J. Rachels on Why Privacy Is Important

Introduction

Privacy is a notion that determines people in close and casual circles. People who are one’s close friends or a spouse have the privilege of being privy to intimate details of the person’s life. There is nothing shameful in desiring privacy since it is natural to want to keep one’s business undisclosed. Privacy also allows people to prevail in a competitive environment and prevent a sense of embarrassment.

Rachel’s Thesis and Arguments

In this piece, Rachel proposes that privacy finds its value in distinguishing between casual acquaintances and closely related people. It is also stated that privacy allows people to exercise their desire to keep certain things away from the public eye simply for the sake of their desire to do so. The first statement is supported by the notion that privacy lets people control who has access to their personal lives. It is used to regulate who is invited into people’s intimate circle and with whom boundaries should be established. The second statement is upheld by the fact that people can express a lack of desire to disclose intimate, though non-shameful, specifics of their relationships and actions. An example of this was when a married couple would not want their bedroom bugged.

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My Arguments

I would like to argue in support of Rachel’s thesis as I believe that no one should be pressured into sharing their personal data. I also support the idea that privacy allows people to draw the line between personal and impersonal relationships. However, it is not easy to draw this line in the current age of the Internet and social media. People who choose to share their lives on the Internet run risks such as identity theft, harassment, and privacy invasion. Despite those negative factors, social media provides positive impacts, for example, validation and social interactions.

In Rachel’s example, two people talk and change their conversation depending on a new person approaching. This change in behavior is impossible when a conversation takes place on social media, where anyone can see it without the participants’ knowledge. Therefore, I would like to state that this type of privacy could be maintained by thoroughly deliberating conversations that people have publicly on social media. The statement regarding the naturality of people’s unwillingness to share personal details also comes into play here. For example, a person might not be willing to provide people with further details of an experience, but pressure from peers on the Internet might force them to do it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, privacy is a matter that helps people establish close connections and boundaries. The need for personal space and confidentially is not a reproachable notion. In times of social media prevalence and its benefits, people should be wary of factors that can breach their privacy and integrity. To maintain privacy, people should pay attention to what kind of data they disclose on the Internet.

References

Rachels, J. (1975). Why Privacy is Important. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 4(4), 323–333.

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