So, this raises many questions - are we responsible for what we do?
At what age do we become responsible for what we do?
Are we responsible for what others do? To what extent?
Personally, I feel the answer is no. Let's take a very sensitive topic for this - a young person kills themselves due to bullying. Now, the instant response would be the bullies are responsible. However, I have many points to address here.
1) They cannot be singled out in 'responsibility'. While it is primarily their fault no one did anything to stop it in the community, say a school, so bystanders also hold some blame. And I'm going to be very risky here and say that yes, if the victim didn't do anything they are somewhat responsible. However, that is where we draw the line between responsibility and fault. It is not the victim's fault, but they are partly responsible if they did nothing. The bullies were responsible, however in their case, yes, it's their fault as they chose to do something wrong. This can also be debated however to what makes a bully bully however I'm going to leave that bit out.
2) To what extent are they responsible or to blame? Well, this is kinda my main point here - although the bullies gave this person the feelings to make them want to kill themselves, which makes them responsible, they are also not responsible in a way as we cannot control each other's actions. They did not make the victim kill themselves, that was the victim's conscious choice. The bullies are only responsible for the feelings the victim had, not how the victim dealt with them.
Someone murder's another person - the victim has never met the murderer in their lives. This is more for those who believe we are all responsible for each other's actions. No one would suspect the murderer of being a killer, and they had a happy life before they committed the murder. Obviously, the murderer is responsible, and imo how can the rest of the community be responsible for this? It effects them but they aren't responsible for the murder.
Basically, the question is, do we all take responsibility for each other's actions? Are we all responsible for each other in a community? Should we all look after one another?
My simple answer would be no, we should do our best to all look after one another but we are not all responsible for each other's actions, as only each individual can control what they do. This may come across as contradictory given my bullying example, as I said the bullies are responsible, which I think is undeniable, however the point I'm making there is there is only a certain level of responsibility people can take as we are not one mind, we a many individual existing in a community, each person with independent thought.
If a person makes a decision that has consequences beyond what the person initially thought it could have, is the consequenses then the person's responsibility? Or do you have to be informed of the potential consequences of your actions in order to be responsible for it?
Kitsy wrote:Just a quick question to put to people, and in line with what Heiks said at the beginning. Are we responsible for the consequences of our actions if we did not predict the consequences that did occur?
It's a pretty though question imo. On one hand, you may never have expected the victim of bullying to kill themselves. Nevertheless, I think the general agreement is that the bully and others involved each have a
degree of responsibility.
But! What about the scientiest Leise Meitner, who is credited with discovering how to split an atom, nuclear fission etc etc. Is she responsible for the consequences of her and her colleagues discovery? Because nuclear fission had serious consequences, but are they therefore responsible?
And then what does responsible even really mean? If responsibility is simply one's actions affecting others, then eveyone is responsible for everything, then Meitner would be responsible for the atomic bomb. Or are we talking about "blame"? And if we are, the whole question of how far can you blame someone for consequences they could not predict?
I just rambled there, it's that kind of topic.
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