Saturday, May 26, 2007

Would You Steal What You Believe Is Your Right?

Would You Steal What You Believe Is Your Right?: A question posed by Natasha in this blog entry that I felt is interesting to further analyze.

Personally, I would argue that it is okay to get what you believe is rightfully yours even by stealing it. The issue is diverse, but approaching the subject from several ways lead to the conclusion that, if you think something is yours, it is up to you to take it. Lets take a look at three different case scenarios: The first is stealing out of need, the second is Robin Hood theft, and third social rebellion.

Consider a poor person who does not have the money to buy food, so he steals that food. This is probably a humanitarian case. The social system exists to protect its members, and failing to deliver the minimum required amount of protection to the most basic needs for human survival, gives the person zero incentive to abide the rules of that system. To value the social system above the lives of its members is simply unreasonable.

Robin Hood theft is a redistribution of wealth concept where the money (allegedly stolen by the people in high positions) is stolen from the wealthy and given to the poor. It is based on the simple idea that, if someone steals something, then it not rightfully theirs, which legitimizes that the original owner to steal it back. Such reasoning is widely opposed where it is claimed that "two wrongs don't make a right", and that the legitimate way is to get your goods back through legal means, by reporting to the police or through the justice system. The problem arises when the social system does not grantee retrieval of whatever is stolen, as in corrupt systems. In short, if the system fails to get your stolen rights back, Robin Hood is your friend.

Consider social contractism, in such view, property laws among other laws are based on mutual agreement of the members of a society to abide the civil laws. If we consider these contracts as opt-in contracts, where the individual is given the choice whether or not to participate in those contracts, it seems that it is natural that disagreeing parties may rebel above those laws. Since most individuals are coerced by their peers to submit to social order, regardless of their agreement to its terms, it seems reasonable that breaking those laws is a natural consequence.

Social order is created through rebellion. Not necessarily through physical and\or violent rebellion, but rebellion in its most general sense is required to form social order. (Unlike what totalitarian systems tries to convince the people, that social order is achieved through obedience, when the fact is that rebellion is what creates social order.) It is known throughout history, that any failing system is meant to be abolished through some kind of revolution. The "slaves" fought for their freedom, no-one would come to a "slave" and hand them their (rightful?) freedom, they had to take it by their own hands. Thats how things work!!


Natasha said...

I agree on almost everything with you, but again … Stealing is dangerous!!

It is not always fair to take what you think is yours.

Example: you think you are underpaid, so you start stealing money from your company!!
Maybe you are not underpaid, or maybe you are underpaid but that is what your company can afford … at the end of the day if everyone would steal what he thinks is his right –given the fact that there is plenty of stupid people living on this planet- we’ll end up living in a jungle …

I am not with following rules and laws blindly nor with losing your life fighting for what you think is right.. I think that smart mature people should choose their battles …

One should never steal “his right” from his friend, lover, or the people he works for/with..

But it is ok to steal from a conservative judgmental society, or even from your conservative parents …

And it wont hurt much to fight for our rights from time to time and make a small change ;)

Devil's Mind said...

"One should never steal “his right” from his friend, lover, or the people he works for/with.." - Again, if someone has taken your right and refuses to give it back, would you still call him a friend?!

In case of the company, I might agree with you, considering that in order to be hired in a company you have to sign an agreement. So if you don't like the policies of that company it makes more sense not to sign that contract in the first place.

Same goes for any friendship, as when people socialize together, they usually agree on certain codes of conduct. So if someone thinks that a certain behavior is unacceptable, while you think its your right to behave in that specified manner, it makes more sense not to become friends in the first place!

Devil's Mind said...

"It is not always fair to take what you think is yours." - One more question that begs itself: What is yours?! How do you define "yours"?! Who says, what belongs to whom and what doesnt?! Is it fair that one poor guy is born to a poor family, and another is born to a rich one?!

Before answering the above question, I suggest you read this post.

The Observer said...

I have read this before on Natasha's blog. Actually i find it interesting and a mind boggling topic.

I usually try to adhere to honesty. If I feel that I have a right for something, I prefer to raise up my voice and take it in light.

But I am also aware that I can't always be courageous enough to just claim my rights. Sometimes things force you to just steal it.

I think it does depend on the case in order to judge.