Concepts

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Responsibility

What is responsibility?

The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

Basically responsibility is about causality.

Who is responsible for what?

Ownership==>Control==>Responsibility

Control and responsibility always go together. It is not possible to be responsible for events that you have no control over.
Ownership determines who can can control items and events, either directly or through delegation.

So who is responsible for what?
Who is responsible for what

Freedom does not entail responsibility, rather it is responsibility that requires freedom.

What is the cause of the bad outcomes?

People quite often blame tools as being responsible for bad outcomes.

"Just because there was a fight and these people met via facebook doesn't mean mean facebook is out of control and is to blame. Perhaps we should blame the roads and transport system as well beacuse if they were not there, how would people get to hyde park to fight? Is society in general is to blame?"

It is quite conceivable in the case above that a fight could have occurred without Facebook, or that a fight might not have broken out even though Facebook was used. 
Fights were breaking out long before Facebook was around and never has Facebook been caught fighting anyone.
Facebook in all probability wasn't even being used at the time of the fight.

Tools cannot act alone and have many substitutes, Facebook can be replaced by emails or texting and road/cars can be replaced by horses, but you won't get rid of bad outcomes by doing so.
Tools are human creations and used by humans, so there is always a human responsible in the case of a tool involved in a bad outcome.

The reason why its convenient to blame tools is that its easier to control tools than people. Some people think that since we can't control people we will control the methods those people use.
This is why people try to ban things.

What is wrong with the way that responsibility is viewed

What is wrong with the way that responsibility is viewed

Link between responsibility and rights

I was putting forward the notion that power/rights and responsibility are inseparable. If people have one without the other, bad outcomes ensue.

The most stressful situations at work are the ones where you have been given the reponsibility to do something without the power to accomplish it

Link between responsibility and being responsible

When you give people responsibility, they become responsible.
Individuals have to be responsible and only moral people can do that.

David Cameron on Responsibility

"On Monday, I made a speech about how our broken society – the violence, the drugs, the crime – doesn't have to inevitable.
We can repair it, make our streets safe and our society stronger. We just need a revolution in responsibility.
This won't happen overnight. For a start, it means Government getting the basics right.
Action on knife crime so everyone knows if you're caught with a knife, you'll go to prison. Better policing so criminals know if they commit a crime, they will be caught. And reforming welfare so we end the something for nothing culture.
But more important than that, we need cultural change. Why? Because the kid on the street terrorising a local shopkeeper, the parent who lets their child bunk off school, the addict who harasses locals for money – they just don't know the difference between right and wrong.
There's a simple reason for this. It's because society has become far too sensitive to their feelings.
We don't want to judge them – so we've stopped saying 'that's good' or 'that's bad'. Instead, we say nothing at all. We let everyone get on and do what they want without any sense of their personal responsibility.
Take another example – obesity. This is not about saying 'it's all your fault'. There are many reasons – by no means all of their own making – why people have bad diets. Their neighbourhood, their school, and the choices their parents make all have a huge impact.
But we'll never get to the root of the problem if we constantly blame all of it on external factors. We've got make clear that problems like obesity can be the result of the choices that people make themselves.
And that goes for all our social problems. If we want to repair our broken society, we've got to make clear what's expected from each and every citizen, introduce the idea of moral choice and create a society built on personal responsibility.
Just how we create this society goes right to the heart of my responsibility agenda for this country. It's at the cornerstone of everything I want to do.
So with the Conservatives, head teachers will have more responsibility, as we'll give them the freedom to exclude unruly pupils and make them real captains of their ship.
Police officers will have more responsibility, as we'll scrap all their targets and make them accountable to the people they serve. And businesses will be more responsible, as we'll cut regulation and taxes if they do what's right for their consumers.
But above all, I believe responsibility starts at home. The values we need to repair our broken society and to build a strong society are values that should be taught in the family.
That's why, for me, the family always comes first. So we'll give a tax break for marriage and end the couple penalty. And we'll provide a universal health visitor service for every parent so they get help when they most need it.
Together, we can fix our broken society. We just all need to take our responsibilities seriously."

Keynes and responsibility

Keynes is quoted as having said, "In the long run we are all dead". How disgraceful, we have a responsibility to future generations.

Is someone who is addicted responsible?

The simplest way to put this is perhaps to say if someone addicted to alcohol ran over one of your relatives, would you blame the alcohol or the one taking the alcohol?
The court system would blame the one taking the alcohol rather than the alcohol. Addiction is a personal thing and belongs to the person with that addiction, they are therefore responsible for its affects if they cannot tame it.

Social responsibility

Those who talk about social responsibility, arereally talking about an abdicating personal responsibility but asking others to pick up the tab.

Links

http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/opinion/8308982/Laws-Stupidity-killed-the-Coke-drinker
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23772194 Should we judge people of past eras for moral failings?
Subpages (1): Accountability
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