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Is it moral to steal food for the benefit of a starving person if that is the only means by which the food may be obtained?

  • Reverse engineer the situation.

    This question relies on a red herring. "Stealing" food indicates ownership of the food, which also indicates that someone is purposely and knowingly withholding the food. The phrasing cleverly detracts from a much more serious issue involving humanity. The real moral question would be "is it moral to withhold food from a starving person?" Debate that question, and we will find out who actually cares about human beings.

  • Perhaps it is not too highly moral, but the Bible does say, "God helps those who help themselves".

    There is a difference between stealing a car, and stealing food because you are hungry. I think God knows the difference, and would forgive you if you asked. He forgives all, so why not this as well?

    Posted by: MistyJefferson59
  • I think it is moral to steal food for a starving person because you can't let someone die of starvation.

    The value of human life is much higher than that of personal property. It would be wrong to let someone starve to death, and that is more important than not stealing.

    Posted by: darcyska
  • If a person is starving and he/she has no other choice, then the decision to survive is justified.

    We here in America waste incredible amounts of food. A starving person could live near a restaurant district and survive from the scraps that the rest of us throw out. Should a starving individual walk through an open air market and help himself to some food that has a good possibility of being discarded at the end of the day, I could justify this.

    Posted by: OverjoyedGalen40
  • A starving person has to find food

    I think it is easy for a person who has never been hungry to say no. But, if you experience the pain and agony of hunger you would no that stealing food is making a choice between life or death. Any human or animal that's hungry will steal to survive. At this level morals change and the people who refuse to help the person starving morals come into question.

  • Risk indirect murder if you don't

    People say that stealing is immoral; it it more immoral than to stand idle and watch someone starve and potentially die because you refuse to steal? The point of the matter is that if you do not steal, the person will starve. There is no other means of obtaining the food. As an individual, the choice is forced in your hands, you can steal to help, or lay idle to watch the person starve. Refuse to steal and know that it was because of YOU, that the person is still starving. Nobody said you can only help others through "morally perfect ways" eg// you buy them a meal with your hard earned money. Life's situations are not always perfect, in this case it is steal for them to help, or let them starve for some selfish code, that prevents you from helping and makes you feel better about yourself. You choose which one is worse.

  • Taking food is not immoral

    At the first point itself, it is to be made sure that one doesn't feel food as their own property. Be it they brought it from trees, plants or they buy. And that the food should be felt like it is everyone's and that anyone can take, eat it if they are hungry. If you find that someone has eaten the food you should be really grateful that something you bought or made is enjoyed and liked by others otherwise where is the point of Love and humanity?

  • Which is more important, life or death?

    When it comes to hunger, a person will do anything to keep themselves alive. Even if it means stealing. A person's life is much more important than someone else's property and by saying no, it means you believe that a starving person is better off dead and is less important than taking someone's property. Things can be replaced, not lives.

  • Stealing VS. Society

    It's better to save a life, than lose one, and anyway there is enough food to go and feed all people around the world, but individuals are just selfish and would not share food, that's why circumstances such as theft of food arises. People just base that stealing is wrong due to societal ethics and morals. Yes, theft is wrong in some cases, but when it comes between a life and death situation, stealing should be considered a morally right decision.

  • It is debatable.

    In a world essentially run and governed by monetary gain, some people just don't get the opportunity to earn. Some out of laziness, sure, but for some people who genuinely look for work and struggle to feed their families I think it would be okay for them to take what they need to feed their families, within reason of course.

  • No.

    I know we should care about our society and our world but, it is not right to steal. I don't care who you are stealing for! God will supply all our needs and He has a special plan for each and every one of us!! I understand that we shpuld care about the hungary and the lame but it is still not right to steal.
    - thank you

  • It is not moral to steal food for the benefit of a starving person, because it is never moral to steal, period.

    It is not moral to steal food for the benefit of a starving person, because it is never moral to steal, as stated in "thou shalt not steal". If a person is genuinely starving, there are agencies which provide food. If those agencies are not conveniently located, just asking for food would probably get food from the majority of the population.

    Posted by: JamieM
  • Chaos Would Ensue

    The premise behind laws is that they protect the people who follow them. If you break a law in order to satisfy a moral imperative, then there are many who would follow your precedent and break a law, even though they might have a moral backing that you wouldn't agree with. If a precedent of breaking laws were put up by this action, then anyone would be able to follow this precedent, arguing that if you were justified by your morals, then he or she would be justified by his or her morals as well. Chaos would ensue.

  • I don't think its wrong.

    I don't think its wrong to steal food. I'm getting to the point where stealing food would be the only thing I can do besides begging my friends for some left overs. I live with my grandmother, her son, his two kids, his girlfriend and my dying grandfather--none have jobs. They cant afford to eat either, $120 a month in food stamps doesn't feed everyone so of course I go without. I cant remember the last time I had a full meal let alone three meals a day. I cant find a job to literately save my life but what do I do? I have tried everything. What's sad is people know that I'm hungry but it seems like no one cares.. So no I don't think its immoral to steal food to keep you alive a little longer

  • It is not moral to steal for any reason; however, something being moral and necessary are two different things, and if I were starving I'd steal food.

    People simply have to do what's necessary to survive. Homeless people beg for food. The real question is: Is it moral that the rich aren't legally forced to spread their wealth?

    Posted by: AwfulJacinto96
  • Helping the poor is the right thing to do.

    Many supermarkets throw out food and food products such as vitamin supplements which never make it to a person to be consumed. Instead much of the unsold produce goes in the dumpster, or to feed pigs. The compassionate and sensible thing to do since food was meant to be eaten, is to let those who need it have it rather than go hungry, become malnourished or sick. The economy is against distribution of nourishing foods to people who have little or no income and to the elderly. If someone takes something and eats it, how can that be wrong if that person really needed that food item for their health?

  • No, It is not wrong!

    Human life is worth more than money! If we are stealing food so that a humans life can be preserved it is morally justified. So ultimately if you are stealing, not for selfish gain but so that others may live it is morally alright, furthermore our perception of ownership may differ from the social norm's perception and we need to be open to understanding it.

  • Is it moral to steal to feed a starving person... No.

    While it may not be moral, it may at some time become a requirement. I believe that no matter how holy someone is they WILL steal to feed themselves or their family if placed in the situation to have to do so. I'm a Christian and I believe God will supply my needs, even if it means working out a way for me to gain access to a loaf of bread.

  • Stealing, no matter who for, or for what reason, is morally wrong.

    Stealing food for a person who is starving may seem like the right thing to do, considering the circumstances. If the person really is starving, then you could say that stealing is more moral than allowing a person to die. However, this still does not change the fact that stealing is immoral. It may be the proper thing to do, but it is not moral.

    Posted by: w00tboycomic
  • Moral: proper behavior vs. right behavior

    Stealing is considered universally wrong and can have serious consequences (loss of hand) but not providing for a starving person can destroy the soul. Not stealing is proper but providing for those that are unable to provide for themselves can be right; each one will have to struggle with the cost of the provision.


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