Can anybody please convince me that "responsibility" is a true ethic/value?
Seriously - I'm not so sure it's anything but the very human self-aggrandizing we do as we over-estimate our impact and "front" the "responsible adult" image and often the smugness that goes with it.
Further, I'd love to hear arguments that it didn't start from the testosterone-dripping primal instinct to "outdo" the other males in the species. What about doing something not because "it's your duty", but because somebody needs your help, or that it's just the right thing to do out of fairness or compassion - not that stupid-ass "bootstraps" nonsense.
Responsibility IS a true ethic . . . . . . If u folow ur religion . . . .
Besides religion, responsibility is not a carte blanc obligation. (In my opinion) Responsibility is doing what is right, not taking the easy way out. To me responsibility is an ethical obligation dependent upon personal values, which also means that it is subjective. For example, a person who believes that abortion is wrong may think they have a responsibility to protest in front of clinics that provide abortions. I don't agree with that, but if a friend says they are considering suicide I do consider it my responsibility to tell someone about it. I do think supporting your family (financially and emotionally) is important. Our need/feeling of responsibility to our families does come from a very primal instinct to see our genes passed on, but for me it also boils down to "you created it, you should take care of it". I agree that responsibility is just doing the right thing out of a sense of fairness and compassion.
SerLeon, it's hard for me to gauge your response. Your use of text shorthand suggests (or at least gives me the impression) of a casual tone, a sort of mediocrity that feels like it's a "case closed" issue with you. Just an impression. Do you mean the responsibility to do the right thing, as best as you can figure it? Then I totally agree with you.
Danielle, thank you, too, for responding. Your closing sentence was a very reassuring close to your perspective.
I'm just trying to figure out, or argue against a little, I guess, that responsibility for it's own sake is NOT a virtue. Like - you're SUPPOSED to take on more balls to juggle.
Clean up your own mess? Yeah - I get that. Try your hardest before AND while asking for and hopefully getting some help? Absolutely. Being *expected* to solve the problem on your own and deal with it UNTIL IT IS FIXED - even if the solution never comes - and you're a less than or a nobody unless and until you can? So you slave at a problem doggedly - alas into infiniti and way past a death that would thus mark a very wasted life? No !@#$ way. That's where, in my opinion, some people get it very, VERY wrong.
Not as a burden *expected* as we grow or age. Not as a *punishment* for making an honest mistake. No way. But, as a value which suggests we should all do the very best we can, not just for ourselves and managing our own lives (financial, job, kids, property, living by a set of morals you REALLY believe in - in your gut, NOT at your convenience with a wink and a nod. You damned well turn in that wallet - even when no one is looking - that kind of thing. Pick up that whole-chicken-sized rock out of the middle of the street - even if it's the middle of the night and no one is there to applaud you for being simply decent.
Not as an expectation FROM society. But as a member of it who does the best he can, and in return gets a fair shake.
Taking responsibility for our actions and decisions is a true ethic value as it is an example of our character and what we feel is important as an individual. In these times ethics is an important trait the existence of which seems to be reduced in these economic times.
Too often we see decisions made by individuals that affect others. The ethic of these situations is lacking when such decisions have a bad impact. Taking responsibility in terms of its ethic relationship involves making the right decions for the right reasons. Responsibility is just one characteristic of having ethic values in our character. Others include such things as honesty, truthfulness and trust. All these combined with character determines who we are as individuals.
I think this is a fantastic question, and I don't know if I can contribute anything really all that meaningful but I will try because it seems too interesting to pass up. As far as I define it, I think responsibility is a crucial value that comes from all human beings' need to survive. Responsibility plays an important role in staying alive in the wilderness and protecting oneself against the elements (and predators).
I think the idea of responsibility in this society has been made into many things. It is no longer simply being consistent in taking care of onself and others. In many ways it has become a trait we brand ourselves with to go along with the "smugness". I agree with you on that point too.
It is a value, possibly a moral- on the same plane as a virtue called patience. However, it is something that has to be taught to us. It is not our nature to be responsible- our nature is to be selfish. Patience is something we learn as well.
Responsibility, after it is learned, is a choice. If we are responsible we have a better life- things are in order and taken care of. Responsibility's brother is self control. You have to be willing to put in some work (responsibility) to get the reward. And to put in the work, you have to control the desire to do other things first.
As you can see, responsibility entails many other values, morals, and ethics- but it's what we do with our actions that let us know what we "use" it for.
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