Being Good for Nothing

This morning we draw from Richard Gilbert’s class, “Building Your Own Theology.” In a service when congregants and minister interact in a back-and-forth conversation. The topic is ethics.

Heinz’s Dilemma:
A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging 10 times wahat the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of that drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could get together only $1,000, half of what it cost. He told the druggist his wife was dying and asked him to sell it to him cheaper, or let him pay later. But the druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife.

Some questions to consider:
a) Should Heinz have stolen the drug? Why?
b) Which is worse, letting someone die or stealing? Why?
c) What does the ‘value of life’ mean to you? Why?
d) Is there a good reason for a husband to steal if he doesn’t love his wife?
e) Would it be right to steal it for a stranger as for his wife? Why?
f) Suppose we was stealing it for a pet he loved dearly. Would it be right to steal for the pet? Why?
g) Heinz steals the drug and is caught. Should the judge sentence him or let him go free? Why?