The Morality of Theft and the Ten Commandments

Over on Slashdot, someone posted a question about protecting streaming media. He compares it to leaving money on the sidewalk, and can you report it stolen if someone takes it? He goes on to say that of course you can report it stolen but the police won’t take you seriously… and he continues to discuss who’s to blame when music or whatever gets stolen.

Reading the comments on that post, it amazes me to see that almost all of these people either blow off the importance of the question ‘because DRM won’t work forever’, meaning that eventually the encryption is broken, or they actually blame the software manufacturer because his protection is inadequate.

It is scary that there is any confusion on this issue.

If you take what is not yours, you are a thief.

This seems pretty simple to me. But these people apparently don’t have that concept. Their guiding light appears to be total self-interest, rather than any code of ethics.

Here’s the Ten Commandments, from the Holy Bible, Exodus 20:
        1.        I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me
        2.        You shall not make for yourself an idol
        3.        You shall not misuse of the name of the Lord your God
        4.        Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
        5.        Honor your father and mother
        6.        You shall not murder
        7.        You shall not commit adultery
        8.        You shall not steal
        9.        You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
        10.        You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

How many of these things have you ever done without even noticing it?

I fear for our country that so many of these basic values have generally fallen out of use. Holding these values dear results in personal pride, strength of character, and is necessary for being in the will of God. Not only that, but if enough people hold these things to be true, all crime is reduced (obviously) and individual security is enhanced.

It seems to me that our nation is well on its way to a moral degeneration that will eventually destroy it. What can you and I do today to turn this around? First – live it. Second – teach your children.


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