Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Chat about anything your heart desires here, just be civil. Factual or scientific questions about philosophy go here (e.g. "When was Socrates born?"), and so most homework help questions belong here. Note, posts in the off-topic section will not increase new members post counts. This includes the introductions and feedback sections.
User avatar
Above us only sky
Posts: 361
Joined: February 12th, 2012, 9:03 am

Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Above us only sky » December 2nd, 2016, 5:02 am

Last week, I visited a Starbucks near my home. What motivated me to go there is because I want to finish the reading of a book, and that cafe provides a comfortable armchair and some easy-listening background music, as well as a large indoor space, all of which I do not have at home.

So I went there, sat in an armchair and start reading the book, but after a while, an anxiety arises in my mind:

One voice tells me that I should at least order something because if I don’t, then I ‘m ‘stealing’ from Starbucks since our capitalist society functions by consumerism and I ‘m using their chair, space, light and background music without paying them anything back.
Another voice tells me I don’t need to order anything, because when I entered the shop and sat down, the shop assistant did not walk to me to ask me to order a drink. And also, I drink tea but not coffee, and a cup of coffee is expensive to me.

In the end, I could not bear those two conflicting thoughts arguing in my head and I want to make my mind focus on the reading of my book, so walked to the counter and ordered a coffee, after I made my order, those two thoughts disappeared and I can focus on my reading again.

The question is : If a person go to a café to read a book (or to use the ‘free’ wifi ) without buying anything, then is that person doing something evil?

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 2785
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by LuckyR » December 2nd, 2016, 9:32 pm

Above us only sky wrote:Last week, I visited a Starbucks near my home. What motivated me to go there is because I want to finish the reading of a book, and that cafe provides a comfortable armchair and some easy-listening background music, as well as a large indoor space, all of which I do not have at home.

So I went there, sat in an armchair and start reading the book, but after a while, an anxiety arises in my mind:

One voice tells me that I should at least order something because if I don’t, then I ‘m ‘stealing’ from Starbucks since our capitalist society functions by consumerism and I ‘m using their chair, space, light and background music without paying them anything back.
Another voice tells me I don’t need to order anything, because when I entered the shop and sat down, the shop assistant did not walk to me to ask me to order a drink. And also, I drink tea but not coffee, and a cup of coffee is expensive to me.

In the end, I could not bear those two conflicting thoughts arguing in my head and I want to make my mind focus on the reading of my book, so walked to the counter and ordered a coffee, after I made my order, those two thoughts disappeared and I can focus on my reading again.

The question is : If a person go to a café to read a book (or to use the ‘free’ wifi ) without buying anything, then is that person doing something evil?
Good for you. You are Exhibit A on the existence and value of a conscience. A couple of things: you were not doing anything illegal or evil or even wrong by not purchasing something from Starbucks, but you were abusing their generosity. To be clear their generosity is NOT the comfy chair or the wifi, it is their not hassling you for keeping space away from their paying customers. That is, the guy who buys a latte but has to leave because there isn't room has had his experience devalued for the price of his latte. Of course when you pay for your tea, his experience is identically the same, but he knew that by purchasing a latte he was not guaranteed a chair, so he is OK with that. Starbucks is worse off though if a higher percentage of their paying customers have a sub-optimal experience.

You obviously know right from not right (this was not a case of legal vs illegal, or even right vs wrong), however in the future issues of this kind can be clarified by using the following tool: would you feel comfortable going up to the barista and announcing "I am going to not order anything but take up this comfy chair, are you OK with that?" If he says "go ahead" you are occupying the moral high ground. OTOH most would never take a chance on looking like a complete a55hole in front of mixed company, which is forcing your (future) confused conscience to make up it's mind.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Renee
Posts: 327
Joined: May 3rd, 2015, 10:39 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Frigyes Karinthy

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Renee » December 2nd, 2016, 10:01 pm

Above us only sky wrote:
So I went there, sat in an armchair and start reading the book, but after a while, an anxiety arises in my mind:
The question is : If a person go to a café to read a book (or to use the ‘free’ wifi) without buying anything, then is that person doing something evil?
I've gone in so many times to oogle good-looking older women for free, that now the company has enforced the following in my town. Hanging above the cash register is a sign:

"Consuming enforced by seats:"

2-chair table by one person: Talle Latte for first half hour, one grande latte talle blonde for each fifteen minutes afterward.

