• Just as I’m not the arbiter of right and wrong, I’m not the sole judge of truth. And given that I’m neither a philosopher nor a theologian, my opinions on the matter shouldn’t be given undue weight. I just reread the article, though, and I still think my positions are sound. As with most things in life, you have to carefully weigh your motives, the consequences of your actions, and the legal and social rules that should constrain your behavior, and decide for yourself whether or not what you are doing is good or not. And, of course, consult Scripture to see if God has anything straightforward to say about the matter. Of course, you might have noticed that it’s difficult to get a straight answer from an anthology written millennia ago in three other languages and filled mostly with metaphors and poetry!

    • Unlike Bryan, it happens that I am both a philosopher and a theologian, albeit not very highly ranked in either field; I’m also not certain what that has to do with the validity of his opinion, but for what it’s worth, what he wrote here seems quite sound to me.

      When you say that you want to “exploit but not use it for bad things,” you have me wondering exactly which type of hacking you’re considering. The movies sometimes give us the image of the hacker that breaks into some corporate or government database to uncover secrets that need to be exposed–indeed, we had a famous hacker who was exposing government secrets a few years back. That you want to help others does not necessarily mean that what you’re doing is “good”, and particularly not if it is harming some. We admire the myth of Robin Hood, but if someone today were to stop expensive late model cars on the highways, rob the passengers, and donate the money to food kitchens, we would almost certainly arrest and prosecute that person.

      That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything unlawful is always wrong. Protestors in the 1960s violated oppressive laws to call attention to the need to change them, such as riding in the fronts of buses and sitting at lunch counters. It’s called “civil disobedience”. The one rule you need to understand about civil disobedience, though, is when you do the crime you should be prepared to face the penalty. For example, since Lady Godiva there have been stories of persons protesting naked to induce change. Such nudity has been ruled free speech by the Supreme Court, but that doesn’t mean protestors should expect not to be arrested for indecent exposure. http://www.mjyoung.net/weblog/index.php/54-nudity-as-free-speech/

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