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Should people take responsibility for themselves? Watch

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    Now, I'm not asking whether people should be obsessively concerned with being responsible. I'm not asking whether people should ditch their SUVs for bicycles made out of their own beards, or be teetotal, or never eat anything more sentient than a lettuce. I'm a great believer that everyone needs to be irresponsible sometimes, or the world would likely be a very dull, artless place. However, I also believe that people should take responsibility for their own irresponsibility. In other words, the first and formost person who should take responsibility for you, is obviously you. This means that if you become obese from eating 10 big macs a day, it's first and formost your own fault. Not McDonalds, not their adverts, not your crappy relationship with your parents, just you. Do you agree?
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    (Original post by KingBradly)
    Now, I'm not asking whether people should be obsessively concerned with being responsible. I'm not asking whether people should ditch their SUVs for bicycles made out of their own beards, or be teetotal, or never eat anything more sentient than a lettuce. I'm a great believer that everyone needs to be irresponsible sometimes, or the world would likely be a very dull, artless place. However, I also believe that people should take responsibility for their own irresponsibility. In other words, the first and formost person who should take responsibility for you, is obviously you. This means that if you become obese from eating 10 big macs a day, it's first and formost your own fault. Not McDonalds, not their adverts, not your crappy relationship with your parents, just you. Do you agree?
    This assumes that by nature we are totally rational creatures and not led by our desires and fears.
    Human beings like any other animal are largely governed by our internal, involuntarily passions.


    I suggest you read Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. A fascinating read.

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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    This assumes that by nature we are totally rational creatures and not led by our desires and fears.
    Human beings like any other animal are largely governed by our internal, involuntarily passions.


    I suggest you read Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. A fascinating read.

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    It doesn't assume that at all. If we're all irrational, no one is better or worse suited to taking responsibility for you than yourself, however, seeing as you are the one who is in foremost and ultimate control of yourself, it's probably best that it's you who takes responsibility for yourself. If you are inable to take responsibility for your own self, then surely you are not adequate for being responsible for others. Futhermore, if one shouldn't have to take responsibility for themselves, then someone else must, and that means that those people not only have to be responsible for their own selves but also these other people who can't take responsibility for themselves. How on earth is that fair? Moreover, I don't see how others are as obligated to be responsible for you as you are.

    There are two options: the first is blaming the world for our actions. This is not illogical. We are not born in vacuums, and it's true that everything we do has been influenced by events that go back as far as the big bang. This is worth keeping in mind, but it's not particularly helpful. There has to be a point where you stop off-setting blame to someone or something else. You can go back as far as you like. An alcoholic can blame his parents, he can blame his grandparents, he can blame the adverts that enticed his granddad into drinking alcohol which made him abusive, which messed his dad up, who messed him up and from whom he learnt to heal his pain with alcohol from. He can go back as far as he likes. He can blame the Ancient Egyptians for selling beer to their workers. He can blame the Ancient Roman vineyard owners. It's all linked, all of it, and no part is separable, no part is more of a cause for his alcoholism than the other. Or he can take option two: he takes responsibility for himself. The advantage of this option is that it is the only option that can actually help him. Blaming his dad won't. Nor will blaming the first person who realised you could get high from drinking fermented plant matter. Taking responsibility for himself will help him. By doing this, he can take himself along to AA meetings, he can push himself to stop his addiction. And ultimately, he is the only one who can do this, although others may be able to help. You can either blame the whole universe, which is patently ridiculous, or you can take responsibility for yourself. These are the only two options.

    If you still don't think that the first and foremost person who should take responsibility for oneself is oneself, I must ask who else is obligated to do so, and why are they obligated to do so?
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    (Original post by KingBradly)
    So you don't think people should take responsibility for themselves.

    In this case, who else is obligated to do so?
    Taking responsibility is not the same as actually being responsible for something.
    It's an interesting topic which goes right to the heart of human nature. Are we rational creatures with complete free choice or are we like other animals who are largely guided by our passions, needs and wants?

    My view is a mix of the two. Its for such reasons that we are so susceptible to advertising and material goods and food that is bad for us. Its in our inherent nature.

    It comes down to how much free will you think we have.
    It's not about taking responsibility per se, it's about judging how responsible for our choices and actions we actually are.

    Saying we are entirely responsible for out actions is to assume that we are entirely rational creatures and have true free choice. I don't believe that to be the case.

    Again, Leviathan by Thomas Hobbies is a very interesting book which I highly recommend.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Taking responsibility is not the same as actually being responsible for something.
    It's an interesting topic which goes right to the heart of human nature. Are we rational creatures with complete free choice or are we like other animals who are largely guided by our passions, needs and wants?

    My view is a mix of the two. Its for such reasons that we are so susceptible to advertising and material goods and food that is bad for us. Its in our inherent nature.

