Is theft defined by the act of taking someone else's possessions, thus depriving them of them, or of gaining possessions without earning them through honest labor?
Consider this scenario...
Somehow, you figure out a way to, in a single moment, steal money, or rather monetary value, from everyone in the world. This includes stealing from the value of all assets: property, cash, credit, all gross monetary value... You decide to somehow determine the amounts that you need to steal from each person in the world in order for each person to still have the same PROPORTIONAL monetary value to each other. In other words, if before the theft, one person had $20 mil, one had $10 mil, and one had $5 mil, they then have $10 mil, $5 mil, and $2.5 mil, respectively. The amount that you take from each person is not the same, but after the theft, the ratio of how much each person has to each other person in the world is the same. You would have removed a large sum of money from the global economy and therefore all that is left would be subject to deflation, meaning that though there is less money in total, because the value of everyone's possessions is still proportional, no one has actually lost monetary value, although they have technically lost money. You would have, theoretically, CREATED monetary value for yourself without decreasing anyone else's. The only person who would suddenly have proportionally more money than them, no necessarily more as a sum, but as a ratio, would be you.
You would have stolen without having forced anyone else to lose anything, as if you created possessions for yourself. However, you would still have technically stolen, in that you took something from someone else. What makes stealing wrong? The act of taking from someone else what they worked for (though if youre taking from everyone in the world, many, many of the people you stole from would have stolen what you took from them in the first place, meaning that they didnt earn it anyway), or gaining something without doing honest work for it (though you would have put a lot of effort and thought, infinitely so, since this task is impossible, into the "crime")? HAVE YOU DONE WRONG?
Created: Jul 25, 2010Document Media