Monday, March 08, 2010

The moral aspects of looting in the aftermath of natural disasters...

Legally, the starving may not filch even bread. But academics who study looting parse it into three separate rungs on a ladder of moral ambiguity.
Stealing food to survive is accepted by most.

Stealing TVs slides into a grey area. Yes, a starving man could sell a TV for food, but it’s never clear his motives are that pure.
And the third level — rampage and mayhem that is really ethnic or class warfare or the Hobbesian “war of all against all” — is universally condemned, even though many say the poor of every country have a right to be angry and ought to be forgiven for showing it during a crisis.

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