Theft in general legal systems

It is forbidden to take that which belongs to another person. This prohibition of theft, which has its source in God, is one of the basic principles of human legal systems and serves to ensure protection of, and respect for, property.


However, the commandment to love one's neighbour also entails that property should not be used in an avaricious and selfish way. Possessions thus also imply responsibilities.


Generally, theft is understood as the illegal misappropriation of another person's property. This can apply to both material things and intellectual property. It is forbidden to unlawfully acquire or damage the property of others. Likewise it is forbidden to deceive others in order to thereby acquire undue gain at their expense. The lust for power and profit must be held in check. It is also necessary to respect the dignity and wellbeing of others.