    It comes down to how much free will you think we have.
    It's not about taking responsibility per se, it's about judging how responsible for our choices and actions we actually are.

    Saying we are entirely responsible for out actions is to assume that we are entirely rational creatures and have true free choice. I don't believe that to be the case.

    Again, Leviathan by Thomas Hobbies is a very interesting book which I highly recommend.
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    Well I believe that we both have no free will, and entirely free will; it just depends on your perspective. In essence, we are a behaviour, or a process, of the universe. If we define ourselves from the rest of the universe, then yes, we have no free will. We can see ourselves as like a wave in the ocean, which is entirely governed by the behaviour of all the other waves and currents and weather systems. We are an entity which is entirely influenced by all the other entities and processes and behaviours of the universe that preceded us and have always surrounded us.

    Or we can see ourselves as the universe, which we indisputably are. In which case, we do absolutely have free will, as every movement we make is on account of ourselves (ourselves being the universe in this case), as we are all the processes, and all the behaviours that there ever was and is. Just in the same way, we can see the wave as the ocean, and the ocean as the planet earth, and the planet earth as a part of the make-up of the solar system, and the solar system as a feature of the galaxy... etc etc. In the end, if we see the wave as the entire universe, then we can see that it is not simply a solitary entity being pushed around by the rest of the waves, or the rest of the sea, or the earth's weather systems, or the moon, or the solar system, or the rest of the universe, but a behaviour of the entirety of the universe.

    It's true that we absolutely can blame our actions on every single thing that has ever happened, because our actions are all linked to everything that has ever happened and is happening, and will ever happen. However, my above comment explains why this isn't a very useful thing to do.

    "If we're all irrational, no one is better or worse suited to taking responsibility for you than yourself, however, seeing as you are the one who is in foremost and ultimate control of yourself, it's probably best that it's you who takes responsibility for yourself. If you are inable to take responsibility for your own self, then surely you are not adequate for being responsible for others. Futhermore, if one shouldn't have to take responsibility for themselves, then someone else must, and that means that those people not only have to be responsible for their own selves but also these other people who can't take responsibility for themselves. How on earth is that fair? Moreover, I don't see how others are as obligated to be responsible for you as you are.

    There are two options: the first is blaming the world for our actions. This is not illogical. We are not born in vacuums, and it's true that everything we do has been influenced by events that go back as far as the big bang. This is worth keeping in mind, but it's not particularly helpful. There has to be a point where you stop off-setting blame to someone or something else. You can go back as far as you like. An alcoholic can blame his parents, he can blame his grandparents, he can blame the adverts that enticed his granddad into drinking alcohol which made him abusive, which messed his dad up, who messed him up and from whom he learnt to heal his pain with alcohol from. He can go back as far as he likes. He can blame the Ancient Egyptians for selling beer to their workers. He can blame the Ancient Roman vineyard owners. It's all linked, all of it, and no part is separable, no part is more of a cause for his alcoholism than the other. Or he can take option two: he takes responsibility for himself. The advantage of this option is that it is the only option that can actually help him. Blaming his dad won't. Nor will blaming the first person who realised you could get high from drinking fermented plant matter. Taking responsibility for himself will help him. By doing this, he can take himself along to AA meetings, he can push himself to stop his addiction. And ultimately, he is the only one who can do this, although others may be able to help. You can either blame the whole universe, which is patently ridiculous, or you can take responsibility for yourself. These are the only two options."

    The philosopher Alan Watts does a much better job of explaining this than myself:
    https://youtu.be/rFuMBEu0ibw
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    (Original post by KingBradly)
    Now, I'm not asking whether people should be obsessively concerned with being responsible. I'm not asking whether people should ditch their SUVs for bicycles made out of their own beards, or be teetotal, or never eat anything more sentient than a lettuce. I'm a great believer that everyone needs to be irresponsible sometimes, or the world would likely be a very dull, artless place. However, I also believe that people should take responsibility for their own irresponsibility. In other words, the first and formost person who should take responsibility for you, is obviously you. This means that if you become obese from eating 10 big macs a day, it's first and formost your own fault. Not McDonalds, not their adverts, not your crappy relationship with your parents, just you. Do you agree?
    Survival of the fittest. If you do something potentially fatally stupid, it's sad but it's ultimately your fault. Many like to blame others for bad events (and maybe there is responsibility elsewhere) however at the end of the day, you need to ultimately ensure you survive, which is an instinct that has kept us alive for so long so far. Therefore, we should take responsibility for ourselves to an extent.

    To an extent being finding the line between stupidly irresponsible and just having a good time, you could say buying a alcohol is irresponsible, however IMO it's a luxury. If you can afford it suitably and aren't drinking too much, in my opinion it isn't irresponsible at all. You could better invest that money elsewhere, however that could lead to a boring life if you're of that mentality for everything.
 
 
 
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