Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 3 weeks ago

Why is stealing wrong?

84 Answers

  • 2 weeks ago

    Such a simple question, but so inflammatory...  I read a lot of the other answers, and many of them say something to the effect of, "because it is a sin" or, "look at the Ten Commandments", and while that is true, it doesn't answer WHY it is a law or why it is a commandment.  If God handed down a commandment that said "Don't try to run a mass spectrometer on a Tuesday after the full moon while standing on only your left leg eating a Twinkie if your sister is pregnant." we'd have to wonder why.  ...but we don't really have to wonder why he told us to not steal.  A lot of people don't like to examine, and for other people to examine the word of God because they think that everybody is looking for a loophole, e.g. "You're on the pill and I'll wear a condom, soooo, I think we're golden." 

      Let's take a look at what it means to steal.  All the way back in the Garden of Eden, there really wasn't anything TO steal, heck they didn't even have any clothes, and everything was there for them to use, so they could walk up and just use anything that happened to be lying around without worrying about who owned it.  Even the Cain and Able story wasn't about property, Cain killed Able because of the way the smoke moved off of their burnt offerings!  Yeah. 

      The tail end of the neolithic started to see subtle crowding, and that's where I think we begin to see laws about theft.  Other respondents have said things to the effect of, "Well, how would that make you feel?" or "I guess you've never had your stuff stolen huh?"  That argument probably won't work on someone who has no empathy.

      Let's be sure of one thing; Even animals have property.  It is usually food.  Often it is territory.  A lot of mammals treat their females as property, especially the migratory ungulates who have hooves and can't pick up anything, and they all constantly move along, so all the focus is on the cows, and group dynamic is everything.  A den or nesting site is usually treated as property if the animal nests (birds, some primates, and rodents)  Leopards drag their kills up into trees to protect them from other less agile carnivores, so, it is something that they aren't using right now, that they want to protect and they are upset if it is taken away; a pretty good definition of property.  That said, you can't blame property ownership, and also theft on the human being alone, because animals do it too.

      There were places in recorded history that were still empty enough that people could have a disagreement and say, why don't we just split all the land in half and you go to the east and I'll go to the west, and the world was still empty enough to do that and make it work.  Genesis 13:(5-17)  Now the world is too crowded and we're all stepping on each other's toes so we actually need to have rule of law. 

      That's another problem with stealing; when people get upset about having their stuff stolen, they'll often take matters into their own hands, and while thrilling and lusty and viscerally satisfying as that may be, it unravels society.  All you have to do is live somewhere where most of the people are stealing stuff all of the time...(Hint: It Suuuuucks!)  After a while, you don't even try to have stuff anymore, (If you are a pacifist ) "They can't steal what's not there!"  The other people in that situation are like, "Yeah, I steal stuff, but anybody that steals MY STUFF, I'll break all of his fingers!"  and some of you may be going, "Wow! Neato!" because it gets your blood pumping, but let me tell you, it suuuuuucks!  A lot of the people that are caught in that situation just stop even trying to excel, because they know any gains they get will just be wiped out anyway, which is intrinsically bad for society.  They become suspicious and wary of transactions, (and the REALLY don't want to invest in anything)  I guess they are like the low-ability steward who was only given one talent, they bury their talent. 

      Think of a snack machine.  You have been trained to perform a reciprocal action, an exchange.  The honey buns you want cost a dollar fifteen.  All you have are ones and fives, no loose change.  You trust,(YES TRUST) that if you insert two ones you will probably get BOTH the honey buns AND eighty-five cents in change.  If there is a glitch in the machine you can call the company on the side of the machine and get some kind of remedy that balances the scales.  What if, instead, after you put in your two dollars and press "E 7" the honey buns don't get stuck or something, the helix doesn't even budge, and the illuminated readout says,"HA HA, SCREW YOU!  WE'RE KEEPING YOUR $2.00"  ...well, you might think the machine has been hacked.  If they clear it up right away you might use those machines again, but if that was the new normal then alternately, (if you were a pacifist) just stop trying to buy anything from a snack machine, or (if you're into gratuitous violence) go down and get your handy sledge hammer out of the trunk of your car and smash through the machine, and get your honey buns and a couple of other things to make up for them putting you through this.  If they get many of their machines smashed, they just pull all of their snack machines and concentrate on food trucks etc. 

