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(Some Guy)   Teen returns $24,000 he finds in movie theater, regrets not spending it on large popcorn   ( divider line
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13185 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Dec 2006 at 1:12 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2006-12-18 04:01:30 PM  
Implicit Frustration has the right idea.
2006-12-18 04:02:11 PM  

Legal questions of ownership of personal property may now be settled with wordnet. No need to bother the police with such silly questions.
2006-12-18 04:04:17 PM  
Who brings $24K anywhere? I wouldn't even carry $24K unless I had several burly friends with me, and then I'd go straight to the bank. That's a downpayment on a house in some places for fark's sake.
2006-12-18 04:08:03 PM  

See there you go again with that word, legal. Do I really need to spell it out for you that I am not a court of law therefore I do not decide on legal precedents regarding ownership or any other legal matters.

I do not agree with the law. It is my opinion that he was in ownership of the money. Therefore there was no dishonesty involved. This is my opinion,legally inaccurate as it may be.
2006-12-18 04:09:28 PM  
A_Listless_Wanderer, I know he didn't keep it. It was in reference all the comments here that were saying that he was stupid to give it back. I was defending him.

So to those of you that would have kept it, how would you feel if you misplaced $24k of your hard-earned money and someone found it, had the opportunity to get it back to you, but did not? What if it was your dog? Or worse yet, your child? Do you really believe that because of your misfortune ( or stupidity, if you insist )that whatever you lost is free game?
2006-12-18 04:13:04 PM  
freda neato

If my dog or child didn't give my $24k back, I'd be damn hurt.
2006-12-18 04:16:18 PM  
owtytrof: As you should be. ;)
2006-12-18 04:16:45 PM  
On the one hand I'd say people should return thing they find that were lost, but carrying $24K to a movie theater takes such an extreme level of stupidity and/or illegality that I have to think about it.
2006-12-18 04:18:31 PM  
Ahhhhh, finders keepers.

Hey Afecks, where do you park your car?
2006-12-18 04:22:35 PM  
You're a Mean Drunk R2D2, but you'd have no way of knowing why that money was there. The reason could have been somehow necessary or accidental. Regardless, does occasional stupidity immediately render someone completely undeserving of their own property?
2006-12-18 04:22:42 PM  
A lot of farkers keep asking who brings $24,000 to a movie theater or carries it with them or does not go immediatly to the bank night deposit. Well if you are a store manage and close out for the night, particularly at Chirstmass, you might just have $24,000 dollars. Now if you just happen to have a date that night, and just happen to be running late you just might carry it with you until said date is over.

I'm just saying it's not impossible or improbable. The kid is a HERO, not only does he give the money back, but takes no reward and wants no acclaim. It's sad how many of you have no ethics, honor, or integrity.
2006-12-18 04:25:20 PM  
I, for one, liked what Afecks had to say. And, honestly, I think trueaustinite might've missed it.
2006-12-18 04:27:49 PM  

You can think it all you want to, but I got the *point* just fine. And I disagree. Keeping the money would have made this kid guilty of grand larceny. I cannot opinion my way around that fact.
2006-12-18 04:27:53 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
2006-12-18 04:29:38 PM  
freda neato
No, that's not what I'm saying. I wouldn't want to be the person who did that to someone.
But you have to know that someone might, and that's why you shouldn't carry your life savings into a theater. And if you *needed* to do that, I don't know, freaking duct tape it to your ass or something, don't accidentally leave it there.
2006-12-18 04:30:24 PM  
To think: had it been the police who had found this money (especially if it had still been in the woman's purse) they would have just "confiscated" it.

When a 19 year old has more conscience than the police in your country, you are bang in trouble.
2006-12-18 04:31:55 PM  
Fine, guilty or not, I don't know. But he'd never have been caught so it's pretty much a moot point. The thing is, he didn't "have" to return it. There was nothing making him do it. To call giving it back the "right" thing does somewhat cheapen his actions, I think. His actions can be referred to as "generous" just as easily (and possibly even more accurately) than merely "good" or "honest". The way I read Afecks, he was still complimenting the kid's actions - just in a different light (one which I happen to agree with, and may not have otherwise considered).
2006-12-18 04:33:36 PM  
Yellowbeard When a 19 year old has more conscience than the police in your country, you are bang in trouble.

