Condiments, Ethics and Morality

What’s Up With That?

I have noticed that among the backpacking community, many folks find the small condiment packages given out by fast food restaurants, to be convenient items to take on backpacking trips. I don’t use them (even with my fast food), but can see the utility.

So my first thought would have been to go to Costco and buy a case of my favorite individually packaged condiment. It would have never occurred to me to grab hands-full of condiments to be used backpacking. Apparently my thought process is different than many others, or perhaps they haven’t thought about it much.

I hear such nonsense from the condiment snatching people such as, “I am only taking a few, they cost little,” or “There is no sign saying I can’t take more than I need,” or (the worst) “It is a business, business is evil, so it is okay to take extra.”

So for those who are confused about all of this and need some guidance on how to make a decision on this serious matter:

The owners of these food establishments intended to provide you a choice of condiments that would only be used with the food you purchased and in reasonable quantity. They assumed you have enough intelligence to figure this out for yourself.

McDonalds Condiments 2

Apparently the restaurant owners assumed wrong. Now they are not leaving containers of condiments on counters; they provide what they think is appropriate for the food you order and charge extra for additional packets.

It is not because they are evil entrepreneurs; but because too many of their customers are evil, with a philosophy of entitlement.

Ah, you may ask, “Is taking an extra pack or two of condiments an ethical or moral issue?”

Yes, it is. It is pretty black and white. In my opinion, if an individual doesn’t see the problem in taking something in a manner not intended by its owner, then it is stealing.

It is a simple Values concept.

And when did stealing become okay? It has never been okay.

And what if the item has minimal value? Stealing has nothing to do with the value of an item.

If a person cannot see this, or rationalizes that it is right to take items of minimal value, then how will they make the big important ethical and moral decisions in life?

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