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  #1  
Old 02-22-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default Is stealing wrong?

Is stealing ethically wrong? Are there exceptions? Who should decide what are the exceptions and what are not?

Is stealing a 5,000 dollar computer program (program, no physical value) and never paying for it wrong?

Is stealing a 5,000 dollar program (program, no physical value) and then buying it when you have enough money wrong?

Is stealing a new song wrong?

Is stealing an old song wrong?

Is it right for a poor person to steal food to survive?

Is it right to steal from the rich?

What do you think? Do you like how every statement in here was a question?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Ive always felt like stealing is stealing no matter how big or small something was. Its wrong to take something that is not yours. Some people may argue that its not wrong for a man to steal bread to feed his family but what about the man that is working to feed his family.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Could the man who was stolen from afford to continue feeding his family?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Is stealing a 5,000 dollar computer program (program, no physical value) and never paying for it wrong?

Yes. The program is intellectual property. Even though it has no physical value, it required time and effort from the programmer. So it is the programmer's property to sell, and it's his right to charge for it.

Is stealing a 5,000 dollar program (program, no physical value) and then buying it when you have enough money wrong?

It depends. If you have a prior arrangement, it's fine. But if you steal it, the programmer has the right to get mad.

Is stealing a new song wrong?
Is stealing an old song wrong?
Probably. Again, it depends. New song, the people who own will probably charge for it, which means it is not ethical to steal it. Old songs are usually on the market free, which means that the owners of the song relinquished their property to the public.


Is it right for a poor person to steal food to survive?

Most of the time. If there is no other way to survive, then it is ethical to steal the food, but only in the amount neccesary for survival.

Is it right to steal from the rich?

Most of the time, it is unethical. The ONLY time it is right is if they gained by stealing what's yours, and even that's a grey area.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Stealing the stolen and stealing from the dead are gray areas, but there is no type of stealing that is always permissible.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Maybe its easy to justify stealing based on what it is your stealing. Like those commercials say you wouldn't steal a tv, you wouldn't steal a purse...so dont illegally download.
I for one dont download anything. If I want something I buy it. My roommates on the other hand dont feel bad about taking anything off the internet.

Downloading effects jobs all across the board. The company that prints them, the company that makes the cover art, the shipping companys, and finally the record company. The big picture should not be neglected .
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Unreal Shadow Tracker View Post
Maybe its easy to justify stealing based on what it is your stealing. Like those commercials say you wouldn't steal a tv, you wouldn't steal a purse...so dont illegally download.
I for one dont download anything. If I want something I buy it. My roommates on the other hand dont feel bad about taking anything off the internet.

Downloading effects jobs all across the board. The company that prints them, the company that makes the cover art, the shipping companys, and finally the record company. The big picture should not be neglected .
The Internet creates more jobs than any printing company can offer nowadays. Technology is advancing, and hard copies of things are becoming outdated. I cannot say I feel anything, for I embrace that type of change.

If you think about it, however, stealing something on the internet is not as damaging as stealing a physical item. So while it could still be considered a bad thing to do, it is not as bad, in my opinion.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pe2k Voices
Internet creates more jobs than any printing company can offer nowadays. Technology is advancing, and hard copies of things are becoming outdated. I cannot say I feel anything, for I embrace that type of change.

If you think about it, however, stealing something on the internet is not as damaging as stealing a physical item. So while it could still be considered a bad thing to do, it is not as bad, in my opinion.
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.

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.

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.

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

Quote:
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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Old 03-10-2012, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny_C.002 View Post
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.
This logic doesn't make much sense to me. If artists sometimes depend on pirating to get noticed, then money should not be a part of the equation. For example, if I'm pirating music and a particular band or artist is brought to my attention, I'm not going to buy their music, when I've already been pirating in the first place. I'll just continue to pirate their music. There is almost no motivation to buy music in this fairly common scenario, eliminating much, or possibly all of that "gray area". I fail to see the logic behind illegally downloading music and proceeding to buy it. That being said, I would call your "case point" both a strange and unusual rarity.

Then you could argue that there is a long-term flux of money with big events that depend on how well the artist is known, like concerts. But even that can't apply here because many lesser-known artists don't have many of these events anyway. If they do, it's likely not on a large scale, so the crowd that hears about them from pirating should be almost negligible. It might apply more to mainstream artists that are known worldwide, in which case both the small audience and miniscule change in money do not matter anyway.