This would be better phrased, "When you trust a 19 year old more than the police... (etc)", because that's the only thing you can prove. Just sayin'
2006-12-18 04:37:30 PM  
In terms of what I'd do, I honestly don't know. $24k in cash? I imagine I'd highly suspect that I just stumbled upon highly illegal activity. I think fear would be just as large a factor in my decision as nobility. As in, even though we're only discussin two options "keep it" vs. "return it", I think there's a third option we aren't discussing: "leave it the f' alone, and back away slowly".

I truly wonder what I would've done, and ask that God grant me the opportunity to find out. =)
2006-12-18 04:39:55 PM  
Afecks: "There is nothing honest about returning lost money."

Only if you are completely literal-minded about what "honest" means. If you mean "tells the truth" then it is not "honest" per se. If you mean "does what an honest, decent person would do" then it is honest.

"That money belonged to him when he found it, no dishonesty involved."

It belonged to him in a literal sense. It did not belong to him in the sense of his having earned it it, or having a solid moral basis for keeping it. It also did not belong to him in a legal sense.

"He gave it back to the previous owner out of generosity."

Generosity does not cover the reason he gave it back to the previous owner. He also gave it back out of a sense of morality. This is no less commendable.

"To say that it was the only right thing to do is bullshiat and it cheapens the act itself."

Why does this cheapen anything? It only cheapens it if you're saying the kid didn't do anything special. He did, because most people wouldn't make the moral choice, they'd make the selfish and unconscientious choice.

"There are no moral absolutes."

True, but only if you assume no premises about the need to act morally in a well-functioning civilization. Just because morality is a human construct does not make it any less real or important within the framework of what we value as society.

"That act of giving that money back was no different (in charity, not logistics) than if he earned it himself and gave it away."

It is completely different and you have provided no argument otherwise. The difference is that he did not earn the money and thus had less moral right to it. Money is symbolic -- it is a way of making it so that our work, effort and risks can be traded in for other goods and services. The money the kid found in no way symbolically related to anything that he had actually done.

"I'm sick of farktards that scoff anytime you applaud someone for "doing the right thing"."

They are farktards, true.

"Just because we "should" do something doesn't mean we usually do. When someone does something nice that people don't usually do it's pretty farking special. Being cynical is fine but being an elitist prick isn't."

This much we agree on.
2006-12-18 04:41:56 PM  
I don't think he missed anything, JE255J, it was pretty clear. He just didn't agree with it.

I personally don't even think it's about the law. It's about ethics. I know that no one can *make* you do the right thing, but it doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do. So, are you guys saying that it's *not* right to return someones lost property? I am kind of bewildered here. Do you not believe that you have a moral responsibility to return something to its rightful owner if you have the opportunity? Really truly, it's all "finders keepers"?

Really, I can't believe we're even arguing about this.
2006-12-18 04:53:31 PM  


too lazy to read thread or article.
2006-12-18 04:55:22 PM  
Way to put the smack down, cankersnore!

Can we talk about the cynical, fine/elitist, prick thing? I guess I don't follow.
2006-12-18 05:02:34 PM  

Aren't you an attorney? If so, how exactly is it grand larceny to take found money? Not being belligerent - I'm genuinely curious. Is it the amount? Is it the circumstance?
2006-12-18 05:14:46 PM  

Good points. Just one thing.

The difference is that he did not earn the money and thus had less moral right to it. Money is symbolic -- it is a way of making it so that our work, effort and risks can be traded in for other goods and services.

If money is all about work, effort and risks then explain Paris Hilton.
2006-12-18 05:19:13 PM  
Afecks: If money is all about work, effort and risks then explain Paris Hilton.

You're probably just being snide, but he didn't say it was all about that. He said it has a "way of making it so that our work, effort and risks can be traded in for other goods and services." That doesn't mean you always need to do that to get money.
2006-12-18 05:25:49 PM  

That doesn't mean you always need to do that to get money.

