Monthly Archives: September 2011

Am I Taking Your Life If I Steal Something You Bought?

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There are three basic ways that you might come to legitimately own something:

  1. Create something
  2. Buy something
  3. Receive something as a gift

In a previous post I made the point that stealing your creation amounts to stealing your life:

It took your time to create your new possession. You spent time. That time is gone. You gave up (some of) your life for that possession, so the thief took (some of) your life when he stole it.

Does that conclusion still hold true if your possession was purchased or received as a gift, rather than created by you?

Yes.

If you purchase something, you are trading money for it. To earn the money, you traded some of your time. So, our conclusion in that case reads like this:

It took your time to create earn the money to buy your new possession. You spent time. That time is gone. You gave up (some of) your life for that possession, so the thief took (some of) your life when he stole it.

If your possession was received as a gift, someone else spent their precious time acquiring the item that you received. At the very least, the thief is stealing some of the giver’s life. And, if the possession is important to you and you need to create or buy a replacement, the thief will have stolen some of your future, as well.

So, in all cases, stealing a possession is a form of taking life.