If, in fact, the word "obligation" is out of vogue would it be helpful to try to bring it back?
I'm basing my question on the premise that the word "obligation" is uncomfortable to use in modern day society. That assumption may be wrong. However, if it is right, what would happen if we tried to bring it back? When I was a junior in high school, the American Legion sponsored an essay contest which I won. It was called "What are my obligations as a citizen?" Obligations of paying taxes, obligation to our parents, to our spouses, our friends have seemed to have shifted into the realm of it's"nice to be nice", but we have no obligation to do so. What do you think?
Welcome to the world of moral relativism...In that world there are no "Sweet Responsibilities" as Gibran has called friendship...Obligations are personal responsibilities and in a progressive universe there are no individuals, only communal acquiescence, a sharing of the credit or blame...Another word losing traction in this quickly evolving culture is shame, an acceptance of personal responsibility...The mantra being "If it's shameful let's remove that guilt and give it credence"...
Give an example, if you will. Your answer is "general."
Maven,Thank you for your comment. Love Gibran! I guess I didn't want to go the "progressive universe" route since I consider myself a progressive with a capital " P".Maybe I'm just sensitive b/c I feel Progressives have great moral integrity.
Shame and (stigmas) are rapidly disappearing from society on many levels. However terms like "fat shaming" are in vogue and several "double standards" continue to exist. Being able to choose one's own thoughts and way to live is real freedom.
Maven, (bringing the conversation back to obligation) It seems as if you're arguing that the "social studies" teacher (I'm assuming you meant high school social studies teacher since you use those terms), has the OBLIGATION of teaching individual rights and group rights in society. In high school, one could argue that unless you are teaching in a private school where parents request a leaning toward one philosophy as opposed to another, a public school teacher does have the OBLIGATION to present both sides. In a college setting, it seems to me, the obligation of the Sociology Professor is to present his or her theory or views based on research, never fearing to add his or her opinions, and for the student to argue the points either in the classrom or in a cojent essay. Freedom of professors in the United States in this regard seems to be a given - they have the freedom to present their ideas as they feel morally obligated to do so. In a few other countries? maybe not so much, I'm assuming. In college, my professor, Alice Streng believed with all her heart and soul in "oral only" education for deaf students. It was MY obligation to find out if other methods like Signed English, American Sign Language, Cued Speech were more effective. If I disagreed with Alice Streng's philosophy, it was my obligation to either argue with her against her training of us as teachers of the deaf, to advocate for the University to hire professors that "preached" the opposite philosophy as well, or to quit the program. As it was, I stayed in the program, followed Alice Streng's philosophy and then taught with the method I felt most effective for my students. It was my moral obligation after evaluating the situation on my own, to break away from the method I felt was not working for my students.
I hope you read this soon because after I post this comment, I'll be deleting this questions since it is not going in the direction I intended. But thank you for your comment once again. It has provoked my thought process.
Obligated today is associated with being manipulated, feeling indebted, or a sense of guilt, to do something you honestly do not want to do. It's not loving or giving of oneself (freely).
Choice and being empowered to live your life as you want is what is in vogue today. One does things for their parents, spouse, or friends because they (want) to and not because they feel obligated to.
Their parents, spouse, or friends (appreciate) them for doing things they did not "have to" do. They didn't take them for granted or make any assumptions or have any "expectations" of them.
Most people pay their taxes as to avoid the risk of going to jail or losing their possessions. If paying the IRS was "optional" you'd find out just how few people really feel "obligated" to do so.
I'm also of the belief that if one brings a child into this world (they) are obligated to nurture, feed, clothe, educate, and prepare that child to become a self-reliant productive citizen of society.
I do not believe the child is obligated to their parents. Had I chose to have children it would not have been to extract future favors.
Too many parents today expect their children to "repay them" for having sex and conceiving them. They want "credit" for doing what parents are supposed to do just because many other parents don't step up. Having children was (their) choice.
I believe in love and free will. If someone loves and appreciates you they will do well by you because they (want) to and not because they feel (obligated). One man's opinion!
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