That is my point. Finding it on the ground, winning the lottery and having rich parents are all valid ways of obtaining money.
2006-12-18 05:34:15 PM  
Afecks: That is my point. Finding it on the ground, winning the lottery and having rich parents are all valid ways of obtaining money.

Having rich parents or winning the lottery does not deprive someone else of something they rightfully owned. You do not have to, for example, keep someone's money you find on the ground. Having rich parents, however, does not deprive someone else.

And before you say it, don't start about how capitialism is a 'zero-sum game' and if Paris gets money from her parents then others don't. It's not a good argument.
2006-12-18 05:47:49 PM  
She didn't have time to go to the bank.. because her MOVIE was about to start??

She deserved to lose it. Try some well disciplined business practices, why don't ya?

She would have been crying "Take pity, I'm a small business owner!" if the money stayed lost.
2006-12-18 05:50:15 PM  

The amount makes it a "grand" larceny.

The taking of it to begin with makes it a larceny. Losing personal property does not divest ones ownership interest in it. It certainly changes the possessory interest to the one in possession, but that does not automatically make it his.

Stated differently, ownership is more than just possession. Leaving your billfold on the counter at a restaurant does not suddenly make it *not* your billfold any longer.

And a person who finds it has some legal duties with respect to it, and is not entitled to keep it, as stupid as losing it may or may not be.
2006-12-18 05:51:22 PM  
trueaustinite: guilty of larceny

Assuming Ohio (where the incident happened) has a statute relating to found property. From what I can tell, it does not (though the county/city may have).

New York (where this article's event happened), on the other hand, does:

"Except as provided in subdivision five of section two hundred fifty-six of this chapter or as otherwise prescribed pursuant to section two hundred fifty of the general municipal law, any person who finds lost property of the value of twenty dollars or more or comes into possession of property of the value of twenty dollars or more with knowledge that it is lost property or found property shall, within ten days after the finding or acquisition of possession thereof, either return it to the owner or report such finding or acquisition of possession and deposit such property in a police station or police headquarters of the city where the finding occurred...."
2006-12-18 05:54:13 PM  
bad_ed: how exactly is it grand larceny to take found money?

In New York, a person commits larceny if he 'unlawfully obtains or appropriates' an article. Since he didn't obtain it illegally (the crime is only in not surrendering it to authorities) I don't see how this would be grand larceny either.

2006-12-18 05:56:59 PM  

I think you may need to do a little more research. I don't even have to look to know that Ohio has a larceny statute, and finding valuable things and keeping them is larceny.

New York may have codified it further, but that's not particularly relevant.
2006-12-18 05:58:50 PM  

The offense does not happen when one finds it, it happens when one puts it to ones own use or possession, and demonstrates the intent to keep it. That's the "appropriation" part.

2006-12-18 06:03:55 PM  
trueaustinite: I don't even have to look to know that Ohio has a larceny statute,

I didn't say larceny, I said found property (see the link I provided, which is all I could find on short notice). I wouldn't suppose Ohio to be absent a larceny statute either.

That saidm I would have returned the laptop -- probably would have been REALLY easy to find the owner (a quick search of the harddrive would be all that is necessary, knowing most users).

The $24k, on the other hand... I can't say I'd give a crap about the laws at that point, though I'd suppose I'd at least feel bad were I to later find out that it was going to be used to clothe orphans or something.

On the other hand, were I later to find out it was just some dumbass who prioritized "being on time for movie" higher than her livelihood, I would've laughed aloud and never given it another thought.
2006-12-18 06:11:06 PM  
What is this, a book club? All you need to go make me a sandwich and be quiet.
2006-12-18 06:11:54 PM  
Bobilbob: All you need to go make me a sandwich and be quiet.

Yes, dear.

/goes home
2006-12-18 06:23:30 PM  


Pedantic? Check.

Makes claims about "morality" other than to claim he knows exactly what is "morally right or wrong"? Check.

Spots my logical fallacy (I am going to go with "affirmation of the consequent" though that might be a stretch)? Check.

Philosophy major?
2006-12-18 06:27:14 PM  
So, I'm confused. Was the
img.fark.netView Full Size
tag used because there's no FOOL tag?
2006-12-18 06:49:17 PM  
If your ethics a based on the situation, you have no ethics.

