Since plagiarism is totes my beat (shrug!), I read with interest this story about Christian blogger Neale Donald Walsch, who was just accused of plagiarism by a fellow Christian writer. In the comments to Walsch's apologetic post on the Beliefnet blog Conversations with God, I found this outstanding defense of plagiarism:
Some would say that since only ONE consciousness exists and that all ideas come from that eternal source that we act only as a radio receiver for the broadcast. I agree that this forces us to examine property rights and ownership of ideas. Scientists often make the same discovery at the same time without any direct relative communication. This shows us that perhaps the ideas and words that we so fervently seek to hold onto were, perhaps, never ours in the first place. When reading a lot of spiritual material, as I'm sure Neale does, it's easy to forget where something came from.
Oh... of course! Those cosmic signals just will get crossed, won't they? The comments over there are really a fascinating exercise in Christian forgiveness, I'll say that much.