Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A 'Spam Filter' for Your Thinking

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A 'Spam Filter' for Your Thinking

Article excerpt

A Christian Science perspective.

E-mail is an important way to communicate in today's world. However, spam messages are a downside to e-mail communication. They can be solicitations for unwanted products or services, or even worse - they can contain computer viruses, which, if opened, can damage a computer or an entire network. Some messages are malicious "phishing" attempts to gather personal information. On the surface they appear legitimate, but they can cloak harmful attempts to gain access to private accounts, or even to steal an identity.

Opening or responding to one of those e-mails can result in trouble. The solution is to quickly recognize messages as false or malicious, and not be fooled into taking inappropriate action.

Millions of dollars have been spent creating software filters to eliminate unwanted e-mails, to repair computers, and even to restore lives that have been damaged by malicious e-mails.

While destructive e-mails have been around a while, the idea of scamming has been around much longer. More than 2,000 years ago Jesus said: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:15, 16).

Jesus was referring to the spread of noxious ideas. He warned of the need to determine the integrity of the thousands of ideas people are exposed to on a daily basis. Each of those ideas requires a process of acceptance or rejection. And with all the new and growing means of communication these days, the number of ideas we need to filter seems to increase almost daily. While we may never have thought of sinful and tempting suggestions as spam before, the result is the same. If we accept and resonate with them, the results can be harmful to us and to others.

The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, counseled, "Stand porter at the door of thought" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. …

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