Four-chair table occupied by computers, coats, cell phones, pen, notebook, textbooks, no person: two buckets of Grande Latte, but don'te be Latte for classe.

Blind-and-handicap seating, when accompanied by a PSW (human, animal or mechanical): free. Dog gets a bowl of water with ice cubes, straws and a little umberella; humans are required to talk loudly and scratch obnoxiously.

High seat by the window: At your own risk, of sunstroke, caffeine-poisoning, STD infection, or falling off the chair into the abyss.

Comfy cushy armchair: Sprinting for the chairs from a standing start, followed by a general scrawl-n-brawl of elbowing, pushing and shoving, last man or woman standing gets to sit.

-- Updated December 2nd, 2016, 10:06 pm to add the following --
Above us only sky wrote:Last week, I visited a Starbucks near my home. What motivated me to go there is because I want to finish the reading of a book, and that cafe provides a comfortable armchair and some easy-listening background music, as well as a large indoor space, all of which I do not have at home.

So I went there, sat in an armchair and start reading the book, but after a while, an anxiety arises in my mind:

One voice tells me that I should at least order something because if I don’t, then I ‘m ‘stealing’ from Starbucks since our capitalist society functions by consumerism and I ‘m using their chair, space, light and background music without paying them anything back.
Another voice tells me I don’t need to order anything, because when I entered the shop and sat down, the shop assistant did not walk to me to ask me to order a drink. And also, I drink tea but not coffee, and a cup of coffee is expensive to me.

In the end, I could not bear those two conflicting thoughts arguing in my head and I want to make my mind focus on the reading of my book, so walked to the counter and ordered a coffee, after I made my order, those two thoughts disappeared and I can focus on my reading again.

The question is : If a person go to a café to read a book (or to use the ‘free’ wifi ) without buying anything, then is that person doing something evil?
LuckyR wrote: Good for you. You are Exhibit A on the existence and value of a conscience. A couple of things: you were not doing anything illegal or evil or even wrong by not purchasing something from Starbucks, but you were abusing their generosity. To be clear their generosity is NOT the comfy chair or the wifi, it is their not hassling you for keeping space away from their paying customers. That is, the guy who buys a latte but has to leave because there isn't room has had his experience devalued for the price of his latte. Of course when you pay for your tea, his experience is identically the same, but he knew that by purchasing a latte he was not guaranteed a chair, so he is OK with that. Starbucks is worse off though if a higher percentage of their paying customers have a sub-optimal experience.

You obviously know right from not right (this was not a case of legal vs illegal, or even right vs wrong), however in the future issues of this kind can be clarified by using the following tool: would you feel comfortable going up to the barista and announcing "I am going to not order anything but take up this comfy chair, are you OK with that?" If he says "go ahead" you are occupying the moral high ground. OTOH most would never take a chance on looking like a complete a55hole in front of mixed company, which is forcing your (future) confused conscience to make up it's mind.
Or do what I do. Pick a "Starbucks" cup (paper cup) out of the garbage when no one is looking, and sit down with it. Make sure the lid is on, so nobody can see the cup is fully empty. (Not half full.) Luckily lids are available plentiful.
Ignorance is power.

Felix
Posts: 1890
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Felix » December 2nd, 2016, 11:28 pm

If a person go to a café to read a book (or to use the ‘free’ wifi ) without buying anything, then is that person doing something evil?
It's only evil if you do it by yourself and don't wear a "Starbucks makes the world's best coffee!" t-shirt.

