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  1. #1
    Probably Most Brilliant Craft's Avatar
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    Default What is the meaning of responsibility?

    What's your personal take on it? I can never get a decent grasp of this concept. Responsible to what? Responsible to whom? Isn't that a relative thing? Isn't that dependent on what you personally care about? "This is your responsibility." It always seems connected to a social group, and it's always often about the more influential members of that group. It seems like socially agreed roles. But then, there's that line from Spiderman, "With great power, comes great responsibility", being a superhero is not a socially agreed role. What is it exactly?
    A search for truth is a search for a greedy perspective.

    Nah, that's not truth. That's just your bullshit ideas of truth. Truth is always inclusive. If it's not inclusive, then toughen it up and try harder.

  2. #2
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    You are responsible whenever someone else is trying to enforce their authority and notion of "how reality should be" onto your actions and they have an emotional reaction to being contradicted in that effort.

    In other words we're only as responsible as we feel emotionally. Or how we control that emotion in the moment. And any social contracts are generally agreed upon by the few emotional attachments we can roughly judge to be shared across our species...such as responsibility not to murder or in some way harm others, because conversely the society that allows this without punishment would result in it being used against us at some point...as in me the self.

    Some people love the idea of 'personal responsibility' even though it's main purpose is often perverted from introspection surrounding how our actions affect others to instead justify people in holding harsh judgements and punishments against others for perceived personal slights, which they then contrive into objective slights against the 'responsibility'.

    Righteous fury is very often the least righteous when examined closely, but it is the fury most justified by notions of responsibility. Things like determinism muddy this up even more, but I'm not too well read on the subject so I won't attempt to bring it in here, someone else can have that fun.

    Still..this is easy typed on a forum than acted out in real life.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
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  3. #3
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    It means you take away no more than what you first put into something, and you repay all that you took.

  4. #4
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    If I call you a bad name then I'm responsible for doing that and should stand by my action and take any consequence. Conversely, if you get upset and bloody my nose then you are responsible for that reaction and should be prepared to face the consequences.

    Dead simple really. It's about owning your impact and not expecting to be able to do whatever you want without consequence.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #5
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    You are accountable for the consequences of your actions. You follow through on what you say you are going to do. You own your shit. And you aren't a burden on others (within your capabilities, obviously).
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.
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  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    As for the social roles, I am not sure why, logically, but I do feel like if you have a lot of advantages in life, it is your social responsibility to support and help those who may not have had those same advantages. I also feel like you have a specific responsibility to people like your parents, who took care of you for so many years when you were helpless, as a child, to then care for them in their old age, as they become less able to do so for themselves.

    I guess it's a kind of a social justice or something? That is one way to look at it or to frame it.

    But you don't have to take the social responsibility angle. You can also just look at it as doing something out of love for others and out of respect for their dignity as a person.

    But if someone is playing the "responsibility" card to get you to do something self-serving (to them) or conforming to their ideas of how you should be, then that's kind of manipulative and gross.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.
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    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Acceptance that the consequences are the result(s) of choices and actions that you've made or stated another way, taking ownership of shit you've stirred up.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  8. #8
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    To answer the call and requests (in whatever form it may be) of others with due diligence, effort, and honesty. Further, doing what is required of you to move forward, better yourself, and ensure the lives of others remain good or improved.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft View Post
    What's your personal take on it? I can never get a decent grasp of this concept. Responsible to what? Responsible to whom? Isn't that a relative thing? Isn't that dependent on what you personally care about? "This is your responsibility." It always seems connected to a social group, and it's always often about the more influential members of that group. It seems like socially agreed roles. But then, there's that line from Spiderman, "With great power, comes great responsibility", being a superhero is not a socially agreed role. What is it exactly?
    I think you've just highlighted the nature of the concept, it is often context specific and requires clarification, personal responsibility is different from social responsibility, social responsibility is different from parental responsibility etc. etc.

    I think its important and useful as a concept, many things are contingent or consequent to it, like risk and reward, credit and discredit etc. etc.

    However, I would say that's important questions about how the idea is used and abused by people with the power to do so, if you dont want to help someone with something you can say that they need to exercise greater responsibility personally, despite knowing they are trying and lack the experience, prowess and ability of others, or better yet, they havent developed it at that point but are motivated to do so. Some people are averse to it and try to delegate and dodge as much as possible with regard to it letting others pick up the slack.

    There are entire groups of people happy to believe the worst with reference to other groups of people, generally subordinates, when it comes to the competent exercise of responsibility but unwilling to recognise their or superiors faults with respect of the same thing, particularly were rank and status ought properly to attach greater responsibility to themselves or their attitudes towards others responsible behaviour.

    I've my entire life been in a socialist camp which either explicitly or implicitly invests massively in the importance of personal responsibility, in much of the literature generated over time by this faction it was simply assumed (this is great problem with socialism, a lot of what it did generate did not reflect the richer and wider culture which was its foundation properly) but some of it really did emphasis it directly, like GDH Cole and others like him, so I was surprised when a US conservative first attacked my own thinking with "well what about personal responsibility?", I thought what about it, it was only in discussing with them that I discovered the extent to which a single concept could be contestable and how different political factions can believe that they exercise an ownership of it when they dont or shouldnt be exclusively identified with it.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member KitchenFly's Avatar
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    Response Ability, having an authentic ability to respond appropriately correctly resposasily. To honour the duty or task as suitably expected to do as required.
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