Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homeless Culture: Ethics, Not Law

A person who becomes homeless quickly learns that their economic situation automatically makes them a criminal. It is illegal in most cities to “camp”, which means to sleep outside, even in one’s own car. The intent of these laws is to allow the homeless to be moved about as necessary by the city. Because the homeless are treated as criminals, they develop a casual approach to the law. The law itself isn’t a standard of morality, because they know that not all “criminals” are immoral. Instead, they follow their own morality, without regard to what is legal or not. However, the idea of what is ethical behavior varies greatly, as it does among the general populace. This means that the homeless might be more willing to do actions that are considered unacceptable by other groups. However, statistics show that the homeless are less likely to participate in violent crime than other groups.

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