I face a lot of things that "could" be billed out almost daily, The customer diagnosed the problem, bought the parts and brought it to my shop to have the work done.

They get it wrong most of the time.

Do I bill them because it was their fault? Do I do the right thing and fix the real problem and let it go at that?

If you find your decisions to be based on circumstance, you have no right to be critical to anyone for what they do, you have no base from which to argue it from.

Losing faith, one day at a time........
2006-12-18 07:41:30 PM  
I find it interesting that there is so much argument on this thread about the morality of keeping the money versus the morality of giving it back, when there are qualifiers to those choices that aren't being considered.

We truly don't know that the person who lost the money actually earned it in a legal and honest fashion, so we cannot say with certainty that it was actually hers, and therefore also cannot say with certainty that giving it back to her was the "right" thing to do. And since we do not know what the teenager in question would have done with the money had he kept it, we cannot say for certain that he would not have made better use of it than she would. For example, he could have assumed that the money in question was in fact drug money, and taken it to a homeless shelter to give it to those who needed it more than either himself or the woman who lost it. Who is to say that such a redistribution of wealth is not the more "right" action?

While I do not believe that this line of thought diminishes his action, I do believe that we should be less hasty to judge those who believe that he had a right to dispose of the money as he saw fit, and that he chose one of several possible "right" actions.
2006-12-18 07:56:17 PM  

I take it you haven't read much Kant (or possibly have and disagree).

Just like utilitarianism, what you are espousing, here, flies in the face of the reasonable application of ethics. A moral code which judges actions based on their results rather than based on the actions themselves is inherently flawed, as the agent cannot know, when action is taken, what the result will truly be (though he may think he does).

Given this, holding moral judgment until such time as a result has occurred is disingenuous. If one is to believe that "morality" means anything, I would hope that one would posit that it referred to a system which would judge an agent based on the agent's actions, the results /intended/ by the agent when he took those actions, and the motive behind said agent's actions. Judging the agent based on information that the agent could not possibly know (such as, in the above possibility you describe, vis a vis - whether or not the money was ill-gotten) is absurd - reaching (I believe) beyond even anything that John Stuart Mill or even Peter Singer would expect of an agent.

If you are going to take the position that he could have kept the money in good conscience, please do not claim that it is, or could be, the morally "right" thing to do, when, in fact, it would be morally neutral at the absolute best.
2006-12-18 07:58:13 PM  
Who is to say that such a redistribution of wealth is not the more "right" action?

I am.
Considering he had no idea where the money came from, it makes no sense to play Robin Hood with it. For all he knew, it already was intended to go to the homeless. Maybe it was the life savings of some poor working class dude who had pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and was going to go to college or something.
I mean, probably not, but he probably wasn't going to give it to the homeless either.
2006-12-18 07:58:26 PM  
Xionicist, while I don't agree with you, I do see your point. I really think that most of the Farkers in this thread who said that they would keep it do not give one rats ass as to where the money came from. Had it been from a nun or a drug dealer, they would have kept it for one reason and one reason only: greed.
2006-12-18 08:02:08 PM  
This thread makes me laugh because I'm playing "Spot the philosophy major".

I'm going to start trying to throw people off by using the phrase "vis a vis".
2006-12-18 08:02:58 PM  
Of course, I don't really understand how to use it properly, so it will probably be a dead giveaway.
2006-12-18 08:19:55 PM  
submitter: Teen returns $24,000 he finds in movie theater, regrets not spending it on large popcorn

I've told you a million times not to exaggerate. He could have gotten a coke and box of jujubees, too.
2006-12-18 10:05:54 PM  
If it had been my son who did that, I'd be farking proud. Kudos to his parents for raising him right.
2006-12-18 10:25:19 PM  
What a moron.
2006-12-19 12:00:16 AM  
Afecks: "If money is all about work, effort and risks then explain Paris Hilton."

Wow, you got me there!

Actually you have to hand it to Paris Hilton (you can make up whatever "it" is). She has made herself a household name by doing almost nothing of merit. She pays out big money to a publicist to keep her name in print. She's sort of a genius on a Warhol level. The best thing about her is she hardly ever actually says anything.
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