      Either way, the transaction is broken.  If the pacifists quit buying, the company loses its revenue stream.  If snack machines start getting smashed on a regular basis (regardless of whether or not the machine is eating people's dollars without compensation) the company loses product AND equipment.  This may happen to whole civilizations.  No, really, if all the transactions cease, or you can't keep anything anymore, it's time to move on to greener pastures, and a endemic culture of stealing may be one of the tings that eventually produces a ghost town.

      tl;dr  I guess it bogs down all human interaction, creates suspicion, invites wrath, vengeance, and retribution (even if mistaken: "OOPS! guess it wasn't you after can get by with just a left hand."), and it turns away kindness, charity, and forgiveness.

  • 3 weeks ago

    It reduces the victim's survival, because the more you have the more you survive, and survival is what the universe wants you to do and what our primary drive is. What is the point of an eternity of evolution, if evolution's goal of creating humans is jeopardized by humans killing each other?

  • 3 weeks ago

    Because it is. It's not something that is learned it's innate in our nature. Example: Two toddlers, one eating a treat. One toddler steals the treat from the other. The toddler with the treat begins eating the treat and enjoys it until the other toddler begins crying and reaching to grab it back. The toddler with the treat is compelled to give it back to stop the crying and or avoid Mom/Dad finding out. If the toddler devours the treat him/herself that toddler (person) is already hard wired towards criminal behavior, deemed wrong by most civilized societies.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Do whatever you want to do man...................

    • Lily3 weeks agoReport

      Yo, obviously they didn't actually give a **** about their answer. If you're so quick to put someone down based on their words then you're no better than a thief my dude.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    It's all based on the trade system. Person A will give item X to Person B *if* Person B gives in return item Y (provides labour) to secure value. Basically, you can't just take anything off the shelf and walk out the store unless you pay for it, therefore securing your labor (hard earned money). It's like a sacrifice, though not really the right word.

    The trading system has existed in all cultures, from almost the beginning of humanity, and is universally agreed upon as fair to everyone. Trading is a two way street, like a lot of other things in life.

  • 3 weeks ago

    You mean all those white-collar criminals out there are wrong? I guess somebody forgot to tell them. I think that they were just under the impression that they were “making America great again”. After all, this country was built on corruption and theft. Actual historical scholars know this. Anybody that studies factual, non-sanitized American history is aware of this. Google “American robber barons”, etc. Sorry but a lot of you people who answered this are very naïve. I guess that’s how people like trump get elected. You don’t understand how the game is played in post Industrial Revolution corporate America, apparently. It wasn’t that long ago, up until mid-1930s I believe, that child labor was legal in this country and children died working LONG hours WITHOUT breaks, ill-clothed and malnourished and often sick, in factories because their parents were probably afraid of the consequences of ‘stealing’ some food to keep their families alive, while the criminal, psychopathic, conscience-less robber barons who owned those factories lived in extravagant comfort with their families, not caring about the children or their parent in those horrendous working conditions who were sick and dying while they worked themselves into early graves. There were no safety laws for workers in those days and certainly no health insurance. You people are so ignorant, you really need to study the history of this country. If ‘stealing’ is wrong, how are all the extremely wealthy people in this country right now getting away with avoiding paying taxes by stashing their vast sums of money money in offshore accounts in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands etc.? While people who don’t make nearly as much money are forced to pay for services which those rich people also use, but are not paying for??? Stealing. What about all those multi billion dollar corporations that pay no corporate taxes whatsoever? What about credit cards charging usurious interest to people who wouldn’t be able to survive unless they used those cards and can never pay back that money because the unterest is so exhorbitant and keeps accumulating? Do those wealthy banks need that money as much as that poor person who can’t pay it back and is trying to survive and feed his family? Do you realize every time you open a savings account in a bank they are using your money to make large profits from loans given out to other people while giving you hardly anything at all and interest? But you don’t consider that stealing I suppose do you? Because it’s done by people that you cannot see in corporate offices, hidden from view. People who live in mansions with security hired to jeep out people like you, who have accumulated that kind of immense wealth by stealing from people like you.You must be joking. How about rich people like trump whom many of you I assume voted for in your ignorance, habitually stealing from smaller, non-Mafia building contractors by not paying them and taking them to court instead on some phony ‘trumped up’ excuse that they didn’t do the  job right to avoid paying them because he could spend more money on legal fees that they could? And then getting some big-name contractor to finish what’s left of the job so that he can put their names on the finished product, but he won’t screw them over because they’re usually affiliated with organized crime. This has all been documented by the way. And that way he still comes out ahead, financially,  at the end? He learned all these techniques at daddy’s knee. Daddy introduced him to all the wiseguys and the politicians in New York City who could be paid off. He learned his lessobs well, Trump Jr. did. You don’t think any of those smaller contractors he screwed over had families  to feed? While Trump and his family live like royalty? Or how about him declaring multiple bankruptcies and screwing his creditors? Or setting up phony shell businesses for money laundering purposes? You don’t consider that ‘stealing’? And many of you defend him, saying that he’s NOT a criminal? That people like him DON’T steal?

