“Why should we be afraid of one another, since both of us have only God to fear?” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
There exists a place where man is not allowed to venture. This place is another man’s soul. Humans may experience consensual soul connections but to think that man could determine the end of the soul is another thing altogether. There is a place in every human being that is untouchable. Even if humans are monitored day and night and their actions and words analyzed and predicted, put into a mental prison so-to-speak, and even if somehow technology is able to affect my behavior or thoughts, there still remains a secret place of confidence that man cannot affect eternally. So, take comfort. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Privacy is an important aspect of survival. Effective OPSEC, for instance, can make or break a mission. How much privacy do we really have? How much is enough? What if the answer is not about privacy at all but more the human soul? Is there privacy in the human soul? Is the soul private property? We are nearing a time when technology and post-modernity merge into a world that makes privacy a distant memory of the past? Consider how much you self-censured just in the last 24 hours. What happens when you do everything right, take every precaution, and yet every shred of your privacy is lost?
In this article, three main points are highlighted. First, we have all been on the receiving end of unlawful invasion of privacy. Second, there are certain people who will continue to choose to break moral laws, including malicious spying. Third, even when the worst scenario plays out and we are faced with the absolute lack of privacy (when our most private thoughts are compromised), there is still hope. Do not fear; take comfort.
The Mind & Scientism
Psychology, psychiatry, and science will never plumb the ultimate depth of the human heart and soul. With all of our technology, the nano-tech promises and trans-humanist theories of the future, will man ever truly get into the mind of another man? More importantly, can man get into the mind of God?
Scientism is on the rise and in competition with every religion on the planet. Doubt this? Question global warming, Darwinism, the existence of the soul, and see how far you get with someone who worships science over natural law. Natural law is a beautiful thing. Take time to look into the Fibonacci numbers, and your eyes will be opened to this beauty. The claim that scientism has all the answers or the excuse that science will eventually provide all the answers is flawed. This claim is missing something important– the reality of not only the natural but the supernatural. Dr. J.P. Moreland, one of the most brilliant philosophers of our time, states, “What I do reject is the idea that science and science alone can claim to give us knowledge. This assertion– known as scientism– is patently false and, in fact, not even a claim of science, but rather, a philosophical view about science.”
The brain is an interesting thing, consciousness even more so. Scientists are working hard to analyze the mind, consciousness, and neural pathways of thought. A quick search for current academic articles on the “mapping” of the human brain is quit informative on what science is attempting to do. If only there were time to write about the philosophy of mind, the complexities of the soul, how the mind, brain, consciousness, and soul are connected, or more importantly how all of these topics relate to the mind of God. For more on these subjects, I recommend Dr. J.P. Moreland’s resources, especially his book, Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, Aristotle’s On the Soul and The Chinese Room Argument, published by American Philosopher John Searle.
We can all recall a conversation with a loved one, for instance, that would horrify us if it were made public; they’re those intimate, sometimes heated, sometimes confessional discussions that are private and intended to stay private. We also have memories of conversations that were made public without our consent. Perhaps you shared something in strict confidence and the next day it’s all over town or Twitter. The sense of betrayal that comes from a break in confidence is heavy and can damage relationships forever.
Destructive gossip is one thing; malicious spying is another. Unfortunately, Americans are subject to this crime daily, whether they are aware of it or not. This is a complicated matter, and although there are good, moral men in certain agencies hard at work to protect us, there are also compromised men who reject the nudges (sometimes screams) originating from their conscience about their work. Behind the motives of these men, one may find the predictable lust for greed, power, and wealth. Selling out the privacy of the American man has become a hobby and one practiced without remorse or any sense of responsibility. It seems more important these days for a professional to report a suspected “thought” about a stranger than for that suspected “thought” to be correct, verified, and most importantly justified. False accusations can destroy a marriage, a family, and worse a society.
Below are a few references to agencies, particular professions, and everyday situations that have and may continue to dishonor privacy.
Sources and Examples of Continued Abuse
Did I forget any? Most likely I did. Some agencies are moving to ensure that our private lives are logged and analyzed (for our own safety, they declare). Some have hopes of predicting future private thoughts that may lead to future harmful or illegal actions. This goes way beyond thought police, and all under the noble cause of maintaining our safety. Yet, ironically, the lack of humanity in some of these organizations is downright terrifying.
Anyone experience the horror of having a neighbor call CPS on you, without due cause, of course? Perhaps the call was “just a hunch”. The pain and destruction of a false accusation of abuse has not adequately been acknowledged or addressed in our society or the court system. There should be heavy consequences for a malicious, false accusation. No excuses.
- Grocery Store Clerks/Dentists/ER Staff/Doctors/Teachers, et cetera
This relates to the neighbor example; however, it is more disheartening in a way to sense that some people are holding a power card over the strangers they interact with in their professional work. You know…the “See Something, Say Something” card.
