Did Ed Snowden do the right thing?

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 12:28:54 MDT 2013

On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM, keith smith <klsmith2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> The founds left lots of documentation to support their desires.

I'm moderately familiar with the documentation left behind.  Less so
than you are, I'm sure, but I don't believe that the founding fathers
should have the final say in how our nation operates.  They made
specific allowances for later generations to alter the Constitution,
and they could not have predicted the environment within which the
Constitution is now being interpreted.  I view appeals to our founding
fathers as a desire to shirk responsibility.  It's too easy to say
"Well, I don't want to think about it too much... what did Thomas
Jefferson have to say on the issue?"

> Government has no place in marriage, that includes regulating it and taxing it or not taxing it.

Eliminating the legal status of marriage is not possible, nor would it
be desirable.  When one spouse is incapacitated, the other spouse can
make medical decisions on his or her behalf.  This is possible because
of the legal status that marriage has been granted.  Likewise,
property in a married household is held in common.  If I buy a car and
a house, and pay for it myself, it should (in the absence of a living
will specifying otherwise) automatically become the property of my
wife when I die.  Without laws protecting the privileged status of a
spouse, these things wouldn't be possible.

Incidentally, this discussion (about whether laws / the government
should be involved in marriage) recalls an earlier statement in this
conversation: Scott Hayes said that it would only be right if laws are
being broken.  But laws, like scriptures, are not a source of moral
authority.  In other words, something doesn't become right or wrong
simply because it has been codified in law, just as the presence of a
statement in the Bible doesn't create a moral right or wrong.  Each of
us has heard of laws, or legal rulings, or passages of scripture that
we find morally disagreeable.

In the case of the law we may seek to have the law changed, eliminated
or overturned.  The option of jury nullification exists (if I
understand correctly) for specifically this reason.  In the case of
scripture we either ignore the passage or claim that it is not
"inspired" or was mistranslated or in some other way is invalid.  In
both cases we are making a moral judgment that operates independently
of the law or the scriptures.

Making this point does not move us closer to an agreement about when
someone should or should not blow the whistle on their employer, but
hopefully it can free us from the belief that the answer can be found
in the law or the scriptures.


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