ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

To Steal or Not to Steal

Updated on May 18, 2013

Do we ever have a legitimate reason to steal? There are many different reasons people steal things. Most times we automatically assume stealing is wrong and should never be condoned but what about someone who steals to feed their family? Surely this is a good reason, or is it?

What is stealing? The dictionary explains it as taking (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force. Are there different levels of justification for stealing? Many would agree that killing is justified when it comes to self-defense. Therefore, could stealing also be warranted based on the situation?

Surely stealing from the cookie jar should not be compared to stealing a pension fund but do they both weigh the same on the morality scale? What about taking a pen from work as compared to cheating on your taxes? These are both crimes but are they considered stealing? Some would argue that there is no victim therefore there is no crime.

Could stealing small items like pens be a gateway to stealing larger ticket items? What about the theft of intellectual property? Are we allowed to steal people’s thoughts and ideas? While there are laws and copyright restrictions which protect certain ideas, is it alright to steal those thoughts that are not copyrighted?

We live in a society where we glamorize the notion of Robin Hood. Is stealing from the rich and giving to the poor really a noble venture and something we want to teach to our children? Could this concept ever be allowed or authorized? If so, where would we draw the line? Would identity theft then be condoned if it were committed by a person with less means than the victim?

History tells us that surely stealing is wrong. In the days of the old west, stealing a horse would get you hung. Even in modern times, in some cultures, stealing will result in getting your hand cut off! With those types of consequences why would people risk stealing?

Some people are robbed of their innocence, is this the same as stealing? This may have even a more profound effect than the theft of material items and may be felt a lifetime. Then of course there are those who steal our hearts. Is there a punishment that would be considered appropriate for these types of crimes?

We may never know the answers to many of these thought-provoking questions. However, the best course of action may be to teach future generations not to steal - period.

What do you think?

Do you think there are legitimate reasons to steal?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Cutters profile image


      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for the Hub link! I think it is wrong. There are many things a person can do to get help if their family is starving. Worse case YES I would steal food to feed my family and when things get better I would go and pay the store back. But I hope that never happens. Thanks for the great Hub.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think it's morally wrong, but rationally justifiable. :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      If a desperately poor person steals from a very wealthy person it's still not right but that scenario may be the "least wrong" as the impact to the wealthy person would be limited.

    • KevinC9998 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks, I appreciate your comments! Kevin

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      You are a thinker! And raise a great question. I would imagine aperson starving (as in Somalia) would be tempted to steal, however there are others wasy to go about getting what one wants. I voted NEVER, but would not condemn others as this is not entirely black and white here. It’s great to see a new HUBBER and welcome to HUB writing. I came across this HUB by accident and then I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

      Based upon your HUB, you might enjoy this HUB…

    • SuperheroSales profile image


      7 years ago

      This was a very interesting hub. You provided some great questions that help people think about stealing from all different angles and the degrees of seriousness of stealing. I like one kind of stealing- when my favorite basketball team steals the ball from the other team. :D


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)