Consider the following two scenarios, a specific one, and a more general one:
- A long time ago, a robber, Rob, stole a large sum of money from a bank, and "got away" with it.
- Rob had a child, Unice, who went on to attend a university and became a wealthy doctor.
- Rob used the stolen funds to pay for Unice's education.
- The stolen bank deposits were not insured at the time, and it turns out that Rob had stolen from the savings account of a person named John.
- John also had a child, Paul, who he had hoped to send to a university as well, to become a doctor.
- After the theft, John could not afford to send Paul to a university. Paul, went on to a different career, but with an income that was a fraction of Unice's.
- Rob and John have died a long time ago. Unice and Paul are both alive. Through the use of DNA technology, Paul recently found out that Unice's father was the original bank robber.
Question: Are there any moral theories that would prescribe an obligation or debt from Unice to Paul? I.e. What, if anything, does Unice owe to Paul?
- A long time T ago, a group of people, P, benefited financially from doing something wrong (e.g. stealing, exploiting, repressing, etc...) to another group of people, V.
- At some point, P stopped the wrongdoing towards V, but was not punished for it.
- Members of P and V are now dead, but their descendants, are alive today. Most of the wealth that P had obtained was passed onto their descendants and had compounded over the years since.
What, if anything, do the descendants of P owe to the descendants of V?