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Thread: The ethics of theft.

  1. #1
    Florrie
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    The ethics of theft.

    A change in the law is being considered regarding fixed penalties for shoplifters with no criminal record attached!!!! Someone stealing thousands from a bank will be hunted down, tried in court and sent to prison.
    Unless criminal assault is involved, can anyone think of a good reason why stealing a packet of crisps from a supermarket is any less a crime than a wad of cash from a bank.
    Philosophically if I take a paper clip from the office, am I as morally wrong as the crisp stealer or bank thief. Notice I don't use 'robber' as I believe that implies a degree of force.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lon's Avatar
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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florrie
    A change in the law is being considered regarding fixed penalties for shoplifters with no criminal record attached!!!! Someone stealing thousands from a bank will be hunted down, tried in court and sent to prison.
    Unless criminal assault is involved, can anyone think of a good reason why stealing a packet of crisps from a supermarket is any less a crime than a wad of cash from a bank.
    Philosophically if I take a paper clip from the office, am I as morally wrong as the crisp stealer or bank thief. Notice I don't use 'robber' as I believe that implies a degree of force.
    In your opinion then Florrie, theft is theft, correct? I disagree. I think the motive and circumstances for the crime must be taken into consideration. Most shop lifting, I believe is committed by females, and many times it is spur of the moment. Bank robberies on the other hand are generally planned. I read a article by some psychologists that said that the majority of females committing shoplifing offenses suffered from sexual dysfunction.

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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    Whoa there partner, shoplifting involves an object that is openly displayed and readily acessable to the shopper. the item is hidden by the shopper, and secretly removed. I don't know about banks in your area, but in mine, shoppers are not allowed to fondle the money --force or the threat of force is necessary to liberate the cash.
    IMO theft is theft, motivation is irrevalent to the definition.

    Sexual dysfunction as a motive for female shoplifting??, is product selection involved, maybe a vibrater, but a package of Ding Dongs??
    Old age and treachery, is an acceptable response to overwelming youth and skill

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    Senior Member chicagolosina's Avatar
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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    What a complicated issue! Good topic Florrie!

    Theft is criminal and should be treated as such. Degrees of punishment however should vary.

    Some may have a problem with that statement if someone were caught stealing a basic need, (food, clothing, etc) but in the developed world there are so many resources out there to provide you with the necessities.

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    BORN TO BE A RED! abbey's Avatar
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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    What's the idea behind this, is it to free the courts from petty crime or to give first offenders a second chance?

  6. #6
    Florrie
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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by abbey
    What's the idea behind this, is it to free the courts from petty crime or to give first offenders a second chance?

    Categorising costs I guess in terms of police and court times involved.
    Many SL that get to court are fined small amounts anyway or have psychological issues that cost more manpower/ time following up. This way everybody gets fined on the spot - disagree and it's then up to the individual to persue, with own money /time .

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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    ok, i do not even comprehend the words 'ethics' and 'theft' used in conjunction with each other. they are diametrically opposed. i did two solid years undercover busting shoplifters, and i wasn't after someone stealing crisps or candy bars. i was after the pros, and it's not all females, there is NO shoplifter demographic, you would be amazed at some of the people i busted. people who walked out with thousands of $ in merchandise. people who worked in the stores and stole big-ticket items as well as cash. people who used their little children as concealment to steal. i could write reams on shoplifters! 90% of my busts were at the felony level. this costs retailers and consumers billions each year. and also, shoplifters do come in with the intent, i can spot them a mile away. and do i care if they have emotional problems? nope.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lon's Avatar
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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by lady cop
    ok, i do not even comprehend the words 'ethics' and 'theft' used in conjunction with each other. they are diametrically opposed. i did two solid years undercover busting shoplifters, and i wasn't after someone stealing crisps or candy bars. i was after the pros, and it's not all females, there is NO shoplifter demographic, you would be amazed at some of the people i busted. people who walked out with thousands of $ in merchandise. people who worked in the stores and stole big-ticket items as well as cash. people who used their little children as concealment to steal. i could write reams on shoplifters! 90% of my busts were at the felony level. this costs retailers and consumers billions each year. and also, shoplifters do come in with the intent, i can spot them a mile away. and do i care if they have emotional problems? nope.
    OK---I sure won't argue with those in the know, but wouldn't you agree that there are different degrees of theft, and that they must be considered on an individual basis as far as punishment is concerned?

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    BORN TO BE A RED! abbey's Avatar
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    Re: The ethics of theft.

    I'm not too sure, but i think in Britain its always been left up to the inspector at the police station that determines wether or not the person that has been caught shoplifting should have charges pressed against them or not.
    So Florries original post did'nt entirely surprise me, getting a slap on the wrist (caution) is'nt a new thing in Britain.

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    Re: The ethics of theft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon
    OK---I sure won't argue with those in the know, but wouldn't you agree that there are different degrees of theft, and that they must be considered on an individual basis as far as punishment is concerned?
    this issue is black and white to me, there are two levels of theft, petty and grand. clearly the guy who swiped some baseball cards and has no priors isn't going to prison. but the habitual offender, the felony big money offender. every crime has degrees,murder has degrees. theft has degrees.sexual offenses have degrees.

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