Social and cultural consequences
The greatest deterrent to stealing is that it is against the law. If you are caught, you can be punished by being jailed or imprisoned—often for a long time. In some Arab countries, they cut off one hand of a thief as punishment.
Another negative factor in stealing is that people don’t like it when someone steals from them. They become angry and may seek revenge on the person who did the stealing, provided they know who and can catch the thief. There have been cases of a mob of angry people catching a purse-snatcher and beating him senseless.
Once a person has been branded as a thief, other people will no longer trust him or her. Even other thieves do not trust someone who steals.
While the law often punishes the criminal, the casual thief—the person who may take something that doesn't belong to him—can be ostracized by his society, if associates find out about his stealing.
Most religions have rules against stealing. Some simply say the stealing is wrong and against seeking goodness, while others say that stealing is a sin and will result in punishment from God.
Related to religious beliefs is the concept that "what comes around, goes around." In other words, if you steal, someone will steal from you or some other misfortune will happen to you.
But note that there are criminals who are devoutly religious. They sidestep the law and ignore the possibility of punishment from God. Perhaps they justify stealing through their personal moral beliefs.
Personal moral beliefs
Many people have personal moral beliefs that stealing is wrong. They want to do what it right and may even have a guilty conscience if they even did steal... [continues]
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