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Hello All,

Here is a qoute from a post that really had me smiling:

"My question is, if I have to steal bread to survive, should I instead starve to death to respect someone else's property? I don't care about the practical likelihood of this scenario. This is purely hypothetical and I'm looking for a yes or no answer."

Althought he DOES say here that he does not care about the practical likelihood of this scenario, it is a very interesting example for me at least. The thing is most people in first world countries and even wealthier developing countries will find it very hard to starve to death.

If a person of normal weight (and today it seams like overweight is the norm) would have to loose his/her job and have no access to food it will take that person at least a month and a half of not touching a single piece of food to be in danger of going into starvation mode. That is without touching a single piece of food or anything with contains calories e.g. milk. If you were severly underweight to start with that would be different of course but most people in the first world countries are not.

There seems to be an irrational fear of starvation in some people a "What if someday I loose everything and end of starving in the street."

Now there are some countries where people are starving but I am CLEARLY not talking about people in these countries which who suffer from poverty.

Your body is able to survive with a very little amount of calaries. It is something that we developed through evolution. It is a very interesting exercise to go on a fast. Of course there are some nutritionalists that would faint by me ever mentioning such an evil thing but I am not interested in their financial interests.

If you found yourself in the USA, Europe or even in SA and where in the unfortunate sition of not having food. I am sure that you will be able to beg some food from somewhere before you would ever need to steel food to survive.

Just thought this would be interesting to share.



I is a very intere

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There's a great exchange in the "Business Ethics" episode of The Office where one of the characters brings up the question, "Would you steal bread to feed your family?" Michael Scott, the idiotic regional manager, replies with "I would not steal the bread. And, I would not let my family go hungry." It's intended by the writers to be just another one of his stupid statements that shows his failure to understand things, but in this case he actually gets it right.

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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo deals with the subject. Ayn Rand loved Victor Hugo, and indeed referenced to him and also to the problem of stealing a loaf of bread - can't back that up with a quote by I know it's there. In We the living, you'll see somewhat similar problems in practice.

simple answer. if it's a loaf of bread because you're starving it'd be altruist not to eat it. If you're trying to extrapolate that situation to something more general, that would be another more general question.

@Dante, I recently watched the office all in a row, having never watched it before. I remember that situation, but throughout the whole show it seems like that guy is trying to have it both ways with his 'family of employees'.

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This gets into the whole "ethics of emergencies" thing.

Basically the answer is yes, steal if you have to in order to survive -- but there are many, many things that one should be able to do before getting to that point.

In addition, it's a mistake to base your moral code on situations like this. Morality is there to help us with day-to-day living. The unusual corner cases (most of which seem to focus around death in some form) are not the drivers.

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Ultimately my point with this post is to not fear starvation 'cause such a fear will rob you from utilising opportunies in your life.

Some bodybuilders who buy into a six-meals-a-day diet (a diet that I really do NOT advise) get into a state if they miss a meal - to a point of hysteria. Really unhealthy I think and really not necessary to let your diet control you in such a way.

I think if you were really starving and had to steal food to survive you will not worry about ethics.


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