Wealth and Ethics

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Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2017 09:07 pm
If you had the opportunity to steal $1,000,000 in cash from a wealthy person, and you knew you could get away with it (I know this is difficult to imagine, but just assume for a moment that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one would ever discover that you were the one who took the money, not even the IRS), would you take it? Let's also assume that the wealthy person would not be financially devastated as a result of losing the money you took. She would be upset and unable to do things she wanted to do with the money, but she would still be pretty wealthy after losing the money. Would you take the money? Why or why not?
cicerone imposter
Reply Thu 23 Mar, 2017 02:08 pm
We have laws on what are considered illegal. There are also moral laws against stealing another's property.
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2017 06:41 pm
The only aim of life is to increase happiness.

What I feel becomes me. That is why a surgeon gravitates to a better position in the scheme of the creation than a murder, even though they both engage in cutting others open. All sins are committed against the self.

The desire for survival is very strong in all living beings. This translates into need for safety and comfort. The craving for gratification is the root of all sins.

By doing something, if my heart aches, I am defying my heart. When I steal, I feel guilt. This emotion is the desire for punishment. Now I have deemed myself worthy of punishment.

In conflicting circumstances we should choose the smaller evils; a solder must kill, and a spy must steal. To a dying person or to a child, a lie may be a lot better than the brutal truth. If the only way to stop some one from killing a loved one is to kill the assailant, we must kill him.

I know that I should not steal the million, just to gratify my senses. Would I do it, if I had the opportunity? I don't know for sure. I hope not. Our desires exert immense pull on us momentarily. Succumbing to temptations and avoiding temptations, both are habits. It will depends on how deep rooted the habit of avoiding temptation is, as compared to the expected potential gratification.

Let mercy guide us in all situations. The mercy we feel is proportional to our emotional attachment to the person involved. A woman may give her life to save her child, but not to save a neighbor's child. But the mercy that
I feel for myself is sin. In other words, I should try to remove 'ME' from the equation of life, and be satisfied with what comes to me rightfully. If I can feel more mercy for the millionaire, than for me, I win.

Again, the act of not stealing I perform is for my selfish interest. The only thing, is that, now I have defined my self interest correctly.

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