I concede defeat. After all, I am not going to win the hypocrites and they are not going to kill me. I cannot win because the snooping they have done provide them all the ammunition they need to exclude any that is not part of them. The worst thing is, they think they are doing it as God’s will. This is my impression of them anyway because if it is not God’s will, what other ideology can they justify trying to manipulate people’s lives that have a different approach or ideals to theirs? After all, they have the authority and wealth to do anything they seem right and justified.
I am not a religious person but I do have the intelligence to observe and gather for myself how others are and how they think they can trick many to see it from their point of view about the things they do. If I believe in karma, the right action always starts with the right intention. If anything goes, I think Edward Snowden will know at least for himself that he is doing what he does not as God himself but as someone who thinks justice needs a better governing body, rather than a busybody. Aristotle mentioned in Rhetorics that apart from ethos, a person will also need arete (virtues) and eunoia (good will). If the reflexive theory holds any truth at all, snooping is one issue; it is another issue when we try to understand what we snoop with our cognitive function and how we try to participate or manipulate the situation. Unless you claimed to be God, manipulating others by snooping is not what an ethical person will do. Of course it depends on the situation and to what ends since snooping is the means. If it is to show wisdom, there has to be a point, after all these years to conclude on either sides that we only have so much wisdom and to accept that we can only achieve so much with this limited wisdom. However, if an ethical person does snoop how much good can he contributed with his ethos? After all, we are only humans.
Can snooping be based on good will and virtues since it is part of a global ethos now? Such a snooping would probably involve a rigorous rhetorics based on philosophical foundations for a good republic because according to Aristotle, rhetorics without philosophy would be for personal gains. However, is there a good rhetorics to begin snooping? And if Edward Snowden is right about his ethos, how would these political authorities respond? Would they admit to their flaws and embarrassments? Would Snowden devise his own set of rhetorics for what he did? After all, who dares to speak up against these powerful political figures?
On the stairways to Heaven and Hell, the demarcation point is that of interactions – positive or negative ones. There is certainly interactions when we are snooping but they are passive. The observer listens in and gathers all facts and information for or against the snooped person. This is already in violation of someone’s privacy though there is no law against it. If snooping is for national security, then shouldn’t the cognitive function at least tell us that the person does not have any intent to cause trouble? If snooping is to gather the character traits of the person, then shouldn’t the cognitive function tells us about his likes or dislikes? Snooping becomes active when we participate or even manipulates to our advantage. This is ok if we do it out of good will. However it is debatable about the initial intend as well as any honest mistakes that one makes during the participation or manipulation. If it is participating with good intent, any mistakes will be honest but if it was manipulating, any mistakes becomes part of the manipulation. Someone who manipulates your life and claims to be your friend to me is definitely a hypocrite! What is so wrong about disliking hypocrites anyway? In addition, I presumed, it is because there isn’t any established positive relationship which provides the biggest reason for the basis of snooping. After all, we are all subject to hypocrisy of one form or another.
When things go awry, the positive interactions turn to negative ones. This is when we progress from trust to distrust. It is only when we lose trust that everyone starts to get paranoid and defensive about their actions, which leads us to the road of inconsistent and inauthentic behaviours that in turn make us have lesser credibility and thus disloyalty reigns. For those who have a clear conscience, they probably would not be affected much but there might be accusations that leads to inconsistent and inauthentic behaviours too. Hence in order to participate rather than manipulate in times of uncertainty, our cognitive functions have to understand the situation correctly. This would involve using any existing knowledge to comprehend the situation and to clear any misunderstanding all parties may have. Denial does not help and acceptance can be embarrassing, especially when the public finds out. The process is difficult with negative emotions during the mediation thus the potential of losing any credible relationships, making the relationship unsound. Once there is this wound in a sound relationship, there will be scars depending on the severity, and scar will always remain. After all, we do not love everyone the same.
Relationships are only sound or unsound. With snooping it can reveal a person’s integrity or dishonesty. Over time, it reveals that the person is only human. Similarly those who snoop are also humans. The difference is that those who snoop justify themselves due to their insecurities (since there isn’t any positive interactions between them). I do not see how snooping can increase the soundness of a relationship since the participating function would be to convince the snooped person that they are wiser, more knowledgable and more worthy than the snooped person. If that is the case, then we do not need equality at all and our birth will decide who and what we are. We do not need to learn or even to interact, all we need is the ability to snoop and pretend that we are gods so that any information we gather can be used to our advantage and convince others of our wisdom. I think the only good that snooping achieve is that it leads to others being honest out of fear of being caught because it compels good behaviour, though not necessarily exuding wisdom. Any good behaviour is a result of good upbringing, the right knowledge and the right disposition to comprehend well all phenomenons and human natures. Virtues can be taught by pointing to an instance of a good deed. The entire ethos of a virtuous person, though can be seen in an instance, is still subject to the scrutiny by the public in the course of his entire life. Regardless of snooping, a virtuous person will continue to live virtuously even when he knows that no one is watching him or her. And if God exists, He would be humanity’s ultimate snooper because, after all, life is transitory.
I would think that God loves everyone the same, He does not love me more because I am a Buddhist or you are a Christian. He does not love you more because you are his messenger or I am not doing my prayers enough. He loves because He is God not because He have to but because it is His nature. After all, all lives are precious.
- The curious case of the fall in crime (economist.com)
- Geek on the Street: What do you think of the government’s snooping programs? (geekwire.com)
- Poll: Back off the snooping, public tells Washington (heraldonline.com)