Quote:
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.
It is because this topic is so ambiguous that there are so many other options to those that are starving. There are some scenarios where the only viable option is stealing food for survival. But this is just such a specific situation, and often there are other possible solutions. Have people in this family attempted to find work? Is it possible for them to find work? What other food resources are available? Where the family lives plays a large role in this as well. Does the family live in or near a large metropolis where there are likely homeless shelters or locations where they can do odd jobs for a few bucks?

These are a few of many random questions that greatly affect the individual circumstances of those who consider the option of theft. Well if stealing is an option for you, then you have to weigh the consequences in the high probability scenario that you are caught. Perhaps you're given a slap on the wrist and told to get out. Maybe you're locked up for some time. In some areas of the world, you can be killed. Is it worth taking the chance when there is probably another option with less drastic consequences? It depends solely on the case and the thought-process of the starving victim, as well as the value of the lives involved and the graveness of the situation at hand.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

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Originally Posted by Exon Auxus View Post


This logic doesn't make much sense to me. If artists sometimes depend on pirating to get noticed, then money should not be a part of the equation. For example, if I'm pirating music and a particular band or artist is brought to my attention, I'm not going to buy their music, when I've already been pirating in the first place. I'll just continue to pirate their music. There is almost no motivation to buy music in this fairly common scenario, eliminating much, or possibly all of that "gray area". I fail to see the logic behind illegally downloading music and proceeding to buy it. That being said, I would call your "case point" both a strange and unusual rarity.

Then you could argue that there is a long-term flux of money with big events that depend on how well the artist is known, like concerts. But even that can't apply here because many lesser-known artists don't have many of these events anyway. If they do, it's likely not on a large scale, so the crowd that hears about them from pirating should be almost negligible. It might apply more to mainstream artists that are known worldwide, in which case both the small audience and miniscule change in money do not matter anyway.
I don't think that it's as uncommon as you think with people who pirate and buy CD's for artists that they really like. In general there is motivation in it that most people nowadays don't want to deal with the hassel of file sharing websites and what not. It's not an uncommon scenario for one to just buy songs on itunes afterwards for any particular artist. Hence why these services have been doing well in the music market. It's certainly very much grey area.

However, it is known that artists make most of their money from concerts rather than from the music CD's themselves. Them being known on a wide scale without having to spend millions to pay to get onto the radio itself is in itself worth more for the artist economically speaking. Record companies, on the other hand, does make their money from CD sales. With that, it should be stated that this is why record companies and not artists are so much against pirating of music.

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Originally Posted by Exon Auxus View Post
It is because this topic is so ambiguous that there are so many other options to those that are starving. There are some scenarios where the only viable option is stealing food for survival. But this is just such a specific situation, and often there are other possible solutions. Have people in this family attempted to find work? Is it possible for them to find work? What other food resources are available? Where the family lives plays a large role in this as well. Does the family live in or near a large metropolis where there are likely homeless shelters or locations where they can do odd jobs for a few bucks?

These are a few of many random questions that greatly affect the individual circumstances of those who consider the option of theft. Well if stealing is an option for you, then you have to weigh the consequences in the high probability scenario that you are caught. Perhaps you're given a slap on the wrist and told to get out. Maybe you're locked up for some time. In some areas of the world, you can be killed. Is it worth taking the chance when there is probably another option with less drastic consequences? It depends solely on the case and the thought-process of the starving victim, as well as the value of the lives involved and the graveness of the situation at hand.
The question is the morality of stealing, after all. There has to be certain cut off points for when things become "moral". Where you place that cut off point is another matter. And yes, this should be discussed in the context that the majority of humanity itself has to deal with the exact issue that they either have the option of starving or stealing because of the hierarchal structure we live in. Take a random man in rural Bengladesh and you suddenly find yourself to be in a situation where a large number of the questions you propose either doesn't exist or they don't matter at all.

Whether or not the consequences of getting caught is not of the essence of this discussion.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

Yes, stealing is wrong, no matter why you do that.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

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Yes, stealing is wrong, no matter why you do that.
If you believe that, you would definitely have to be the most emotionally detached person I have met on here.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Is stealing wrong?

