Monday, September 12, 2005


Theft is a funny concept when looked at in perspective. What is theft? What constitutes theft? Let's consult the dictionary.

theft - The act or an instance of stealing; larceny.

Is theft simply the act of taking? Is there no middle ground? Let's make sure we know what stealing and larceny mean.

steal - To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

lar·ce·ny - The unlawful taking and removing of another's personal property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner; theft.

It looks like this is so. Sometimes it can take reference to legality, but we're leaving complexities like that for later. It looks like theft is taking another's property without permission. Now, the big question: Can theft be justified?

Let's ignore current government legislation in answering this question and leave it at its fundamental. Can theft be justified? If you are to steal $50 from my wallet for your healthcare, is that ok? If you break into my car and steal my stereo to feed your children, is that ok? The question quickly becomes: Can theft be ethical?

eth·ic - 1. A set of principles of right conduct. 2. A theory or a system of moral values

OK, but who defines them? Society. That's right, society sets ethics. Ethics are based on the general consensus of the population. Personal morals are completely irrelavent to ethics. For proof of this, look to the concept of situational ethics and find that there is no such thing. So, what does society say about stealing? The answer, of course, is that its wrong. There is no justification for stealing when there are plenty of charitable organizations out to help. This is society's stance. How do we know that? Simple, who calls the police when they find the $50 missing from their wallet or the stereo missing from their car.

We, as human beings, extend our Natural Right to Property over our things with ferocious intensity. Some people go to the extent of taking another's life for stealing or damaging their property. This, of course is our other definitive conclusion about theft. It violates our Natural Right to Property. We have discussed Natural Rights, but I left Property Rights for this occasion. That is what pursuing happiness is.

The right listed by our founders was "pursuit of happiness" because that gives both perspectives on Property. Whether pursuing happiness means acquiring property or giving it away, it can only be referenced to property. Prove it, you ask? Easy. Pursuit of Happiness was listed after both Life and Liberty thus it is least in importance. Name all pursuits of happiness that do not infringe on another's Natural Rights to Life and Liberty. Whether it's running in your yard, playing video games, or caring for your children, it all involves property. Property is a Natural Right that even the smallest animals in our planet fight to protect.

Let's Summarize. If we understand that theft is only the taking of property, taking property is unethical, and theft violates our Natural Right to Property, this leaves us only one conclusion. Theft cannot be justified.


Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labor of his body and the work of his hands are properly his. – John Locke

1 comment:

Kuroken said...

Great job so far, Ted! You gotta lotta document to go through yet, though. Keep me posted when you update, and LET FREEDOM RING!

-Melissa (aka Kuroken)