P.E not having a morality system is irrelevant.
People want the option to do 'evil' things (murder, theft, betrayal, etc) and not feel like they are loosing out because you get better rewards for not doing those things.
This is nothing to doing with people having back/white/grey options,
If you are talking about overall feeling of not losing out I'm ok with that, but otherwise I have to disagree:
If every option leads to equal outcome no matter what choices you make, it would be quite boring. Instead, when it has been confirmed there is not going to be any morality meter, we can treat every choice individually and don't have to look each of them through polarized good/evil glasses. Again: Why do we need to get rewarded for our choice? In The Walking Dead you made a choice and people could die because of it. Was that rewarding? No, but bad things happen. Seeing the consequence, no matter how bad, is kind of reward in itself and money and items are secondary things if the story is well written.
What if in example given by OP you choose to steal the sword, but afterwards get attacked by the villagers who kidnap one of your companions and you could A: exchange the sword for your companion, B: Attack the villagers, which would be very hard fight, free your companion and maybe ransack the village after, C: Attack the villagers, but they manage to kill your companion before you are able to free him, D: Leave your companion to his fate, but maybe he appears later in game, lusting for revenge for your betrayal. These options are definitively not equal considering possible gains and morally not entirely black or white, but I would greatly enjoy making the choice and seeing consequences unfold.
I don't mind if my choices lead to loosing money, items or even companions. It just makes it feel realistic and interesting and forces you to think about your actions. If you constantly make wrong choices (I don't mean necessarily the evil ones) the game should give you harder time.
P.S. Also, if player chooses to steal, murder and betray, I don't want it to be easy choice. The game should really test your conscience in those situations.
Umm, I don't think you are getting my point. I can't think of a way to help you understand either.