CSIS 657 Liberty University Data Mining and the Christian Discussion


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             On the surface, people see that data mining and Scriptural teachings are separate subjects- however, they are similar a-like when are looked at a deeper level. Data Mining is utilized for the purpose of calculating and predicting of future events- events such as the weather- its trajectories, temperature, etc. “The advance in location-acquisition technologies has generated a myriad of spatial trajectories representing the mobility of various moving objects, such as people, vehicles, and animals.” (Zheng, 2015). The information gathered through data mining- helps people to create a conclusion and/or prediction that may help to save lives or change the future- however, for every good there also the bad. Following the bible verse that was used for the post- gathering data could eventually go beyond the privacy of others without their consent.

             A good example of this, would be the “search engine” like Google and Bing. In order for the search engine to get accurate information, the companies require information about the user’s search preferences to accurately pull up the targeted data- like a new refrigerator or computer system with specific modifications. “Data mining raises unique concerns about the informational privacy of web users. The information generated via data mining techniques effectively circumvents the normative protection of personal informational privacy. This is because the data gathered tends to be, firstly, publicly accessible, i.e. ‘‘nonconfidential’’ in nature, and, secondly, the new information generated consists of analyses of patterns and relationships that are merely ‘inferred’ or implied from the vast amounts of individual instances of personal information within larger datasets (Tavani 1999, 2011). ” (Saggaf, 2014) This information matches with most thoughts- where companies feel that they have the rights to do anything they want – true- but there is a cost to everything because- not everything is beneficial- besides giving the people information they need- corporations also require data in order to operate their services optimally.

            For the Scripture position, Paul is correct that we have right to do anything, but we cannot do everything since some intentions can become harmful to others rather than being helpful. It is almost like these verses ““All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) and “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16) All deeds we can do for the good will of god and followers, but we must be mindful of what is happening or else our deeds might end up being harmful instead. To provide the optimal service to users- the companies/corporation trade these information by accessing personal private information without the user’s consent – which eventually can lead to a breach of privacy and rights.


Bible ESV

Trajectory Data Mining: An Overview Link: https://dl-acm-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/doi/10.1145/2743025

Data Mining and Privacy of Social Network Sites’ Users: Implications of the Data Mining Problem Link: https://web-s-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=f38fdb64-02de-4c5a-8741-75c014bd130e%40redis 


In order to understand the words that Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians 10:23 to their truest meaning, the concept of free will needs to be deeply understood. There are a variety of different definitions that are applied to the term free will, the one that is most commonly accepted is the ability or capability of acting without constraint by utilizing ones own discretion(Brittanica,2022). The topic of free will is by far one of the most researched and studied topics in the bible by Christian theologians. One commonly accepted reason for the introduction of free will by God is that he wishes that his children chose to follow him. This belief is extremely popular in within the catolic denominations, God does not wish to have slaves who are designed to solely reconginze his glory, but have followers who have freely chosen to recognize him as the light(Harris, 2012). 

In reference to the 1 Corinthians 10:23, Paul explained the duality that is brought on by the gift of free will. Free will allows the an individual the ability to make any choice they wish to make regardless of if that choice is morally in line with God’s wishes or not. Paul’s primary point within this verse is to make clear that just because we may possess the ability to do something does not mean that the action is right or justifiable(Kane,1998). 

The relationship that this free will has within the data analytics space runs much deeper than many people understand. Data is a very powerful tool, meaning that it has the ability to make major impacts both to a particular person or in a much broader scope. There is nothing that is inheartingly wrong with having the ability to create a picture or understanding from large amounts of data, where issues can begin to arise is in the intended use or purpose of that data. One well known instance of how data can be utilized for acts that may not fit within the moral compass can. be found within the Cambridge analyictica scandel. The entire premious of this scandal was centered around an organization utilizing user data to target individuals to sway their political or moral beliefs without their consent(Isaak,2018). It can be argued that the actions taken by this company would not fall in line with Christian values and be destructive rather than constructive. 

Overall, data mining or any data science actions do fall in line with the scripture and is not inhernetly wrong(Johnson,2014). That being said, the capabilities that understanding data and data mining  does have the possibility to be utilized in a compasisty that would fall outside of what could be deemed contrusive usage. 


Harris, S. (2012). Free will. Simon and Schuster.

Isaak, J., & Hanna, M. J. (2018). User data privacy: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and privacy protection. Computer, 51(8), 56-59.

Johnson, J. A. (2014). The ethics of big data in higher education. The International Review of Information Ethics, 21, 3-10.

Kane, R. (1998). The significance of free will. Oxford University Press on Demand.

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