If there’s one thing we affirm and embrace from the nascent Networked Civilization, it is the ethics of Open Source.
I’ve already stated quite bluntly that I don’t support the legal concept of copyright and intellectual property because I’m convinced God hates it. The legal doctrine could come only from a materialistic culture. It’s part and parcel of the miserable lie in evangelical theology known as “propositional truth.” If you can put it into a verbal proposition, it ain’t the truth. This obsession with literalism is a direct result of Jewish legalism. This legalism was the result of mixing Hellenism and Aristotelian logic into the mystical Hebrew Torah.
Let’s review it again: The Original Sin in the Garden of Eden was turning away from revelation and enthroning human reason in the soul. It usurps the lordship of God by making an idol of human intellect. This rests on the urge to control. “We don’t need God; we can handle this ourselves. Are we not divine?” You can see that in the message of Satan:
You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5 MKJV)
In that context, the Hebrew word that translates as “knowing” (yada) takes on the connotation of deciding and appointing, as in choosing for yourself what is morally good and evil. The only way you can do that is to close off your mind to your sense of conviction. Instead of discerning moral truth by a direct sensing of faith, you would be testing things by senses and abstract logic. It cuts out a whole range of perception possible only with those higher faculties the Bible associates with the heart.
So it asserts an arrogant ownership of truth, the authority to control things that we don’t even understand. This easily extends itself into the notion of controlling reality. If we can just study it long enough with the proper tools, we can understand the nature of the mechanics and replicate everything to suit us. It appears to work that way, but only because what the mind really wants is simply an excuse for pride, along with some good entertainment and fulfilling the conscious appetites — Boastful Pride of Life, Lust of the Eyes and Lust of the Flesh, in that order (the Trinity of Temptations in 1 John 2:14-17). In other words, objective reasoning simply is not possible, since reason is always suckered into seeking what reasonably meets those lusts. If things were objective, there would never be any debate.
What Plato imagined was possible in his Allegory of the Cave was never possible. It was a myth from the start. That’s because concrete reality is not stable and consistent in itself. It’s just a shadow. The only hope for something we can all share and agree on without debate is moral truth. Moral Truth is the Person of God Himself; it does not exist apart from Him. In biblical terms, your “heart” (symbolism, folks) is the only part of you that can perceive reality as God actually created it. What this heart discerns is the moral reality, which in turn is the personal character of God woven into Creation. Concrete perception of concrete reality misses the point; you cannot reason your way to the moral significance of things. But your heart can perceive it directly as it is.
We are wide open about this. The only thing that hides the truth from people is their truculent and fearful clinging to their concrete perception and logic, a logic that masks their own clear perception of their emotional fears of threat to those three lusts. We gladly reveal this whole approach to anyone who listens. The whole thing is personal between God and each of us individually. Each of us has to have his/her own moral treasure.
And because of our faith and trust in that living relationship, which the senses and logic cannot handle, we fear no loss from sharing openly our worldly treasures. Granted, our mission from God imparts a certain dominion in this world, but our grasp of the things of this world remains loose. We can afford to offer a much weaker legal standard of copyright because the real treasure here is not some conceptual property right, but the people who share it with us. The whole point of that moral dominion is to gain souls for the Kingdom, not to exclude people from access until they make our pockets jingle.
Our Christian Culture is not communist; that’s just another brand of materialism. Our culture is eastern feudalism; God is the ultimate owner of all things. While we do hold material things in stewardship as a grant from God, those things do not hold us. We aren’t gate keepers to God’s truth; the whole point in having Keys to the Kingdom is to recognize God when He shows up and grant Him access to His domain. That’s what a Hebrew key steward did (Matthew 16:17-20). We are the ones who bear the moral burden of making a way for God to shine His glory among those who share this physical realm with us. Put that key in the lock and turn it, so that folks will meet with their Creator.
Yes, we understand the practical implications of human laws about copyright and “intellectual property.” We also understand that God snickers at the whole idea. This is part of why His wrath is falling on our society. We embrace the radical Open Source approach to all human knowledge as a symbol of our opening the doors of moral truth. We dare not hinder God by playing restricting access.