Is Stealing To Feed Your Family Evil?

United States
July 3, 2007 10:37pm CST
I often wonder what I would do if I lost my job and had to beg for change on the street. Is it wrong for someone to steal food to eat? I realize that this may be an extreme scenario in today's modern world, but consider the absolute moral option under these circumstances: 1. No alternative, e.g. work. No job available for more than a month, the time it would take to starve. 2. Food is available, but only by stealing. No stealing from trash cans, this has to be stolen in broad daylight, with risk of being caught. 3. No other options. No meditation, no cannibalism.
6 responses
• United States
4 Jul 07
Stealing because you have too is a lot different than stealing because you want too. Granted, both instances of stealing are still wrong, I definitely place stealing because you need to, to survive, is a lot less worse than stealing because you want something without having to pay for it. And stealing a lot of money or what not, just to get ahead and live the highlife, not because you're literally broke and need that money to buy food so your kids won't starve is a lot different.
1 person likes this
• India
9 Sep 07
I think each religion may offer different answer. The reason is that religion plays so much a role in one's life regarding morality. In my religion stealing is wrong. But if a situation as you describe arises I would not condemn. I think it is much more evil for a rich person to hoard than for a poor person to steal from the rich man's barn. Both are evil, but the degree is much much worse for the rich. Because there is so much the rich can do to change the system, and the poor has no way to do it.
@sunita64 (6474)
• India
31 Aug 07
Somehow being an incurable optimist I do not feel that times will ever be that bad that there would be no other alternative but to steal, but somehow food is the basic need of humanbeing and one cannot remain without it for longer duration so I feel may be I might steal which I am sure will never happen as God is great.
@bowtieguy (5931)
• United States
8 Aug 07
In a sense no, but there are places out there to help those in need and food is one of those helps, whatis evil is when you see the wealthy hoarding around their money and wasting it on such needless things when there are people starving out on the streets and not those who are lazy and have choosen a life of sloth, but those who have found themself's there under certain circumstances. Pride and gultoney are the deadliest of the 7 sins and should only be looked at in shame.
@skydancer (1716)
• United States
8 Jul 07
It is certainly more justifiable to steal when you need something rather than when you just want something. While I know the intentions are probably good, it is still wrong. Not only are you stealing (which may become addictive if done enough times successfully), but you're sending your family the message that stealing food in lieu of earning the money to buy it (when you're capable of working) is okay. If someone doesn't have a job, they should go around and start applying. There are lots of places out there that take people with limited education for their first job. There are also shelters and other programs done out of charity that are designed to help the homeless get back on their feet and become independent. I think these people should seek help before they go around stealing.
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
7 Jul 07
IF you have no legal means to provide nourishment for your family - there is nothing wicked in stealing some foods. If you are stealing things to sell in order to make money to buy food, then yes - I think it is wrong. If you are thieving great expensive foods, then yes it is wicked, if you are stealing from another starving person, yes that is wicked. but if you are taking a few apples from a tree that is not yours, no problemo.