- Banking and Commerce
For some reason, walking into a department store today doesn’t have the same feeling it did ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. It just seems (and this is conjecture) that certain eyes are on you. Why? Are the eyes there to anticipate your needs? This is more than the friendly store clerk greeting of, “Can I help you find something?” This is an automated, credit card tracking, algorithm modus operandi that goes way beyond the personalized store clerk. It goes so far beyond frankly, that this form of connecting with customers is the least personal interaction of all. The fault lies in the design of something that is neither personal nor attentive, a design fatally flawed to the essence of the human spirit to begin with.
What if the eyes are simply there to anticipate right or wrong actions of customers, customers who pose a genuine threat of theft? Or could it be more complicated? What about this motive: the eyes feeding a malicious desire for power and control, and no one is willing to confront this motive, which is to know more about the person intimately than rightfully and lawfully possible. It’s a desire to know the stranger (the whole person), despite the stranger’s innocence of this knowledge, justifying the invasion deep into the psyche of the buyer as one of accounting, advertising, or worse– the push for economic growth. If only a moral leader would be so bold as to encourage a slowdown of this ambitious venture (to seek knowledge at all cost) and spend more time studying the consequences of invading private lives, just to make a buck.
It is crucial to point out again that there are honorable, moral people in these organizations, and it would be foolish to assume that everyone has been morally compromised. Furthermore, it goes without saying that if those good people were not there, our situation would be far worse. We should make a habit of praying for those who still stand for truth in these organizations, praying for their safety and security as they fight for what is right and confront what is wrong.
Stop Breaking Moral Law
Dr. Moreland wrote that, “…G. K. Chesterton once bemoaned, once people stop believing in God, the problem is not that they will believe nothing; rather, the problem is that they will believe anything.” Do you justify your actions and your belief system through reason and logic, or rather a deep, nearly hidden sense of selfishness and pride? For those participating in the unwarranted, malicious invasion of personal privacy, come forward to your Creator, admit this fact, and repent. “The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation.” You can only fight your conscience for so long. If you find yourself in a place of confusion about whether your actions are right or wrong, then at the very least excuse yourself from further crimes and stop breaking obvious moral law. Otherwise, you risk falling into the category of G.K. Chesterton’s reference of people who “will believe anything” to justify wrongdoing.
Furthermore, let it be known that the judgment seat of divine law is not filled with powerful lawyers on either side. Nor will you be afforded a jury of your peers. Only one defense may you elect, and that defense will not be swayed by scientism, humanism, naturalism, progressivism, communism, socialism, or any other worldview excuse. For those feigning ignorance, deep down you know exactly what I am talking about. We see, but we can’t see. We hear, but we can’t hear. Funny how the answer is so close, and yet the distance between the heart and head can be so great. There were men who stood face to face with the Son of God and could not see, yet blind men knew Him without sight. Why is that? Could it be that we are our own worst enemy? “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? ? John 14:9, AKJV) .
For the Betrayed
In many ways, we have all been betrayed by our own brothers, when it comes to privacy. Still, if you are personally suffering from being on the receiving end of such acts, take heart. Know that man has limited power and control for only so long. For the malicious in spirit, technology can only reap its intended rewards for so long. Do we really think technology is beyond the control of God? Evil is limited. Think of a fish in the sea. How long can it last outside of its natural boundary of water? At some point, the scales will level, judgment will come, and all will be made right. Understanding these limits, it is vital that we take to heart the words “do not fear”. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Take time to memorize these words of comfort:
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
‘Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.
‘You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them,
Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent.
‘For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.
We have the opportunity to maintain one area of privacy that no technology and no man can touch. This area is prayer. Perhaps in the future, technology will allow man to hear our thoughts as we pray. Yet, man will never know the mind of God, nor the conversation that God intends to have privately with one of His children. All men are allowed to have this type of intimacy with their Creator. The choice is freely theirs, and it is never forced upon them. Free will allows for all mankind to know truth and for that truth to set him free.
Peace of Conscience
The great William G. T. Shedd skillfully explains the holiness of God as follows:
God’s holiness is manifested (a) in the moral law; (b) in physical laws which appear in the course and constitution of nature, secure happiness to virtue, and connect misery with vice; (c) in mental laws: peace of conscience, upon obedience, is the most exquisite enjoyment; remorse of conscience, upon disobedience, is the most exquisite torture; (d) in positive laws: these spring not from the constitution of nature or of the human mind but are enactments by the arbitrary will of God.
Are you seeking a peace in your mind? Are you seeking a peace in your conscience? Listen to that nudge. Start your own investigation. If you genuinely desire to know truth, it will be revealed to you. Do not listen to those who “will believe anything.” You absolutely can have “peace of conscience…exquisite enjoyment.”
 “Projects Mapping the Narrative Comprehension Network and Its Persuasive Effects: Toward Narrative Disruptors and Inductors,” ASU Center for Strategic Communication, accessed December 31, 2016, http://csc.asu.edu/projects/.
 Cole, David, “The Chinese Room Argument”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), accessed December 31, 2016. URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2015/entries/chinese-room/>.