Is stealing always wrong ?

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samiii_00
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#1
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#1
You are in a medicine interview and you are asked this question. What will ur answer be ? (make sure ur answer is appropriate)
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tinyperson
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yh
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londonmyst
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Not always.
It depends on the context.
Stealing the stockpiled weapons of a neo-nazi terrorist group and anonymously arranging to have them handed them over to the police or military for safe decommissioning- probably not wrong.
Similar thing for stealing the illegal narcotics stock of a cross county organised crime organisation and destroying it so that it could not be used to directly harm anyone or fund the operations of a serious criminal enterprise.
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gtty123
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Stealing someone's heart isn't wrong :dontknow:.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by londonmyst)
Not always.
It depends on the context.
Stealing the stockpiled weapons of a neo-nazi terrorist group and anonymously arranging to have them handed them over to the police or military for safe decommissioning- probably not wrong.
Similar thing for stealing the illegal narcotics stock of a cross county organised crime organisation and destroying it so that it could not be used to directly harm anyone or fund the operations of a serious criminal enterprise.
I think this is clearly a philosophical question, and we're talking about the differences between moral and legal "wrong".

If your flatmate says he is going out to kill someone with his knife, and you overhear him, and take his knife, this is theft - but we are going to try and present a necessity, and there is also going to be a thorough examination of the meaning of "dishonesty" in this context.

This kind of question is probably designed to illicit those kind of examples, and probably the Jean Valjean type ones - stealing food to eat. However, the counter examples are going to be - if you are taking your flatmate's knife - is that really theft, is it dishonest, would you give it back at some stage. With Jean Valjean - in what context in modern Britain would there have to be recourse to this? In terms of the neo-nazi weapon stockpile, I think it would move to - something like - why are you the arbiter of who can be stolen from? If you know the weapons are there, why would you not just call the police, and what is the limitation on this justification? Can anyone take things from anyone if they believe they are acting in the common good?
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NonIndigenous
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(Original post by samiii_00)
You are in a medicine interview and you are asked this question. What will ur answer be ? (make sure ur answer is appropriate)
It will probably depend why you are doing it. Most people steal for selfish gain. Some people steal out survival necessity (which is rare in developed countries like ours). Some people steal, so they can help someone else.

A large proportion of the people that are willing to transgress the law or socially acceptable boundaries, are probably unlikely to even believe or admit to themselves that they're doing it for selfish gain. They may already have everything they need to survive, to live and to build a decent life for themselves without resorting to crime. But they might for example see others who have 'more', and thus jump to the conclusion that they also 'deserve more', which equates to it being a "need" in their own mind. They will then rationalise this "need" of theirs in whatever pathetic way is convenient to them, so they can steal from other people without feeling guilty about it. These are narcissists. If you confront them about their transgressions (stealing or otherwise), they will likely react defensively and start trying to justify themselves. They might even use other people as an excuse by for example saying that they're doing it "for their family", when in fact there frankly isn't a need for them to resort of any of those actions in the first place. You want a good fictional case study of this?: Walter White, from the Breaking Bad series.

Then you have people who steal for the adrenaline rush. They might not even have a use for the object they're stealing. They might even already be relatively wealthy in fact. They just enjoy doing risky crap for it's own sake with no regard for the damage or inconvenience it causes other people (otherwise they would have just stuck to bungee jumping instead), so you will often see them doing other stupid and dangerous sh*t as well, like drugs or drinking and driving. I am sure that a substantial fraction of our white-collar 'elite business class' qualify under this variety, as well as your hoodlum street thugs that shoplift crap like polo mints from corner shops just 'for fun'. Both of these varieties are sociopaths/psychopaths. It doesn't matter how 'big' or 'small' their transgressions are or where they sit on the socioeconomic scale. I despise both equally. Unlike narcissists, these types don't feel guilty about what they do in the first place, so feel no need to 'rationalise' anything. If you confront them about it, they are more likely to sit there without a care in world, or might even arrogantly smile at you just as a way of sprinkling a little glitter on the heap of sh*t that they are. There are news interviews with people like this. One in particular that springs to mind is some CEO or other of a big pharma company in America that was called into a congressional hearing couple of years ago, because of the extortionate pricing of his drugs. He literally sat there for the whole time with a grin on his face.

