The internet has brought many good things to education, specifically access to information. But, the increase in access to information has led to a serious increase in brazen plagiarism. Although, admittedly it may not be that there is any more plagiarism but that the technology now makes it possible to determine with a certain level of accuracy if an act of plagiarism has occurred.
In any case, we are taught that plagiarism is bad and originality is good. Most, if not all of us would accept the validity of this statement as reflecting the holding of a belief that the individual has a right to credit for their original ideas and creations and, moreover, that society benefits from the holding of such a belief, – that protecting originality is beneficial, – because invention is encouraged and social order is maintained.
For his part, Benjamin Disraeli, ever modest and humble, is reported to have said (or written – my source isn’t clear):
“When I want to read a good book, I write one.”
I have come to believe that there are no new photos and few new stories, only unusual recombinations of things that have been told before. But what is new, and fresh and original is the author’s lens through which these situations are viewed. Our gift, and consequently our responsibility as writers, is to view life situation in our naturally unique way and report the truth about their meanings and values to the reading public so that they can have fresh insight into the human condition. We are each unique in the universe and, therefore, so are the stories we tell.
You might also like to check out CASE Magazine no.16 which is on the same topic of God, Creativity and Creators. You can read about this at my earlier post – I also have an article in this issue on reading the arts theologically.