If Someone is “Right” is it OK to Nuke Others?

By nearly any definition, Aaron Swartz was a computer prodigy, a brilliant, eccentric young man. As a teenager he created some of the backbone Internet systems we take for granted and later campaigned for online transparency and freedom. You can read briefly about his life, legal issues, and tragic suicide here.

Like most folks with a cause, Swartz pushed boundaries and irritated powerful people. Eventually the government indicted him and threatened more than thirty years in prison.

We could debate the seriousness of his crimes—this article indicates that even his “victim” agreed that his principle outweighed any minor harm—but that’s not the point. In that same article, Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig makes a powerful observation:

“We need to get beyond the ‘I’m right so I’m right to nuke you’ ethics that dominates our time.” (emphasis mine)

Somehow, we’ve got to rise above the notion that my rights, or even being right, are transcendent.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Jesus died for my freedom. My rights, my liberty, don’t originate from a man-made constitution. They’re absolute, purchased at the cross. I am totally free, but…

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Jesus didn’t die for my rights. He died for what’s right.

Not always the same.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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