posted on Mar, 4 2004 @ 03:53 PM
Greetings to my worthy friend Phoenix, Kano, assembled adjudicators and noble audience!! I am very sorry for my rather late reply, which was caused by
factors beyond my control.
I was somewhat flattered, and nostalgic, that the sub-heading was “Robin Hood”, as I was born in Nottingham, and now live about 20 miles from
there. My sister lives within sight of Nottingham Castle (a Victorian building as it was rebuilt – many times – throughout it’s turbulent existence).
The caves and the “Trip to Jerusalem” - (reputed to be the oldest Inn in England) - bare testament to the history of the place.
However, there is no time for reminiscences of misspent youth, drinking strongale and wenching in the “Trip” - the game’s afoot!! It is with great
pleasure that I find myself arguing against the specific topic of:
”It is moral to steal from the rich to give to the poor”
Let’s do a little bit of defining here, just so that it is clear what we are talking about.
First, consider the word “moral”:
1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behaviour: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behaviour; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
Now, what about “Steal”?
1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.
2. To get or effect surreptitiously or artfully: steal a kiss; stole the ball from an opponent.
3. To move, carry, or place surreptitiously.
4. To draw attention unexpectedly in (an entertainment), especially by being the outstanding performer: The magician's assistant stole the show with
her comic antics.
5. Baseball. To advance safely to (another base) during the delivery of a pitch, without the aid of a base hit, walk, passed ball, or wild pitch.
1. To commit theft.
2. To move, happen, or elapse stealthily or unobtrusively.
3. Baseball. To steal a base.
1. The act of stealing.
2. Slang. A bargain.
3. Baseball. A stolen base.
Straight away I, and I’m sure Phoenix and our on lookers, can see a paradox here, namely the juxtaposition of “moral” with “steal”. Whilst not
wishing to appear to be appealing to a “Higher Authority”, I think we might consider the Bible and, specifically, the Ten Commandments:
V15 Thou shalt not steal.
Of course, moral precepts are not exclusive to Christianity or Judaism. Buddhist moral precepts are based on the Dharma, and they
reflect such eternal values as compassion, respect, self-restraint, honesty, and wisdom. The precepts are grounded on these factors, their
practicality remains sacrosanct even today, and their usefulness is beyond question. That one should not steal is self-evident – and
specifically mentioned in the Dharma.
Simply put, if it is not yours to begin with, you have no right in taking it. Even what we think is no big deal - like taking a pen from the office -
Morally, then, stealing is inherently “wrong”. To say otherwise is to put yourself before God and the wisdom of the great religions of the World.
My good friend Phoenix is a fine, eloquent writer and describes a scenario that seems to justify “stealing” as being somehow “just the thing to wear”.
Later, I will show that the so called “Robin Hood Syndrome” or “complex adaptive system” (CAS) is, in fact, extremely dangerous to
society at large, as people “justify” their criminal behaviour as being towards the greater good. Poppy cock Sir! Have at you!!
So, I have great pleasure in returning the floor, to Phoenix. I know this will be a fascinating debate for both of us!!
I doff my feathered hat, bow (very carefully and cautiously) in my Lincoln Green tights and wish you good luck Phoenix in our discussion!!