Friday, March 10, 2006

Moral Decline and the Rise of Vigilantism

I am deeply troubled by several events covered on Adam Curry's The Daily Source Code pod cast. He lost a battle in The Netherlands, to have a publication punished for publishing pictures of his daughter, the location of her school and her transit mode. I have been stalked and this story frightens me.

As a blogger, I'm on the fringe of being a public figure. I feel it is very wrong to violate the privacy of anyone's family, famous, or not. Sadly, some people do pray on children. Mr. Curry was dismissed on his accusation of child endangerment with the retort that he is a public figure and therefore, publication of private information, goes with the territory! Mr. Curry was not seeking financial gain for himself, but a sanctioning of the publication for misuse of his property (photos on Flickr.com) and endangering the safety of his child. He lost on both counts.

Adam is now going public with this situation and using his pod cast to run a contest to stalk and photograph the photographer who took pictures of his child. I am deeply troubled by this move also. While I sympathize with the desire to achieve justice, I shudder to think of what that photographer is in for. This is vigilantism on a global scare. It is moral anarchy.

As the pod cast continued a listener comment was played protesting the use of Jesus Christ as a curse word. He postulated that Adam Curry wouldn't like his name used in that manner. Adam's response leaves me cold. While he tried to acknowledge 'respect' for the protest, he justified his freedom from all restrictions on a pod cast, by saying that Jesus was a brilliant marketer. Using His name as a curse word, has kept Him public and current.

This attitude profoundly troubles me. I am not a Muslim, but would never knowingly defame any thing associated with their beliefs, out of respect for the importance of religious faith. I follow a simple system: when I'm a guest in your home, I show respect to your home. If I don't show respect, why should I have any expectation of respect being shown to me?

Our world is drifting deeper into moral relativism, where truth is determined by what works, instead of an objective standard, We move toward moral anarchy. If the ends justify the means, then it is fine to harass a photographer and his family, because "he started it"! This is surely a high water mark on Western Civilizations Decline and Fall.

1 comment:

MacPhilly said...

Brilliant.