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Kraigmo's avatar

If you had access to a device that could make duplicates (copies) of brand new vehicles, enabling you to drive off in it, while leaving the original in its place unharmed... would you do it?

Asked by Kraigmo (7882points) April 10th, 2010

Obviously taking someone else’s or a dealer’s car without paying would be theft.

But if you could rent a machine that would enable you to assemble an exact duplicate for you on the spot, leaving the original car unharmed, would you do so? And would it be ethical to do so? And would those ethics depend on your hardships at all or not?

I’m sure the car dealers would disagree with you if you say yes.

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11 Answers

davidbetterman's avatar

In a hot flash…I mean yes, of course.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Oh, yeah. Technically it’s not stealing. ;)

DarkScribe's avatar

Shades of “Star Trek” replicators..

Imagine the traffic chaos, the cluttered, grid locked streets as the typical person kept changing their mind and abandoning one vehicle for another as soon as they saw something better or more appealing coming down the road.

phillis's avatar

Hardships are not taken into consideration in matters of ethics, which is why the dabate rages on regarding how guilty a thief really is when he’s starving and steals a loaf of bread. Some prefer a hard nosed stance, while others take a more lenient position.

In this case, it’s akin to ripping and burning music you’ve not paid for, or stealing cable TV, right? So I guess I have to pass on this one. But I don’t like it.

filmfann's avatar

What if, instead of it being a vehicle, it was a DVD movie or a music CD?
Yes, of course you are stealing from those that produce the item. These things cost money to design and develop.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Of course I would.
I would be rich. It would revolutionize the industry.

lonelydragon's avatar

Would the duplicate car be like new (i.e. no miles on it)? If so, then yes. I know there are ethical considerations, but sometimes, when an older car is all you have and it’s on the fritz, you can’t afford to replace it with a new one from the dealership.

gasman's avatar

In this scenario do I get to keep billions of dollars in profit from selling the cars? Put me down for a Yes.

Coloma's avatar

What did you smoke/drink for breakfast? lol

HungryGuy's avatar

That depends. Copying a car presents various legal problems because every car has a unique serial number, or VIN. Your car would have the same VIN as mine, which would cause all manner of legal problems for both of us. But to answer your question while ignoring that particular problem, if my car is in my driveway and you use your copier from across the street without coming near my car, then I don’t see any problem. But if you have to surround my car with “sensors” and whatnot preventing me from getting to my car, then that is, if not stealng, then trespass or something. So as long you acquired the machine honestly, including the raw materials that the machine uses to fabricate the copy, and the process of making the copy doesn’t interfere with my use of my property, then there’s absolutely nothing morally or ethically wrong with making a copy of a physical object.

Jeruba's avatar

Is this really a question about the ethics of cloning?

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