Dear Ethicist, 

I find myself in a moral grey area. I’ve recently taken to the bad habit of taking my wife’s insulin needles when she isn’t looking and selling them on Craigslist. I know this sounds bad, but in my defense, I am only selling her insulin so I can afford more bowling shoes. Does this count as stealing? 

Bryan Bolgreeves, Mississauga  

 

 

Dear Bryan,  

Well, you’re certainly right about one thing—this is definitely a moral grey area. There is no one right answer to your question. On the one hand, it usually doesn’t count as stealing when you take things from your own wife. I sold my wife’s drivers license to some middle schoolers last week so they could buy beer, and I wouldn’t consider that stealing. After all, if your wife really didn’t want you to take her insulin she should have done a much better job of hiding it.  

Why does your wife even have insulin anyway? You didn’t mention that your wife was diabetic in your question, so I’m going to go ahead and presume she isn’t. However, I bet some of the people you sold that insulin to online are diabetic. You might just be saving those people’s lives. Plus, bowling shoes are really cool. If your wife cares more about her insulin than about bowling shoes then she sounds like a real bore. You could do better, Bryan.  

On the other hand, sometimes people don’t like when you take their stuff. My wife got really mad at me when I took all of her shoes so I could throw them at birds. I can’t say I understand why that bothered her, but it definitely did.  

In short, there’s no simple answer I can give you here, Bryan. I’ve told you both sides of the story, and now you’re going to have to make your own decision.  

 

Best of luck!  

The Ethicist