If you do it with a few companions, you are giving them advertising in exchange for your loitering because you are making them appear more popular than they actually are - especially if you all go there when there are few customers in the store.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

User avatar
Above us only sky
Posts: 361
Joined: February 12th, 2012, 9:03 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Above us only sky » December 3rd, 2016, 1:30 am

Renee wrote: Or do what I do. Pick a "Starbucks" cup (paper cup) out of the garbage when no one is looking, and sit down with it. Make sure the lid is on, so nobody can see the cup is fully empty. (Not half full.) Luckily lids are available plentiful.
:D You are making Starbucks unhappy :D I hope when I 'm using the reused paper cut I will not be noticed by the cafe owner.

-- Updated December 2nd, 2016, 10:36 pm to add the following --
Renee wrote:
I've gone in so many times to oogle good-looking older women for free, that now the company has enforced the following in my town. Hanging above the cash register is a sign:

"Consuming enforced by seats:"

2-chair table by one person: Talle Latte for first half hour, one grande latte talle blonde for each fifteen minutes afterward.

Four-chair table occupied by computers, coats, cell phones, pen, notebook, textbooks, no person: two buckets of Grande Latte, but don'te be Latte for classe.

Blind-and-handicap seating, when accompanied by a PSW (human, animal or mechanical): free. Dog gets a bowl of water with ice cubes, straws and a little umberella; humans are required to talk loudly and scratch obnoxiously.

High seat by the window: At your own risk, of sunstroke, caffeine-poisoning, STD infection, or falling off the chair into the abyss.

Comfy cushy armchair: Sprinting for the chairs from a standing start, followed by a general scrawl-n-brawl of elbowing, pushing and shoving, last man or woman standing gets to sit.
:o Did the starbucks in your town really go so far to put that notice above the cash register? They will love those new rules you have set for them. :D

-- Updated December 2nd, 2016, 10:36 pm to add the following --
Renee wrote:
I've gone in so many times to oogle good-looking older women for free, that now the company has enforced the following in my town. Hanging above the cash register is a sign:

"Consuming enforced by seats:"

2-chair table by one person: Talle Latte for first half hour, one grande latte talle blonde for each fifteen minutes afterward.

Four-chair table occupied by computers, coats, cell phones, pen, notebook, textbooks, no person: two buckets of Grande Latte, but don'te be Latte for classe.

Blind-and-handicap seating, when accompanied by a PSW (human, animal or mechanical): free. Dog gets a bowl of water with ice cubes, straws and a little umberella; humans are required to talk loudly and scratch obnoxiously.

High seat by the window: At your own risk, of sunstroke, caffeine-poisoning, STD infection, or falling off the chair into the abyss.

Comfy cushy armchair: Sprinting for the chairs from a standing start, followed by a general scrawl-n-brawl of elbowing, pushing and shoving, last man or woman standing gets to sit.
:o Did the starbucks in your town really go so far to put that notice above the cash register? They will love those new rules you have set for them. :D

-- Updated December 2nd, 2016, 11:47 pm to add the following --

There may have some culture differences involved:

Let me clarify: in your town, on the moment you enter a restaurants and coffee house in your town, will the barista give you a greeting and ask you to take an order? Is Starbucks in your town doing the same thing?

Burning ghost
Posts: 2096
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Burning ghost » December 5th, 2016, 6:12 am

I was not allowed to sit down once because someone wanted to sit alone.

If there is an empty seat and I have purchased a drink do I have the right to sit in a vacant seat or not?

-- Updated December 5th, 2016, 6:18 am to add the following --

Another thought is that if you are regular customer and ask if its okay to sit for a couple of hours without purchasing anything would you feel a little cheated?

If you only want to sit ask how much to sit and pay but don't waste resources. Why buy coffee you won't drink.

These are worth considering.

I went to a Buddhist monastry and staying for 6 days. They gave me a bed to sleep in and food. They asked for a donation and I gave nothing in return. Is that "wrong"?
AKA badgerjelly

User avatar
Renee
Posts: 327
Joined: May 3rd, 2015, 10:39 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Frigyes Karinthy

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Renee » December 5th, 2016, 4:14 pm

Burning ghost wrote:I was not allowed to sit down once because someone wanted to sit alone.

If there is an empty seat and I have purchased a drink do I have the right to sit in a vacant seat or not?

