Stealing is looked down upon in society and more often than not, is always talked about in a negative connotation. Stealing may lead to other offensive acts such as lying or hurting other people. However, when people place emotion above reason they may be able to justify stealing in certain circumstances. Regardless of the reason provided, stealing is wrong and must not be encouraged at any cost. The extent of stealing may be debatable and some acts may not be considered as offensive as others, but the fact remains that stealing is unethical and must be avoided.
- Stealing is wrong because of several reasons. This gives place to other unethical and wrong activities in society. Younger generations may be influenced by their elders and may come to accept stealing as a normal part of life. Thus it corrupts the perceptions of younger children and gives birth to a generation of corrupt minds in the extreme scenarios.
- There may be certain situations when stealing may be considered as absolutely necessary. These situations would be those where emotion supersedes rationale. It may be considered as the only option available in some situations and under normal circumstances it would be looked down upon.
- Effects of stealing on younger generations
- Violence amongst children in forms of bullying weaker peers.
- If young children see their older family members being involved in stealing to fulfill their requirements or even if this is done for the thrill it would influence the perceptions of young children towards life negatively.
- Children may bully their peers and take away their toys or other belongings forcefully; thus, initiating violent behavior from a very young age.
- Stealing may be justified if emotions over power reason
- If a person steals to fulfill basic needs of his/her family it may be justified because of the values of the person stealing and the purpose of stealing.
- If a poor mother steals a food item for her starving children it may be justified because she loves her children and cannot see them suffer. If the woman does not have any other option to feed her starving children she may not be looked down upon by others and may be considered as needy.
- This may lead to bigger crimes being committed and may be a way of encouraging a person to steal if basic requirements are not fulfilled. The woman may be forgiven in the heat of the moment because she was forced by society to commit this crime, but later this woman may go to any extent to provide for her children through unlawful and unethical means.
- Immanuel Kant’s perception on stealing and ethics.
- An individual’s ability to draw a relationship between practicality and ethics would determine whether they would steal or not.
- A conscientious person who is able to identify right from wrong may be able to understand that stealing may not be considered right under any circumstances. Thus, reason would always overpower emotion for such an individual.
- Stealing is considered wrong under all circumstances; however, the extent of the theft may have an impact upon the punishment or consequences of the theft. According to Kant, people must be held responsible even for the slightest theft they commit in order to promote equality.
There may be certain circumstances that justify the act of stealing; however, doing this would encourage people to commit this unethical act on a regular basis and of a greater extent. Stealing causes a person to cause harm to the other individual from whom something is being taken away forcefully; thus, increasing violence and enmities in society. Therefore, stealing must be regarded as wrong and unethical at all times regardless of who commits the crime and the extent of impact the crime has.
Johnson, R. (2004, February 23). Kant's Moral Philosophy. Stanford University. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/