Is Stealing Morally Wrong

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 510 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Words: 510|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

In today's world, the issue of whether stealing is morally wrong continues to be a contentious topic. While many individuals view stealing as a clear violation of ethical principles, others argue that certain circumstances may justify or mitigate the act of stealing. This essay will focus on the aspect of stealing in the context of extreme poverty and explore the moral implications of stealing to meet basic survival needs.

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Extreme poverty is a harsh reality faced by millions of individuals worldwide, where the lack of access to essential resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare can push individuals to desperate measures. In such dire circumstances, stealing may be perceived as a means of survival rather than a deliberate choice to harm others. As philosopher Peter Singer argues, in situations where individuals are faced with the choice between stealing to feed themselves or their families and succumbing to starvation, the moral imperative to preserve life may outweigh the moral prohibition against stealing.

Studies have shown that individuals living in extreme poverty often resort to stealing out of necessity rather than greed or malice. According to a report by the World Bank, approximately 10% of the world's population lives in extreme poverty, struggling to meet their basic needs on a daily basis. In such conditions, the moral calculus of stealing becomes more complex, as individuals are forced to prioritize their survival over societal norms of property rights.

Furthermore, the psychological impact of extreme poverty can also influence the perception of stealing. Research by psychologist Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that individuals prioritize physiological needs such as food and shelter over higher-order needs such as morality and self-actualization. In the absence of access to basic necessities, individuals may be compelled to prioritize their immediate survival over abstract moral principles, leading them to justify stealing as a means of securing essential resources.

However, critics of this perspective argue that stealing, regardless of the circumstances, is an infringement of property rights and undermines the social fabric of trust and cooperation. Philosopher Immanuel Kant, for instance, asserts that moral principles are universal and absolute, and that stealing is inherently wrong regardless of the individual's circumstances. According to Kantian ethics, individuals have a duty to respect the autonomy and property rights of others, and any violation of these rights constitutes a moral transgression.

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In conclusion, the moral question of whether stealing is wrong in the context of extreme poverty raises complex ethical dilemmas that challenge conventional notions of morality and justice. While stealing may be seen as a desperate act of survival for individuals living in extreme poverty, it also raises questions about the boundaries of moral responsibility and the implications of prioritizing individual needs over societal norms. As we continue to grapple with the ethical implications of stealing in extreme poverty, it is essential to engage in nuanced discussions that consider the broader social, economic, and psychological factors at play. Only through a comprehensive understanding of these issues can we begin to address the root causes of poverty and inequality, and work towards a more just and equitable society.

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Is Stealing Morally Wrong. (2024, March 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Is Stealing Morally Wrong.” GradesFixer, 05 Mar. 2024,
Is Stealing Morally Wrong. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Is Stealing Morally Wrong [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 05 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from:
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