The problem posed is a moral dilemma based on the aspect of stealing in order to feed a hungry family. In ethical perspective, this is one of the situations where an agent has a basic and moral reason as to why he/she is carrying out such an action despite the fact that stealing is regarded as a wrong doing and is punishable by law in the society (Kirkpatrick 107). The dilemma presented in the aforementioned situation of a father stealing a loaf of bread in order to feed the family would be that stealing and watching over a hungry family starve while doing nothing is wrong. On the other hand, however, providing for a family, despite such means is right as expected of him as the head of the family and as the society demands (Kirkpatrick 107).
When the father is caught stealing in the name of the family, he can be punished for stealing since such an act is punishable by the law. Although most of the members of the society would sympathize with him for trying through every means to find food for a starving family, they might not necessarily understand the reason as to why he could not settle for other rightful ways to provide for the family (Kirkpatrick 112). The society is built on principles and rules that are against the act of stealing and would, therefore, settle for punishment of the father based on the fact that he went against the law and stole regardless of the noble reasons he may present for stealing (Saegert et al 101).
Based on the concept of balancing the societal duty in ensuring the family does not go angry and the individual’s responsibility in providing for the family, the government should also establish welfare programs for the society (Saegert et al 101). This is to avoid such experiences and reduce stealing crimes to a significant extent.
Kirkpatrick, E.A. Fundamentals of Sociology. Ohio, 2010. Print.
Saegert, Susan, J P. Thompson, and Mark R. Warren. Social Capital and Poor Communities. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2001. Print.