Week 8 Assignment

Due Date: Sunday, midnight.

Points: 100


Here is a summary of an argument presented by Canadian author Robert Sawyer in a promotion for one of his science fiction novels. (The argument includes a disclaimer that it is not necessarily Sawyer’s personal view.)

 Who needs privacy? With no privacy ,there would be far less crime and much less terrorism, and everyone would be safer. The only reason we desire privacy is that society has passed “silly laws” that in the past have made people feel ashamed for being nude or engaging in “natural human activities.” Perhaps Victorians had a reason for hiding certain activities, but “who really cares today if someone is gay, smokes pot, or watches porno films?. . . The message of history, most spectacularly driven home on September 11, 2001, is that preserving society as a whole is much more important than preserving an illusory personal freedom.” It’s unrealistic to pretend we can still have privacy in the modern world. Instead, we should demand the repeal of those obsolete laws trying to prohibit harmless conduct.

Do you agree with this argument? Why or why not?

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