Privacy and Dignity

Note: After a two-year break, I am back! Basically, thanks to the pandemic, my blogging went from occasional to never. This is a place where I write a few words about something that I am reading that I find striking, interesting, informative, or infuriating. I used to spend half a day or longer on these posts before, which is not sustainable. So my goal moving forward is to really keep it to a few words.

Today’s Read:
Lawrence M. Friedman, A Tale of Two Cultures: Privacy and Dignity, in Gesellschaft und Gerechtigkeit: Festschrift für Hubert Rottleuthner 273 (2011).

So I guess privacy and dignity have been on my mind recently, especially given the leaked SCOTUS opinion in the abortion case. What does it mean to have and enjoy the right to privacy and the right to dignity?

Friedman’s essay, written in 2011, is more concerned with the ideas of “privacy” and “dignity” as they relate to people who are in the public eye and impacted by celebrity culture. Although that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I was drawn to this essay by its title, it still offers some universally thoughtworthy ideas.

This essay asks, as a fundamental inquiry, how much responsibility the law, as interpreted and exercised by judges, has an obligation to protect people and culture from corrupt and damaging thoughts and ideas. It argues that European courts, in contrast to those in the United States, sometimes operate under the conviction that “not everything that interests the public is in the public interest.”

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