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Passions in Poetry

What would you do...

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JOY 14
Senior Member
since 09-22-1999
Posts 1447
Wisconsin USA


0 posted 11-19-1999 08:08 PM       View Profile for JOY 14   Email JOY 14   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JOY 14's Home Page   View IP for JOY 14

Here is a question I have been pondering over myself.
I don't know if it is exactly right for this fourum, but I'll put it here anyway.
Okay, my qustion is...
If you were homeless and had no food, or warm clothes, and not a shelter to go to for these things, would you steal in order to surrvive?
I hope this doesn't offend anyone, and if it does I'm sorry.
My opinion is that in my sane mind, I probably wouldn't steal. But if hungar drove me insane, and I had to eat or I'd die, I probably would.
Anyway, just wondering if anyone had any thoughts. What would you do?
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


1 posted 11-20-1999 11:05 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

This is a hypothetical question which is pretty standard philosophical stuff if you ask me.

My answer would be yes. I would steal to survive. I suppose you could find enough different situations where any answer is possible but I guess the one I'm thinking of is Les Miserables.

Thanks,
Brad

[This message has been edited by Brad (edited 11-20-1999).]
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


2 posted 11-20-1999 11:38 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

I imagine survival would be the cause of whatever "insanity" I would face in that regard...if I could not get food honestly, would I have a chance to barter? And what would I barter with, if I had nothing? Is stealing the answer? I think a bigger fear I would have is, would I have to steal to allow someone else to live, i.e., my children? Indeed, what would I do?

I would like to think I would try to find a way to earn it honestly, for if I were in that position, then indeed, I fear many others would be as well.

You've posed a good question...I hope if I face it, I would remember to share with those who shared my fate.
Trevor
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


3 posted 11-20-1999 09:03 PM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

I'd try alternatives first, like odd jobs or panhandling, maybe hangout behind fast-food restaurants and raid their garbage bins, if all those failed I'd steal for sure and I wouldn't blame anyone else for doing such, at least if I was caught I'd be thrown in jail and get to eat. Jail must be better than dying, otherwise everyone in there would kill themselves.

Should stealing for survival really be called stealing? or should it be called instinct?

Thanks for your thoughts, take care,
Trevor
Robin Goodfellow
Junior Member
since 06-29-99
Posts 26


4 posted 11-20-1999 10:43 PM       View Profile for Robin Goodfellow   Email Robin Goodfellow   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robin Goodfellow

Trevor kind of hinted at my oppinion.
I'd steal. Like you wouldn't believe. But long before it got to the point of death or theft. If you build up a big enough record of theft and maybe some other crimes you'll be sent to a minimum security prison. Where you'll get shelter, maybe a little AC, three square meals, television, and since you'll be the appreciative one of the group the guards will prolly take it easy on you.
Only downside is you'll lose your freedom to walk around. But what good is that if your only walking to your deathbed?
Poet deVine
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Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


5 posted 11-20-1999 11:11 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I would not steal unless I needed to provide for my children. Then I would.... I'm afraid I'd beg at food places until someone gave me something....and I believe in the basic kindness of people..they are out there!
JOY 14
Senior Member
since 09-22-1999
Posts 1447
Wisconsin USA


6 posted 11-20-1999 11:35 PM       View Profile for JOY 14   Email JOY 14   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JOY 14's Home Page   View IP for JOY 14

Thank you all for replying. I have been thinking about it some more.

One thing I never thought of, which does bring up a good point, Trevor and Robin, is stealing and going to jail or prison, where you could get a good meal and a place to stay. It might take away your freedom like you said, but you don't have freedom if you have no place to call home and are in a case of total loss of self.

I also agree that maybe it shouldn't be called stealing, but instinct, Trevor. Yes, because once you think about it, maybe it really is human instinct that takes over when your body wants food and warmth.

If I had children, I too would want to feed them more than myself. I would probably be driven even more to get food then.

I'll end with what you said, Poet deVine, that there is kindness out there in some people. The trick is to find them. And I'm afraid that that can be hard sometimes. Which I think is pretty unfortunate.
Spring Heeled Jim
Junior Member
since 11-22-1999
Posts 20
Paris, Texas


7 posted 11-22-1999 07:55 AM       View Profile for Spring Heeled Jim   Email Spring Heeled Jim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Spring Heeled Jim

I would steal without a doubt and would not feel bad about it at all, i shall tell you why. I don't know what it is like in America but in England 99% f people ignore any homeless beggar. You should see their sour faces stepping over the homeless so they can get to their coffee bars where they gladly pay 5 for a drink and a sandwich. Also the pint about stealing, if you do go to jail, when you come out you will be put on a program to intergrate you back into society. They even set you up with a job and a place to live. Criminals, thoase who have harmed society get treated better than the homeless. Why? Because if you are a criminal they don't want you to reoffend because the voters are so scared that they might actually get something of theirs taken. So the government act on crime. Nothing gets done to help the homeless because they "aren't my concern". I would encourage any homeless people to start a career of crime, then the government would do something about it and they would have a better deal.

------------------
On tops all I need
I got rythm when I bleed
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


8 posted 11-22-1999 11:59 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Yes I would steal, if that was my only means of surviving, and, yes, I would try not to get caught. And yes it is wrong to steal and, yes, I would assume the consequences of my actions if caught. I may even feel guilty (at least I hope I would). Good question

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther

hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


9 posted 11-22-1999 12:57 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

After exaughsting all other possibilities....ie; food kitchens, trying to work, even begging (hey, I'm not above begging )....yes, I would probably steal if it meant survival.
Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


10 posted 11-22-1999 04:58 PM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

After exhausting all other options like the ones Hoot mentiones, I would steel too. But I would leave an anonymous note telling why I took it and that I had every attention of paying them back as soon as I could. All along I would never give up and accept any work that would help me get out of the dark waters. Would I feel guilty, yes, but that guilt would help to keep me trying.

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"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


11 posted 11-24-1999 09:19 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Stealing is legally a crime. I think most or all of us would also agree it is morally wrong. Yet, the consensus seems to be it's acceptable rather than starve to death.

The logical extension, of course, is that murder is equally acceptable as an alternative to starvation?
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


12 posted 11-24-1999 01:34 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron:

You are abolutely right. You have exposed the glaring inadequacy of the situational ethic! But I, personally, would maintain that, though I would steal, it would not be morally acceptable. My hunger doesn't justify my immoral act. But I can say with absolute certainty that I would never kill another person as an alternative to starvation (I think ).

Seriously, though, who knows where desperation will drive a man? But desperation, I believe, is no more an excuse for theft than it is for murder. If you opt to do either then I think you should be willing to pay the penalties society prescribes for those crimes.

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther



[This message has been edited by jbouder (edited 11-24-1999).]
Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


13 posted 11-24-1999 01:52 PM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

I agree with Jim. I would steal if the worse came to the worst. But I would not kill. Money can be paid back, a life taken is forever lost. I would not want to live at the expense of another life. But then I say that from the comfort of my nice room and my nice comfortable life. Who knows to what extremes even this peaceful little Angel could be pushed to under the right circumstances. But as Jim said, I too declare now with my mind untainted by such harrowing circumstances that I will accept lawful punishment for my crimes.
Angel


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

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