Why is it wrong to cut hands off thieves?

Under the country’s strict Islamic penal code, theft “on the first occasion” is punishable by the amputation of up to four fingers. In most cases, however, prison sentences are handed down for theft instead — and the most severe punishments are generally only handed down to adults.

Iranian teens convicted of stealing reportedly will have fingers chopped off

We don’t like this.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Ephesians 4:28

The verse from the Christian Bible predates Mohammed by more than 300 years, but certainly not the practice of amputating limbs as punishment for crime. The Bible verse here does not even suggest a prison sentence.

A court-ordered restitution, with civil fines or community service, seems to be the limit of punishment suggested here. Death is clearly excessive, whereas a thief with his hands cut off will sit idly on the disability rolls and continue to steal by consuming food, clothing, housing and other essentials of life while failing to engage in productive activity to replace that which he consumes in daily living.

Prison is even costlier than other forms of housing, and prisoners have to be served like kings; they cannot farm, cook and prepare their own food all on their own; guards have to be paid, etc. Prisoners, in effect, are still stealing for as long as they are in prison, with no other way to survive, and there is at this time a large and corrupt Prison-Industrial Complex labor union in the United States.

Are there other ways to stop the steal?

The removal of temptation, such as the common encouragement at parking lots for drivers not to leave valuables in their car, is one thing; but that does not stop the tampering with and theft of the motor vehicles themselves.

Are store owners who display jewelry in their windows guilty of encouraging theft? Are women with long hair “unveiled” guity of encouraging other women to cut it off?

Some limits to the stealing are necessary. Not all property is community property.

Arbitrary or cruel and unusual punishments handed out without the due process of law are not appropriate, either.

The removal of the ability or temptation to steal cannot really be the answer in all cases, either.

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