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Was I wrong to do this?

Old 08-22-06, 02:36 PM
  #1  
cal_gundert05
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Was I wrong to do this?

For those of you who don't know, Berkeley has a lot of bike theft/destruction...there are tons of bent frames, lone tires, and empty locks attached to solid objects around town and on campus.

So I was riding through campus the other day, and saw a tire-less, pedal-less, seat-less bike frame locked to a bike rack. I stopped because I noticed that it still had its rubber handles. So I dismounted and pulled them off the busted bike, because I had to remove mine when they started melting in a spell of hot weather a few weeks back.

So, was I wrong to further destroy someone's bike? Would you care if you had seen me doing this? Would you have done the same?
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Old 08-22-06, 02:41 PM
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You contributed to an existing problem. Yes, it was wrong to do so.
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Old 08-22-06, 02:54 PM
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Not the worst thing you could have done but it kind of puts you into the same category as the thieves.
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Old 08-22-06, 03:04 PM
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Take Philo 104, Ethical Theories (https://philosophy.berkeley.edu/courses/detail/63) and then tell us. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's being offered this semester so we'll have to wait.

But yes, you took something that wasn't yours.
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Old 08-22-06, 03:05 PM
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The problem is you don't know what's abandoned and what's just recently stripped. It would be helpful if people took their bikes off the racks even if they didn't want them anymore to prevent this problem.
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Old 08-22-06, 03:53 PM
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Several murders occur every year. Does this make it alright for you to commit murder?

Other people's actions don't justify your own.
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Old 08-22-06, 04:23 PM
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Do you really have to ask?

From Dictionary.com...

steal

1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.
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Old 08-22-06, 04:38 PM
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wrong
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Old 08-22-06, 04:38 PM
  #9  
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People shouldn't take things that don't belong to them. Somebody somewhere is sad for their missing bike with missing parts.
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Old 08-22-06, 04:51 PM
  #10  
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Unless the bike was truly "abandoned" in which case the original owner gave up legal ownership of the bike. If I leave a couch on the curb and someone takes it before the garbage man comes, thats not technically stealing. I admit, the question is more difficult when it comes to a bike locked to something because you have no objective evidence of the owner's intent to abandon it. Legally it presents a more difficult problem. Ethically, i think you could reasonably conclude that dude didnt want his grips anymore and they were free for the taking.

For a real ethical mind bender here is one. Dude leaves his bike on a rack. Goes to a bar, gets drunk and hit by a car, and is in a coma for 2 months. While he is in the coma someone puts a sign on the bike that says free bike parts. Assuming you do not have knowledge of any of the facts pertaining to the owner's current situation and simply come upon the bike, is it ethical for you to take the seat?

A. Yes, because I didnt know the guy was in a coma and i read the sign and though the owner gave it away.

B. No, regardless of whether yoyuknew about the owner's situation or thought you were stealing or even had a reasonable basis for your subjective belief, objectively you still took property belonging to another person
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Old 08-22-06, 05:02 PM
  #11  
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Yeah, pretty iffy there.

There are alot of bikes around campus here that just begs to be "liberated", no tires, no wheels, wheels only, etc. But because I can never really tell if the owner still wants it, I'll never do that.
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Old 08-22-06, 05:13 PM
  #12  
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30 days. If it's stripped and been sitting for a month, I think you are safe to assume it's been abandoned.
If your conscious is really bugging you, write your intentions on a piece of cardboard with an indelible marker, fold it around the top tube and staple it in place. If it's still there in a couple of weeks, well you asked first.

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Old 08-22-06, 05:29 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by skanking biker
If I leave a couch on the curb and someone takes it before the garbage man comes, thats not technically stealing.
Unless the couch was chained to your porch.
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Old 08-22-06, 05:53 PM
  #14  
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Porch =/= bike rack
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Old 08-22-06, 06:14 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by skanking biker
Unless the bike was truly "abandoned" in which case the original owner gave up legal ownership of the bike. If I leave a couch on the curb and someone takes it before the garbage man comes, thats not technically stealing.

For a real ethical mind bender here is one. Dude leaves his bike on a rack. Goes to a bar, gets drunk and hit by a car, and is in a coma for 2 months. While he is in the coma someone puts a sign on the bike that says free bike parts. Assuming you do not have knowledge of any of the facts pertaining to the owner's current situation and simply come upon the bike, is it ethical for you to take the seat?

A. Yes, because I didnt know the guy was in a coma and i read the sign and though the owner gave it away.

B. No, regardless of whether yoyuknew about the owner's situation or thought you were stealing or even had a reasonable basis for your subjective belief, objectively you still took property belonging to another person
I'm not sure about your city, but I learned about a year ago that if you leave a sofa out for the garbage man, the sofa becomes the property of the city and if it is taken it is technically stealing from the city (was a surprise to me). However, if you leave it on your property and put a sign on it, it can be taken lawfully by anyone, but the garbage man won't touch it. That's the way it is here, anyway. Interesting, huh.

As for the dilemna, I would select 'B' simply because I doubt anyone would leave a locked bike and put a sign on it. I would see that as someone playing a dirty trick on someone and wouldn't touch the bike. Anyone giving away parts wouldn't do it like that.

And as for taking the grips. It was wrong. You need new grips, buy them. Taking them without permission is theft, no matter what was assumed.
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Old 08-22-06, 06:53 PM
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Get a hack saw and a titanium blade. cut the chain or lock. strip the bike of non metal parts. place the metal bits in the proper recycling bin.
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Old 08-22-06, 07:15 PM
  #17  
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perhaps the next time you see someone getting beaten up you should jump in and throw a few shots of your own. the guy was already getting beaten up so it's okay right?
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Old 08-23-06, 08:51 AM
  #18  
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Possibility:

Owner leaves bike locked to rack for a few days, comes back to stripped bike, yells a few asterix-worthy words, walks home. Next day, he buys a new bike.

If the frame was worth something, I'd like to think the owner would have come back for it...


... but no, joining the rats at the unattended block of cheese was wrong.
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Old 08-23-06, 09:02 AM
  #19  
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Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.
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Old 08-23-06, 05:29 PM
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What if it's just sitting there and not even locked up. Certainly one is safe in assuming a bike is abandoned if it's just been left by its owner unsecured. At least I hope that's so because I get some really good bikes that way. I've found them just standing in front of deli's and convenience stores. Most were not even missing any parts and some seemed like they were practically new.
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Old 08-23-06, 05:38 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by geo8rge
Get a hack saw and a titanium blade. cut the chain or lock. strip the bike of non metal parts. place the metal bits in the proper recycling bin.
Quite so, just cut the lock. Like my first wife used to say, "If it isn't nailed down, it's mine. If I can pry it loose, well, then it isn't nailed down".

I know you were kidding geo8rge.
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Old 08-23-06, 07:24 PM
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I thought Berkeley was the epicenter of peace and love and progressive thought. Where/how does bike theft fit in there?
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Old 08-23-06, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ignominious
Several murders occur every year. Does this make it alright for you to commit murder?

Other people's actions don't justify your own.
Nice only 6 posts to equate theft with murder. Good job people.
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Old 08-23-06, 08:06 PM
  #24  
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Bezerkeley is a liberal toilet...
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Old 08-23-06, 08:25 PM
  #25  
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Durn liberals, everything's their fault, including bike theft, nuke 'em goddam it, stay the course, we will not leave on my watch, Global War on Bike Theft...
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