What is 'Shopping Cart Theory'? The test can tell if you are a good or a bad person

The act of returning the shopping cart is the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing and would do the right thing even when it is not expected of them.


                            What is 'Shopping Cart Theory'? The test can tell if you are a good or a bad person
Image Source: Twitter/@ANTICHRISTJARED
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What is the making of a "good person?" Different people use different scales to determine who is good and who is not. Over the years, there have been many factors that have been used to categorize people. And the internet keeps providing more updated benchmarks for us to measure people by. The latest theory that has been making rounds on the internet is the "Shopping Cart Theory" and it can perfectly define a person's character. It is a modern-day take on the trolley problem with a more real-life application and implication.

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Depending on how you answer the following question, you are either a good or a terrible person. Would you return a shopping cart to its designated spot after use or would you simply leave it wherever you want? Of course, this is provided that there is no dire emergency. The theory was picked up from a Reddit forum and was posted by a Twitter user for further discourse. Now, let's see what it indicates.

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Source: Twitter/@ANTICHRISTJARED

"The shopping cart is the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing," the post explains. "To return the shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognize as the correct, appropriate thing to do. To return the shopping cart is objectively right. There are no situations other than dire emergencies in which a person is not able to return their cart. Simultaneously, it is not illegal to abandon your shopping cart. Therefore the shopping cart presents itself as the apex example of whether a person will do what is right without being forced to do it." So if you chose to return the cart, then you are a good person. At least according to this theory.

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The theory further states: "No one will punish you for not returning the shopping cart, no one will fine you, or kill you for not returning the shopping cart, you gain nothing by returning the shopping cart. You must return the shopping cart out of the goodness of your own heart. You must return the shopping cart because it is the right thing to do. Because it is correct." The theory then goes on to make some extreme declarations. It reads, "A person who is unable to do this is no better than an animal, an absolute savage who can only be made to do what is right by threatening them with a law and the force that stands behind it."

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The theory then concludes by stating, "The Shopping Cart is what determines whether a person is a good or bad member of society." While the original trolley problem was also an exercise to determine a person's ethics, the modern version is less violent while also being more apparent. Especially when many retail workers had a lot to say about this based on their personal experiences. One person wrote: This is true. I'm the cart guy at a grocery store and I can confirm that I look down at you when I see you abandon the carts. Please for the love of God and man and all that is right with the world RETURN YOUR CART. YOU'RE NOT HELPING ANYTHING BY DITCHING IT! PLEASE!

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Another retail worker said this to make their case: Idk I just feel like as someone who once worked a retail job, I might not be required to put it back but the guy working would really appreciate it so I might as well make someone else’s day easier?? Idk it’s more about respect for the worker and not the unspoken societal law. There were many arguments and counter-arguments, for and against the theory. Here are some of the reactions of the people.

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Source: Reddit

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Source: Reddit

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