Friday, May 23, 2008

Is penalty for theft a discrimination?

Alert! Alert!
[British] Foreign Office instructs embassies to push LGBT rights - The British government has adopted an official programme to support the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in other countries.
Do [habitual] thieves have human rights? Yes, they do. Does that mean there shouldn't be penalty for stealing? No. Then, aren't they being discriminated? ... No.

I agree with an argument that I have read. We talk about discriminant against certain race because people don't choose to be of their race. We may talk about discrimination against people of certain religions, because usually, in these religions, the believers didn't or can't choose their religions, e.g. they are borned into it.

However, nobody is borned a thief, and even if it was so in some very rare cases, the person can still choose not to be a thief. Similarly, nobody is born a LGBT, and similarly, the person can still choose what type of life they prefer. Thus, it isn't valid to talk about discrimination against thieves and LGBT.

Criminalizing the act of stealing does not go against the rights of a person who steals, or likes to steal. It discourages such acts which is bad for the larger community. Those who find it difficult conforming to any society's expectations are naturally find it difficult living in that society. However, this itself is not discrimination against them.

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