Report A Moral Dilemma Regarding "Found" Money in Ethics Posted December 12, 2009 No, and no. The virtue at issue here is the individual's morality. Morality isn't just doing the right thing when you think you will get caught it is doing the right thing because it is right. Do you or do you not agree that it is fraudulent to keep money that you know is not yours? I specifically changed that response to fit the actual situation. He does know that the money doesn't belong to him. I'm not putting words in your mouth I'm fitting the words to the situation. Your example explicitly ignored the fact that he knew the money wasn't his. I was merely putting that fact back into context because it is his knowledge that makes this a moral question in the first place. Government, your parents, the guy that owns the liquor store down the street... I don't care who it was, nor do I care what his rules are, I care about my morality. As I said. When you put down your morals at what point is it proper to pick them up? Perhaps you think that because a manufacturer produced a product that didn't live up to what you believed it was supposed to you have the right to rob that manufacturer from that point on. Do you believe that the government in paying for his education is not acting in good faith? So now you are saying that the only people whom you must treat fairly are those that treat you fairly first? What if you find out a man who has never done anything to you has cheated on his wife would you then feel justified in stealing from him? This sounds far more like conspiracy theory than real life. You do realize that the vast majority of people who deal with the government are not ripped off as a matter of course don't you? Another thing. Your excuse for not doing the right thing is that it's too much of a trouble? How much trouble is it to phone and talk to someone, write a letter and a cheque and send it registered mail, getting someone to witness what you put inside and watch you put it in the mail? Seriously, if that constitutes "significant time" then some lessons in time management are in order. You still don't have the right to use the car. The correct course of action and one that will not incur any legal complications is to call them and tell them to get their car off your property. This whole thing is not about the government, it's about the individuals moral action. The question that is still being evaded is... is it moral to keep money you know you should not have been paid. Yes or No. *edit for typo Zip, the nicest thing that I can say is that no one has suggested anywhere that anyone steal or not "do the right thing" (or are you changing the example so you could yell at another straw man?). The fact that you have jumped up and down and gotten excited is not a justification for accusing me or RH of doing anything, considering doing anything, or suggesting doing anything immoral. As the quotation from AR suggests, you missed a point. Telling me that "I don't have a right to use the car" when I suggested no such thing is an indication of your inattention to detail and the specifics of a moral discussion. The question was not "is it moral to keep money you know you should not have been paid". No one suggested that it was. The question was, what to do in regards to the government and its activities. That you do not understand the difference between today's government and a private citizen is concerning. Your willingness to ignore the real, concrete issues in daily moral decisions is another thing. You say just "call them up". Are you serious? You come out and find a car sitting in your drive (your example). Who are you going to call? If there is a note, fine. But the car could be anyone's. The only thing to do is to call the police, tell them there is a car you don't own on your property, and ask their advise. Hopefully, they'll impound it and hope someone calls. After a while they'll claim it to be abandoned. But only you suggested that the homeowner use the car. Some other person's actions do require you to throw out your plans, your values and spend your time "doing the right thing". Yes, you could be too busy. If you're in a hurry, leave the damn thing. It's already sat there for hours. It is not a life and death situation. You fit it in as your judgment dictates.