Re: Gun Thefts, Shootings in Louisiana
- From: "Mike Kelly" <mjkelly43@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 11:00:38 -0400
"Association Security" <asinc1022@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> I disagree - looting of any sort is theft. Food or whatever, in a
> society it is still theft - there is no moral justification for it.
> Whatever you take you should pay for in some way, shape or form - even if
> it's just writing down a list of what you take and waiting for the
> to clear and then paying the merchant or shopowner.
> Would I steal if I were starving? Yes, I would. I'm not saying that
> aren't circumstances under which I'd steal, there are, but I'd be very
> as to what kind of person I was - a thief.
> I've heard the argument bantered about all over the place along the lines
> "well, I can understand it if it were food or diapers" as if that's some
> sort of moral excuse for their behavior. It's not a moral excuse, it's a
> justification - and it's NOT moral. Frankly I don't think that there ARE
> any 'moral excuses' as if to say there's some kind of way around a moral
> principle, it's either a principle or a position of convenience.
> The food argument comes up every time there's pictures of looting going
> how many of those pictures involved food? By dressing one thief in some
> sort of excusable rainment, you inadvertently create an excuse for the
> 'other' kind of thief. As if there were a difference.
> When you take something that's not yours, and you know it's not yours, and
> use/keep it - you are a thief. You can mitigate this by making
> to the owner, I do not look upon thievery as a general crime, rather a
> that ALL being said, if I were on a jury I would vote 'not guilty' to any
> looter that stole to save his life or the life of another, I would vote
> 'guilty' on any other sort of thievery.
> There isn't moral justification for looting, but there is forgiveness.
> don't act like people who steal something are akin to heroes.
While I do agree that most of the looters are simple thieves stealing
because they can, I do not agree that there is no moral justification for
taking food and necessary supplies for survival, health, etc. during an
emergency. Morality is intended to govern behavior among civilized people
and is therefore contextual. What is not moral on a nice sunny day at the
mall (stealing a bottle of Aquafina or whatever) is entirely moral under
emergent circumstances up to the point of necessity. In disasters and other
survival scenarios, one is allowed--even obligated--to do things out of the
ordinary to preserve life first, and then things like property.
I agree entirely, however, that one can settle accounts later. Even if I
were caught in New Orleans today, I still have the means to pay for what I
remove from Wal-Mart or whatever when things have settled down. I also want
to make a distinction between taking materials that would otherwise sit idle
or got to wasted on store shelves and stealing water for MY survival from
someone else's supplies or rations. I have no more right to live than
another, and that is immoral. Similarly, taking more than I need and
hoarding it is immoral. Taking more and bringing it to refuges for
distribution (without profiteering) is a moral act.
The bottom line is that "theft" is not merely the act of taking something
that another owns; it is the act of doing so with criminal intent.
Protecting life in a disaster is not criminal intent, and reasonable actions
along those lines are entirely moral--the greater good trumps the normal
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