Silly Question: is "finders, keepers" immoral?

Ok, silly question:

So let’s say you’re walking down the sidewalk and you see a $20 bill on the ground. It’s not yours. But it has no identifying information (i.e., no accompanying wallet, nobody standing right there looking for a lost $20 bill, etc.). Is it moral to take it? On the one hand, it’s not yours. So it would seem wrong just to take it. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to be *anybody’s. *What say you?

It would depend if you were in front of a store or something. My children and I had this happen in the parking lot at Target. We found one ten and one five dollar bill. We went in and turned it in to the Customer Service counter and said if anybody comes in to claim it in the next 45 minutes while we are shopping, then fine. If not, then we get to keep it. I figured if the person just dropped it, he would notice right away. Otherwise it would be too late.

Nobody claimed it, so the kids got to keep it. But generally I think finders keepers is not a good policy. It is dishonest. I would hope that somebody would try to turn something in that I might lose.

I agree. If there is any way possible to try to find the owner it should be done. However, if that can’t be done, like you found it on the side of a freeway, then sure pick it up. -Tim

YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER…:hmmm:

If you find something, you have just as much as a right to it as anyone else (except the person that lost it). Do what you reasonably can to identify who lost it or to make it available to them. This is difficult with found cash. You can’t really put up a sign saying, “If you lost $100 call 123-1234”. I don’t have an easy answer in that situation.

As for something other than cash, I say a finder can take it. But they ought to do something to facilitate getting it back to the true owner who comes looking for it.

[quote=atsheeran]If you find something, you have just as much as a right to it as anyone else (except the person that lost it). Do what you reasonably can to identify who lost it or to make it available to them. This is difficult with found cash. You can’t really put up a sign saying, “If you lost $100 call 123-1234”. I don’t have an easy answer in that situation.

As for something other than cash, I say a finder can take it. But they ought to do something to facilitate getting it back to the true owner who comes looking for it.
[/quote]

I think proper steps need to be taken depending on the situation.

A friend of mind found a jewelry bag as she stepped into a cab at the airport. Other than seeing jewelry, she didn’t exam it too closely. She turned it into the airport, and they held it for 30 days and called her after no one came forward.

The bag had a beautiful 3 karat diamond pendant, another pendant (tourmaline?) and a gold chain. The diamond was guesstimated at $20,000, but possibly worth more as the feather-like flaw was only visible under strong magnification. It’s now part of her wedding ring. She assumes the owner probably had it insured and didn’t bother trying to track it down.

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