Is it us or is it them?

ImageThe US-German friendship is stable, right? Or is it? How much is a friend allowed to know and how much of this knowledge is a friend allowed to gain without the other person’s knowledge? Apparently, friendship does not equal friendship and some people have more rights than others. What I am referring to here is obviously the NSA scandal. So much has been said about it already, that I actually did not want to write about it anymore. However, the recent development with regards to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel do make me really angry. I am not angry about the NSA spying on Mrs. Merkel in particular. I do not think it is correct to spy out your own citizens without a good reason, let alone people in other countries. I am angry, because Mrs. Merkel did not say much when the NSA scandal broke several month ago, hence showing that she essentially was in accord with the NSA and saw no fault with the action, but she is bitterly complaining now. But is there a difference in the NSA spying on her or spying on random citizens? Politically there is a difference, and I am well aware of that. Continue reading “Is it us or is it them?”

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MyFriends.com

538px-Man-and-woman-icon.svgIn the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that friendship is a necessary requisite for human ‘happiness.’  His broad description of these relationships includes friendships of utility (as between student and teacher) and of pleasure (as between lovers).  However, the ancient Greek thinker remains critically uncertain of the summit, the highest culmination, of friendship.  In fact, Aristotle claims that ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’ friendship is rare, if not impossible.  Most friendships are, therefore, as much about auxiliary benefits as about the individuals themselves.

While most would agree that friendship is a difficult matter to pin down, modern cyber-technology is pushing some to question such ‘liberal’ standards.  Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently criticized the kind of friendship promoted through ‘social networking sites’ (i.e., MySpace and Facebook).  The Catholic leader maintained that these ‘un-rounded’ communities foster ‘transient relationships’ and are a likely source of the increasing alienation and depression felt amongst today’s youth. Continue reading “MyFriends.com”