Did Ed Snowden do the right thing?
tyggna at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 15:13:56 MDT 2013
First, let me make my position clear: Christian, Mormon specifically,
active practicing, largely believing.
On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM, keith smith <klsmith2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
Please provide examples of contradictions and I will provide answers.
So, contradiction that was asked for:
God gave the commandments to Moses of "Thou shalt not kill" (or murder,
think this has been pretty well covered in the thread). 40 years later the
children of the exact same people were told to conquer caanan for their
own, which included essentially burning everything in the land to the
ground and killing any who opposed them. Little more down the line, God
tells king Saul (through Samuel) to kill every man, woman, infant and
suckling, camel, cow, and sheep of the Amalekites.
I don't particularly care for your answer--it wouldn't mean anything to me
personally, so I'll provide my own.
Now, how I resolve it:
I have an incredibly incomplete historical context of biblical times.
Most people seem to believe that the U.S. is justified in hunting down
terrorists, and our foreign policy seems to indicate that if a terrorist is
hiding behind children (a very common practice) that killing the terrorist
is the priority--since often the alleged terrorist will rape and then kill
the child they're using later if it's a girl, or recruit/torture if its a
boy. Contrast that to ancient times, I don't know what was happening in
canaan, nor what was so wrong with the Amalekites. So, I'm left with two
options: believe that God did actually say those things and that if I
could see the context with great clarity then it'd make sense to me, or
believe that the record was tampered with to fit the political whims of
their day--not that much different from what I see in modern media of my
So, to tie back to original topic: Ed Snowden. Either I'm suspicious of
my government, or trusting of them. Those are my choices. Personally, I'm
inclined to be suspicious on grounds of what I percieve as the government's
incompetance. So, I think in terms of ethics, yes, he did do the right
thing and he did it in a rather noble way--sacrificing his career and his
life simply to share information. None of the information shared was
compromising, and only time will tell if it saved or cost any lives (which
is a good measure of morality, with a secondary measure as to how our
actions impact the quality of life).
I do think his actions have improved the quality of life for Verizon
users. I mean, I think there are enough antiquated laws that a
particularly knowledgable or vindictive government worker could really do a
lot of harm with a person's phone records. I know that's a pretty abstract
example, but it's just one that comes to mind spending a few seconds
thinking about potentially damaging effects of having all your phone
conversations being publically known.
More information about the PLUG