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Originally Posted by Kenny_C.002 View Post
I don't think that it's as uncommon as you think with people who pirate and buy CD's for artists that they really like. In general there is motivation in it that most people nowadays don't want to deal with the hassel of file sharing websites and what not. It's not an uncommon scenario for one to just buy songs on itunes afterwards for any particular artist. Hence why these services have been doing well in the music market. It's certainly very much grey area.

However, it is known that artists make most of their money from concerts rather than from the music CD's themselves. Them being known on a wide scale without having to spend millions to pay to get onto the radio itself is in itself worth more for the artist economically speaking. Record companies, on the other hand, does make their money from CD sales. With that, it should be stated that this is why record companies and not artists are so much against pirating of music.
I don't think that's a strong point. The "hassle of file sharing" is not necessarily a strong motivator to stop pirating. If it were, then the users would likely not be pirating in the first place to avoid this hassle altogether. Also, in most cases, pirating is rather easy and requires only a couple of clicks to get music, with the biggest drawback being the possibility of getting viruses. Moreover, there are many other low-risk programs that consumers use to obtain music. Hundreds of thousands of people use "Youtube to MP3" converters and get their music in no more than a mere 5 seconds. Of course, this is just one of many methods to get music for free.

But with so many ways to get their hands on free music in just seconds, I cannot find any remotely logical reason as to why they would stop downloading free music upon discovery of some new artist. In fact, it should promote piracy even more. Imagine that you are a collector of different varieties of something small, like small carvings or sculptures. You have a vendor who has a vast array of choices, and is willing you give you what you want for free. While searching through his wares, you see a group of carvings with new designs that interest you. How much sense does it make to:

A) Leave the location that has everything you want already.
B) Pay at another location when you can already get what you want free where you are now.
C) Stop what you have already been doing and follow a course of action that is obviously less cost efficient than what you were doing at first.

If there is honestly a strong, logical reason behind this that I’m missing, I would like to know.

Quote:
The question is the morality of stealing, after all. There has to be certain cut off points for when things become "moral". Where you place that cut off point is another matter. And yes, this should be discussed in the context that the majority of humanity itself has to deal with the exact issue that they either have the option of starving or stealing because of the hierarchal structure we live in. Take a random man in rural Bengladesh and you suddenly find yourself to be in a situation where a large number of the questions you propose either doesn't exist or they don't matter at all.

Whether or not the consequences of getting caught is not of the essence of this discussion.
In a topic titled, “Is Stealing Wrong”, it is fair to argue whether or not it is a wise choice to steal because that can often help answer the question of whether or not it is morally sound. Take this instance with two possible sub-examples. There is a man running toward a river, away from a swarm of savage beasts in some jungle. The man has a gun with one bullet, and knows that he can’t outrun the beasts. He also knows that if, and when, they catch him, they’ll beat the living hell out of him before they finally kill him. In example A, the man kills himself to avoid a painful death. In example B, the man keeps running and eventually reaches the river where, to his luck, there is a boat passing by. He’s saved.

This example could be picked apart on its likelihood and tested on its relevance and whatnot, but the essence of our discussion is still there. The point is that there was a more favorable situation for the man, and he found it by examining his circumstances and not making a rash decision.

Different “starving situations” can be so variable that it would be silly to make a cut and dry assumption that the person in question must starve or steal to survive. The original post itself presents a lot of different scenarios that ask you if it's alright to steal under given circumstances. Sure, the varying conditions of starving people act as a subtopic under the question of starvation or theft, but in a topic with so many probable and different conditions, it is rather inaccurate to make such a statement across the board.
Quote:
And yes, this should be discussed in the context that the majority of humanity itself has to deal with the exact issue that they either have the option of starving or stealing because of the hierarchal structure we live in. Take a random man in rural Bengladesh and you suddenly find yourself to be in a situation where a large number of the questions you propose either doesn't exist or they don't matter at all.
Also, I’d like clarification on this. How does the “hierarchical structure” that we live in allow us to deal with this situation in this cut and dry context? It’s obvious that humans live in a hierarchical structure. That’s why some of us are starving and others aren’t. But I don’t understand why this gives any validity to what you were saying.
And you've indirectly proven my point yourself by selecting a specific scenario, out of many possible ones, and explaining how some of the specific circumstances, or absences thereof, affect one's position to steal. It’s not that those questions don’t exist, you’ve just answered “No” to them, thereby forming a particular situation that should be analyzed independent of others that differ from it.
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