Stealing is ok if the thief needs your money

Apparently Comrade Cameron is promising a crack down on benefit thieves.

If you read what the PM says, you’ll notice a very obvious contradiction that he, and indeed all supports of the welfare state, hold: the idea the benefit thieves are stealing your money, but people who don’t cheat the system, aren’t.

Hmmm, so…if a man holds you at gunpoint and takes your wallet because of the claim: “my children need new shoes” – how does the truth or falsity of this claim affect the fact that you have indeed been robbed?

Note that I am attacking the contradiction itself: that the only reason (in the PM’s mind) that one group is stealing and one isn’t, is because one doesn’t deserve the property of others, and the other supposedly does. The actual means of acquiring that property is the same; after all, once your tax is taken from you it is used for countless causes; supporting other peoples’ lives is just one of them.

So what does this mean?  That stealing is only stealing if there’s no “genuine” need for the goods. If the need is genuine, then taking someone else’s property is ok. Of course, this reverses the cause and effect of morality, leading to “ends justify the means” thinking, and using the consequences of an action as its justification, rather than any preceding principles. And since “genuine” is an indefinable concept, it’s simply open to opinion or whim, or more precisely, whatever the current government feels will win it the most votes in the short term.


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