-- Updated December 5th, 2016, 6:18 am to add the following --

Another thought is that if you are regular customer and ask if its okay to sit for a couple of hours without purchasing anything would you feel a little cheated?
What if you are a regular customer, and the Head Barista asked you to sit for a few hours, without ordering and/or consuming anything? Would you feel cheated, or would you let a quiet, secret, but evil laugh out, knowing you are cheating THEM?

---------

I always ask permission from as far as two (very closely placed) tables apart, and never been refused. Somehow this town is more empathetic maybe? I live in a small town, population about four hundred thousand, of which one hundred thousand are students at the local university coming form all over the country. (The countryside, that is.) We are sort of quaint here: friendly faces everywhere, humble folks without temptations.

--------

I like Felix's idea of the T-shirt. I may want to get one printed up for myself. Walmart sells these home-kits to put on any design you make on t-s at home. It's worth a shot.
Ignorance is power.

Burning ghost
Posts: 2096
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Burning ghost » December 5th, 2016, 9:13 pm

Cheating THEM? Who exactly?
AKA badgerjelly

Felix
Posts: 1890
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Felix » December 5th, 2016, 9:48 pm

I went to a Buddhist monastry and staying for 6 days. They gave me a bed to sleep in and food. They asked for a donation and I gave nothing in return. Is that "wrong"?
If you have to ask, your Buddha nature needs polishing. :)

Did the donation have to be monetary? In youth hostels, they request that you do some sort of housework in return, sweep the floor or whatever. Seems only fair.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Burning ghost
Posts: 2096
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Burning ghost » December 5th, 2016, 11:48 pm

No, I don't need to ask. I did nothing wrong. Is it wrong for them to walk the streets and get free food? Is it wrong for me to eat it?

Not a Buddhist either. Merely wanted to practice meditation. I recommend it.
AKA badgerjelly

Felix
Posts: 1890
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Felix » December 6th, 2016, 12:48 am

Oh, these Buddhists live on donations too? You didn't mention that salient point. I suppose that makes them a nonprofit organization - unlike Starbucks.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

User avatar
WorldThief
New Trial Member
Posts: 3
Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 3:23 pm

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by WorldThief » January 3rd, 2017, 3:47 pm

Oh man. When you're broke and traveling and you need to use the bathroom, you don't think twice about not buying something. Before, humans could use the bathroom wherever we saw fit. Nowadays in civilization we've got to do it in very specific places. If there's anything evil, it's all the restrictions increasingly imposed upon our lives (scratch that -- there is no evil). Any variable factored into this question -- money, toilets, private property -- are quite modern concepts... the need to go to the john however is ancient, timeless, eternal.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 2785
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by LuckyR » January 4th, 2017, 4:47 pm

WorldThief wrote:Oh man. When you're broke and traveling and you need to use the bathroom, you don't think twice about not buying something. Before, humans could use the bathroom wherever we saw fit. Nowadays in civilization we've got to do it in very specific places. If there's anything evil, it's all the restrictions increasingly imposed upon our lives (scratch that -- there is no evil). Any variable factored into this question -- money, toilets, private property -- are quite modern concepts... the need to go to the john however is ancient, timeless, eternal.
It is a bit much for pure takers (who give nothing) to sit in judgement on the quality of the generosity of the providers of free services.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Aloedrink
New Trial Member
Posts: 0
Joined: September 14th, 2017, 1:40 am

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Aloedrink » September 14th, 2017, 2:03 am

Starbucks store atmosphere is to attract existing customers and potential customers, you have a high consumer awareness. If the okyalo juice drink company knows it will be very happy.

User avatar
Albert Tatlock
Posts: 183
Joined: October 15th, 2017, 3:23 pm

Re: Go to a café without ordering any drink, is it evil?

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 15th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Above us only sky wrote: The question is : If a person go to a café to read a book (or to use the ‘free’ wifi ) without buying anything, then is that person doing something evil?
Yes, under most circumstances, anyone doing that will almost certainly be condemned to suffer the fires of hell for eternity. If, however, you went in to read your Bible you might just get away with it. Either way, investing in an armchair of your own could be the smartest move you ever make.

Post Reply