Then you also have kleptomaniacs. These are something else, and a clinical category of their own.

At some point or other in my life, I have known at least one person that falls under each of those categories. Perhaps most of us have, if you think hard enough. This includes one kid back in school who had an obsession with stealing glue sticks from the classroom stationary cupboards. He would just hoard them in his locker... who knows what for.

My answer is too long again. The short version is... it's complicated, but generally speaking it is wrong, and people who think otherwise likely have some personality defect.
Last edited by NonIndigenous; 3 months ago
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Joinedup
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#7
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#7
Maybe stealing a chip pan from an elderley relative with dementia in order to prevent them from starting a chip pan fire might be considered acceptable ferinstance.
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samiii_00
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#8
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I feel terrible. I said it’s always wrong :/ in some cases there’s aspects that make it okay (mother in desperate need to feed a family steals baby formula) but in general stealing is wrong....
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Trinculo
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(Original post by samiii_00)
I feel terrible. I said it’s always wrong :/ in some cases there’s aspects that make it okay (mother in desperate need to feed a family steals baby formula) but in general stealing is wrong....
The answer to this is - what was the necessity to steal? Under what circumstances in modern Britain is it necessary to steal to feed your child? Did the mother exhaust all other possibilities such as going to church / charity or simply asking the shop if she could have some formula?
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username5050312
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I'm biased as a strong Robin Hood fan.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by samiii_00)
I feel terrible. I said it’s always wrong :/ in some cases there’s aspects that make it okay (mother in desperate need to feed a family steals baby formula) but in general stealing is wrong....
I'd think that in an admissions interview this question would be an invitation to think aloud about some of what engineers call 'edge cases'

I'm pretty sure the great majority of theft is people just deciding they want to get someone else's stuff for free.
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RichPiana
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(Original post by gtty123)
Stealing someone's heart isn't wrong :dontknow:.
I did this once.

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Now my dog is dead.
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samiii_00
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(Original post by Joinedup)
I'd think that in an admissions interview this question would be an invitation to think aloud about some of what engineers call 'edge cases'

I'm pretty sure the great majority of theft is people just deciding they want to get someone else's stuff for free.
In a medical school perspective, would u say my answer of “yes stealing is always wrong” right in some way.
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StriderHort
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I would basically say yes, always wrong.... but, in certain circumstances I might consider lenience or acquittal, but need wouldn't change the nature of the crime.
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Kallisto
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#15
(Original post by samiii_00)
You are in a medicine interview and you are asked this question. What will ur answer be ? (make sure ur answer is appropriate)
No, not always. There are circumstances to justify stealing, I am sure. The intention has to be considered, not the deed.
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samiii_00
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#16
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(Original post by Kallisto)
No, not always. There are circumstances to justify stealing, I am sure. The intention has to be considered, not the deed.
But as a medical school interviewer, Is that an answer that’s deemed appropriate ?
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username5050312
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(Original post by samiii_00)
But as a medical school interviewer, Is that an answer that’s deemed appropriate ?
There's no set answer. If you had a good justification, you're fine. Don't stress it.
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Kallisto
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#18
(Original post by samiii_00)
But as a medical school interviewer, Is that an answer that’s deemed appropriate ?
If you have no money with you and a person is starving and is at risk to die, if this person - who has no money to pay foods too - don't eat foods in the next hours, it would be alright, if you steal some foods in order to feed this person to save the life.
Last edited by Kallisto; 3 months ago
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StriderHort
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(Original post by Kallisto)
If you have no money with you and a person is starving and is at risk to die, if this person - who has no money to pay foods too - don't eat foods in the next hours, it would be alright, if you steal some foods in order to feed this person to save the life.
Taking the food to feed A might result in B going without, who are you to play God? *Waves placard and chants*
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HaydenFordz
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#20
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#20
she stole my heart
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