     Yet you would condemn somebody who steals the loaf of bread, wouldn’t you? Stealing, stealing, stealing. It’s all stealing but when rich people do it, it’s not REALLY stealing, correct ? Only when desperate, poor people do it, right? To just survive  and try to make sure their family survive.Not to live in mansions and drive expensive cars and eat at expensive restaurants every night. Just to survive. Again, you people are extremely naïve and hypocritical, And while we’re talking about ‘breaking commandments’, let’s talk about another commandment, how about “Thou shall not kill”?  That’s a “twofer” for many of these white collar criminal types. Think of all the rich pharmaceutical company CEOs who are head up Big Pharma companies that make multi billions of dollars a year giving people opioids and psychiatric drugs and other substances which they know to be deadly and addictive and which have killed hundreds of thousands if not millions of people over the decades? For a profit.  They get rich by making suffering people suffer more and even die,  and do you think they lose any sleep at night over it? Of course not. You’re too busy playing golf to worry about it. How about all these wealthy Republican politicians taking bribes from the NRA and therefore refusing to institute anti-gun legislation because they’ve taken those bribes? Greed. And they’re accessories to murder as well with blood  on their hands from all those kids who died in school shootings. But it’s not a problem for their kids because their kids all go to private schools. With the help of all that bribe money. And over 60% of the individuals while  committed those mass shootings were on Bug Pharma psychiatric drugs by the way? Are you aware of that? You see all the connections here?Again, it’s all about greed and profit. It’s this kind of “business as usual” white-collar corruption and greed and psychopathy that set this country apart from other technologically advanced countries. Get your heads on straight people.  Would you condemn any of these wealthy white collar criminals who destroy people’s lives for a profit?? Or do you just condemn the people who steal the loaf of bread? You people need to learn something. If Christ came back here today who do you think he would be more angry at? The white-collar criminals who steal and kill for a profit without conscience and don’t even need that blood money, or the person who steals the loaf of bread from the supermarket to feed his family because he doesn’t have a job and has no other way of keeping his children alive? Are you people serious? Or just so successfully brainwashed by those who suck the life blood out of you for their own profit, despite the luxuries and financial security they and their families enjoy which many of you will never have?

  • 3 weeks ago

    If you take something of someone without their consent, usurp, or do so illegally(through means of burglary), then that's wrong. It's selfish.

    Stealing can also mean other things. I.e., robbing a person of their glory or praise.

    Greed. Not repaying a debt(a loaned money), denying someone of their happiness or freedom, e.t.c. 

    Basically, claiming or taking something that is not yours. 

    (Counterfeit is another form of theft)

    Other times, though, people steal out of desperation. That's just life; the desire to live, survive.

  • 3 weeks ago

    in the current and perpetual civilization we have it creates problems. there is also scarcity issues that technology has yet to discover or implement completely.

  • 3 weeks ago

    If you have to ask I can only suppose that nobody has ever stolen anything from you. It deprives someone of something that is rightfully theirs, usually something that they have worked hard to get and sometimes something they really need or rely on.

    • Lily3 weeks agoReport

      Well said. The person asking has lived a blessed life lol

  • 3 weeks ago

    Also, why did god wait until giving the Ten Commandments to Moses to let humanity know this important detail.

    I mean, how much stealing would have been prevented if revealed earlier.   Was stealing OK prior to Moses?  Were we too primitive to understand?  

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