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Old 09-02-10, 10:21 AM   #1
BengeBoy 
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Ethics class now in session - can cyclists take fruit?

Was out for a ride and ran into something that I thought you folks would likely have opinions on.

Was on a fairly popular suburban commuting route, riding about 3/4 block behind a guy on a vintage steel road bike with a milk crate strapped on the rear rack. Suddenly he pulls off the road and into the yard of a house. As I pass, I notice that he's picking apples from a tree. This particular tree is *loaded* with apples; it may be the most productive apple tree I'd ever seen -- apples are everywhere on the ground, in the tree, on the driveway, etc.

When I look back he's still there, and I just keep going. About 10 blocks later he passes me, smiles at me and says hi. I see a bunch of apples in his milk crate.

Some Important Moral Questions I've been pondering:

1. Is it ok for cyclists to stop and take fruit from a tree in someone's yard?

2. I life fruit, too. Was I a fool for not stopping to grab my own share?

3. Should I have tried to stop him? (He was young and vigorous; I am old and spindly, but I have enough strength to dial 911 on my phone).

4. I was riding a *much* nicer bike then he was. Was it polite for him to have passed me so easily, especially since he was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and carrying a milk crate full of apples?

Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-02-10 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:32 AM   #2
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Perhaps he had prior permission. Probably not worth the worry on your part. Maybe you should ask for permission too and enjoy some apples with a clear conscience and a pure heart.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:36 AM   #3
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Theft is taking something that does not belong to you.

Get permissioon first, as it's usually pretty to get with apples.......
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Old 09-02-10, 10:38 AM   #4
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Point 4: Indicates you need to buy a vintage bike
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-02-10, 10:41 AM   #5
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Don't worry about getting passed, in his cycling style, he probably does a lot of speed intervals.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:43 AM   #6
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Given this statement: apples are everywhere on the ground, in the tree, on the driveway, etc.

I wouldn't have said anything, moved along thinking of pie.

It's his call on picking the fruit, I have other things to worry about, he may know the owner for all I know.

Yeah BB, you should have had an apple too...yummmmmm!
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Old 09-02-10, 10:43 AM   #7
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I see all kinds of moral questions here.

1. A Buddhist would say: "Take only that which is freely offered." I'm not a very good Buddhist. In your case, I might have taken one apple to eat at the time but I wouldn't take any extras.

2. What is your responsibility regarding the other rider? MYOB? Ask if he had permission? Verbally chastise him? Call the cops? I'd probably MYOB but I'm not saying that's the perfect answer.

3. Did you happen to be wearing a matching jersey and shorts? If that's the case, we are sure to get a post from the other guy saying how he "smoked" some kitted out dude even though he was burdened with a milk crate full of stolen apples.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:43 AM   #8
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If you ask and get permission, it's fine.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:48 AM   #9
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Perhaps he was riding so fast because the owner of the tree chased him off with a shotgun.

People with orchards get very pissed when someone helps themselves to fruit.
People with messy trees in their yard are usually more than happy for you to take all you want.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:56 AM   #10
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Having gone to an ag school, and therefore ridden in lots of farm country, I was told early on that fruit on the ground is OK. Don't pick off the trees..
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Old 09-02-10, 10:59 AM   #11
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After all these years we still have not learned a thing from Adam and Eve.
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Old 09-02-10, 11:18 AM   #12
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No on all counts.
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Old 09-02-10, 01:25 PM   #13
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Remember what happened to Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man when they took apples without asking?
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Old 09-02-10, 01:40 PM   #14
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1. No
2. No
3. No
4. No

There are places in the Imperial valley where you could get shot, arrested and /or tossed in jail for just such an act. It doesn't matter if you are cycling or driving a truck without permission the person is a thief.

If the person had permission no problem. If not there is no difference from him going onto the property and taking a nice set of wheels off of a bike parked on the porch.
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Old 09-02-10, 02:00 PM   #15
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I teach professional ethics in a graduate program for people earning a Masters of Human Service. In the social service world the first rule of ethics is "DO NO HARM". So my counter question to you is, was any harm done?
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Old 09-02-10, 02:03 PM   #16
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I teach professional ethics in a graduate program for people earning a Masters of Human Service. In the social service world the first rule of ethics is "DO NO HARM". So my counter question to you is, was any harm done?
Professional ethics doesn't take right and wrong into consideration................................ what a crock! Which is why the business world (including politics) is so screwed up ------ "it's Ok if it's expected to be crooked - sheeesh!"
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Old 09-02-10, 02:04 PM   #17
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I teach professional ethics in a graduate program for people earning a Masters of Human Service. In the social service world the first rule of ethics is "DO NO HARM". So my counter question to you is, was any harm done?
Yes, if the apple owner needed each apple to sell or sustain himself.
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Old 09-02-10, 02:12 PM   #18
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I have a hazel nut tree that is on the border of me and my neighbour. I planted the tree and currently the branches are overladen with nuts. Far too many for me to pick- or eat so I will be happy for my neighbour to pick any nuts that are ripe for picking.

They would be ready in about a months time but we won't get any- The squirrels get them.

But apples- round here you have to be selective in what you take from the gardens. They are put out in boxes in the drive for anyone to take. Seems everyone has so many apples that they just collect the windfalls for everyone to take. I wait a while till the Cox's Orange Pippins get put out---The only apple worth eating. The rest are only good for cider.
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Old 09-02-10, 02:16 PM   #19
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Yes, if the apple owner needed each apple to sell or sustain himself.
That doesn't matter - they all BELONG to the owner - not anyone else!
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Old 09-02-10, 02:18 PM   #20
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That doesn't matter - they all BELONG to the owner - not anyone else!
I agree. I was only answering the question about specific harm.
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Old 09-02-10, 02:28 PM   #21
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Answer: Knock on the door and ask permission... as "You saw someone else loading up a milk crate, but you wouldn't to take any without asking."

Be prepared to describe the other guy in detail, if asked. ;-)
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Old 09-02-10, 02:29 PM   #22
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You forgot the most important detail:

What kind of apples were they?

If they were the kind you can make into a pie, and he was a bicycle rider, it is obvious he was going on a "pie ride." Pie rides are always OK.

OTOH, perhaps previously there was a sign there - to the effect - "Please take all the apples you want." - or he had previously asked the owner who had stated the same thing.

You simply do not have enough info.
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Old 09-02-10, 02:31 PM   #23
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I would be guilty - if I saw the abundance of apples, especially on the ground, I might pick one to try... that said, taking a box full without permission seems very wrong (more wrong than eating just one).

Whats really wrong is being passed by a dork on an old bikestealing apples. What's the matter with you!!!!???
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Old 09-02-10, 02:33 PM   #24
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Yes, if the apple owner needed each apple to sell or sustain himself.

Hey, Junior! OFF THE LAWN!
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Old 09-02-10, 02:34 PM   #25
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Waste not.

Want not.
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