Lawfulness by virtue

I was out with a friend for lunch one day and we were talking about stuff while we waited for our order. A topic that came up was legality. I don’t know exactly what started this conversation but it somehow came up. We were discussing things that were illegal according to laws yet we don’t think they should be illegal according to our standards.

It’s something along lines of Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Stealing is bad and you can get jail time for that. But in Robin Hood’s case, he stole from people who had a lot of money and gave it to those who were in need. When it comes to issues like this, it’s a morality issue, the distinction between good and bad. Robin Hood is performing a bad act yet in the end, he is doing something good.

Now the distinction between good and bad depends on your point of view. If you were the one that was being robbed, you would be pretty pissed off. But if you were the one who was receiving the money, you would be pretty happy about it. Most people don’t look at the before picture when they get something good. They’re just happy that something nice happened to them.

Is stealing morally wrong? Yes but that all depends on you. “Morality is a system of principles and judgments based on cultural, religious, and philosophical concepts and beliefs, by which humans determine whether given actions are right or wrong.” The line between right and wrong is very thin right now. Is it right to steal from one person, who has a lot of money, to help the many who are poor? Some will argue that it is okay to steal from the rich because of the fact that they are rich. The money that is stolen is probably nothing to them. Bill Gates has billions of dollars so if someone stole a million dollars from him, he probably wouldn’t even miss it. He’ll probably be pretty pissed off about it but he’ll probably get it back in an hour or so.

When I was little, I used to steal a lot. I remember going down to the corner store and stealing candies. I must have been five years old at the time so I did’t know any better. I knew what I was doing but I didn’t think it was wrong. I didn’t have any money so I just grabbed a handfull and walked out. I was bad enough to steal toys from a classmate after Show-N-Tell. Some kid brought in a Transformers so show everyone. I didn’t have any toys and I loved Transformers, so I took it. I got in trouble from my mom when I got home though because she didn’t believe me that my friend gave me this toy.

So where do I stand on this issue? I’m not too sure exactly because it’s a thin line to be standing on. On one hand, I don’t agree with any wrong doing yet on the other hand, if it helps out in some way, then I’m okay with it. Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is okay in my books because the rich has a lot of it. Stealing from the poor is wrong because the poor doesn’t have a lot of it. So in a way, if you’re stealing something that can be easily replaced, it’s okay. But if you’re stealing something that can’t be replaced you’re basically stealing everything. I guess, in the end, I’m just going to end up contradicting myself. Stealing of any sort, for any reason is wrong. But like they say, “it’s only stealing if you get caught.