Privacy matters

7 Mar

The next time someone tries to tell you that privacy isn’t that important in this time of terrorism, plagues, and the imminent rapture, ask them if they still close the stall door in a public restroom or put their letters to their grandkids in envelopes. Using a restroom or sending someone a greeting card is not illegal or immoral, but we still prefer to do some things in private. And when we accidentally open the door on someone in the restroom, we feel embarrassed for them and for us–we are by nature uncomfortable with invading someone’s privacy.

There’s a reason we close bathroom doors, use envelopes and more. We humans need privacy from time to time. As I write this, my office door is closed. Am I doing anything immoral or wrong? Nope, but it’s good to have some privacy even at work. We keep the doors to our homes closed, sometimes the blinds are drawn.

Without some level of privacy, we lose our humanity. Animals relieve themselves in front of anyone who happens to be around. They communicate in the open, even if we can’t understand their language. But we humans aren’t comfortable with this, and we ought to expect that our governments will respect our desire for privacy on many levels.

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