Reply to post: Re: "walking sack of crap" @Trevor_Pott

Al Franken to FBI: We need MORE revenge smut arrests

Hargrove

Re: "walking sack of crap" @Trevor_Pott

"Then you're perfectly normal. Your morality and judgement are irrelevant. People have a right to privacy."

At the outset let me state emphatically that I'm in complete agreement with the spirit of Mr. Pott's post. Privacy is a major, if not the major issue, society faces. Lack of respect for privacy denotes a lack of respect for persons. It signals a breakdown in civility without which society itself begins to erode.

Here, in stream of consciousness order, are some thoughts that bear on the discussion.

Normal is a mathematical term defining a probability distribution. With respect to human behavior all kinds diverse, often unsightly and publicly objectionable things fall under the curve. All of us have a right to be who we are.

Those rights are not unbounded. Sr. Irma Mildred's response to one of her student's assertion that "I got rights!" remains to this day the best I've heard on the subject. "Your right to swing ends at the tip of my nose."

In basic terms, the purpose of government. . . some would argue the primary purpose. . . is to protect the individual's right to swing short of my nose, and to protect my rights to an unbroken nose and mete out swift, just, and appropriate punishment.

My nose, metaphorically, extends to what are broadly considered human rights.

On one hand, Trevor is right, my morality and judgment are irrelevant. Particularly what I think of your morality and judgment. On the other hand, the safety of my nose depends entirely on your morality and judgment. Morality and judgment cannot be legislated. All the law and government can do is punish you after my nose has been smashed.

Societies that believe otherwise, that seek to legislate every aspect of human existence are ripe for the sound of jackboots in the street. (This last shamelessly plagiarized from another post.)

Citizens in the US believe that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy. It does not. The right to Privacy--if it exists--is among those rights not enumerated that the People reserve. If memory serves, I believe this is in Article 9 of the Bill of Rights.

Privacy is recognized in other international statements of human rights. And within the US it is strongly defended. Justice Brandeis's assertion of "the right to be left alone," is often quoted. What most readers don't realize is that this is from a written opinion in a case where he was, again if memory serves, on the losing side.

Those of us who value the right to privacy need to appreciate that our views are not universally accepted. Fostering deep understanding of the essential importance of a right to privacy, and all that right entails, may prove to be as great a challenge as defending it

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019