a person suffering on the other end. So no, I dont 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.

This is getting away from why people steal.


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 118 of 270 (641571)
11-20-2011 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by jar
11-20-2011 12:09 AM


Re: Make up your own definition.
If it is illegal by definition it is a crime.

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?


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 129 of 270 (641628)
11-20-2011 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by NoNukes
11-20-2011 6:09 PM


Re: Make up your own definition.
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?


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1787
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 6.4


(1)
Message 133 of 270 (641653)
11-21-2011 7:01 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by Thugpreacha
11-20-2011 8:41 PM


Re: A Crime Is A Crime Is A
Phat writes:

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.


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