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Old 03-01-2012, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Originally Posted by Exon Auxus View Post

Much of society's dealings are still done on paper. Many important business contracts are in paper, most textbooks and readings are in paper, and many others. And while society is experiencing a shift toward paperless communication, it will take a significantly large amount of time for "paperwork" to become obsolete.
Paperwork will have a place for sure. It won't be gone for the foreseeable future.

Originally Posted by Exon Auxus View Post
Also, whether or not stealing in one area is "as bad" as another area doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be done.
However, it is also true that just because something isn't lawful doesn't mean it is also morally wrong as well. We can therefore conclude that something that isn't lawful isn't necessarily something that shouldn't be done. There is ambiguity there and certainly even the action of stealing something physical (like money) can even be lawful, as shown by the banking industry.

Originally Posted by Exon Auxus View Post
Stealing music, for example, inhibits income of the artist, the managers, and the production companies. Stealing a man's wallet effectively reduces the amount of money he has, making these two acts similar. One could argue that the man lost money that he actually owned while the artist lost money that could potentially be acquired, but the end result is still the same - lack of cash.
Stealing music implies that it is a physical CD one is stealing. If you are talking about pirating, which is a much more grey zone issues, then we can begin a discussion.

The issue of the matter is that you cannot definitively say that pirating a particular song will inhibit the income of artists, managers, and production companies. What's missing from your equation are the gained sales from pirating. Several bands in the past relied on Napster in order for people to notice them and end up buying their albums. Even now with the advent of the 99 cent song downloads free distribution of songs certainly help. Case in point, many artists such as Sarah McLaughlin are against the draconian music industry offenses against pirating.

Secondarily, what you provided was an extrapolation and nothing more. Record companies did that long ago and was already shot down because it is nothing more than an extrapolation. It is difficult to separate the numbers of "pirate, and would not buy anyway", "pirate, bought it", and "pirate, but would have bought it if it couldn't be pirated". Hence grey area.

Case in point, I never knew moumoon existed until I randomly downloaded one of their songs. I currently own 3 albums by moumoon and 1 more is coming in the mail soon. Had there been no free distribution of this music, moumoon would have seen a strict 4 less album sales because I was never exposed to it.

Originally Posted by Exon Auxus View Post
I had always believed that stealing is justifiable in the interest of preserving a human life, but this only applies in time sensitive and dangerous situations. While providing food for a starving family is important, it is far less time sensitive than something like an officer stealing a car to stop a deranged maniac who plans to blow up an airport. The latter is more directly justified, while the former has many other, more favorable options that vary on a case-by-case basis.
It'd be nice if kids don't work in sweat shops and get to go to school, but the only other option is death by starvation. There will always be morally ambiguious situations to any act. I think that you are downplaying the situations of the many who are starving, because often there are no favourable options as imposed by societal constraints.
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