Four short essays – 4 On Responsibility


Leandro Castelluccio


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Responsibility in a socio-political context is the attitude where one is subject to the desires of other individuals (certain agreed-upon attitudes, not jus anything), for the fact of having been part of the cause in a grievance to other subjects, regardless of whether one is determined or not, one can take this position, regardless of whether one’s behavior was caused or not, this should be held because of the benefits it brings to maintain an advanced society based on high reward states. But there are many ways to understand responsibility, a very common one today attacks the individual, generates guilt and diverts people from those things that give them real satisfaction. Thus, it is said that one is responsible for poverty, war or the suffering of others. Many say that one who does nothing when others harm a subject is equally responsible. But in the sense of causal agents one is not. Neither does one have the duty to help anyone, such notion of duty is nonexistent in reality. In reality, one can become an agent of defense, the same position taken by the assaulted in front of the aggressor, when the aggressor has initiated a conflict, but the causal agent continues to be the aggressor (the awareness of the conflict is established primarily in the attacked, this is given by the action of the aggressor, without the aggressor there would be no conflict, although one can say that the victim is guilty for not sustaining the aims of the attacking subject, another form of that harmful aspect of the notion of responsibility). Saying that another person is guilty of the situation of the victim is the same as saying that the attacked person is guilty of the aggression if he does not decide to defend himself, which is the same position that the one who helps may or may not take. And here I refer to the case of the conflict, it could be considered that if one does not do anything, he would be taking part for the initiation of the conflict, but in reality the subject has no intention of imposing his aims and interests over the possibility of action of another based on their own purposes or also limit the use of objects and places for one’s own purposes, which is what the aggressor does.

The action of the subject will be determined by his commitment to certain ideas, the existing reward for example, this could transform his action into an agent of the defense of the other, but there is no objective justification in reality for which he must defend the other, the defense can be done or not, nothing dictates in reality that this has to be carried out (this is because reality lacks a cause ultimately- See this concept in my work Propositions-see in publications menu), the action will be carried out based on this idea of ​​what is justified or unjustified in reality, and mainly in the reward, the unjustified in reality is the aggression of the subject , it does so because it rewards it, although it does not lead to high reward states, and the defense has its reason in such aggression, the defense against the conflict, because it implies reward and leads to high reward states, when this is possible, and especially in a socio-political context, a defense given by an entity such as the State, but the conflict does not have to be eliminated (as a justification in reality), but the aggressor does not have any justification in reality for its imposition. (See the concept of high reward states in my work “Propositions”-see in menu of publications).

The attitude of saying that one is guilty that there is poverty because one does not do enough to prevent it is not equivalent to saying that one is the cause of poverty, one is not the cause of its extinction, but there is no more reason to assign one a responsibility as the cause of the presence of that for doing nothing than just adjudicating responsibility to the poor themselves for not having found the means to get out of it. One can do something, but one is not metaphysically bound to put it in a way, to do something, just let us imagine if our lives are governed by the code that one is responsible for all called evils by our non-action, in such case we swould give ourselves to a life of service to others regardless of what one finds important or what gives personal reward and this is not a good situation for us.

One thing is to be the cause of something, another thing is to do something in case of a problem that has certain causes. Considering responsibility under this deal, any award of blame to anyone is possible, I can blame any individual for the existence of wars or diseases for not having done enough or been able to avoid them. One cannot escape from this situation, always one will be responsible for something. And blaming is a way of making people feel bad, and the reason for making them feel bad, for their non-action, when one has not done anything malicious to anyone, a reason to feel guilty if the person rejects malice, is to sacrifice the things that reward someone for a life of service or tasks done for others that may not reward the person, that is to say that someone must be miserable. It takes you down a path of servitude, rather than making one think those things that would give him or her satisfaction, what one finds important in the world for oneself.

To say in this context that the members of a society have reciprocal responsibilities is only an expression that some have the desire that others are forced to grant them something. In reality there are no criteria or ends ultimately, one is not tied to a supposed responsibility with another by mandate of reality, one may want to have some responsibility with another or not, but there is no duty in reality to have that ultimately, and following the high reward states, the first an most important responsibility I can have with another is not to prevent that person from having his or her rewards.
I consider responsibility as a way of guiding and behaving, the fact that one can respond to one’s behavior, regardless of whether the behavior obeys the notion of causes and effects, one notion is about the causes, another about the response to our actions. If one thinks of the individual who attacks another, for example, knowing that what he or she does is wrong (according to certain criteria), or that what he or she does will be punished or prevented by justice and the defense of the State, and all forms do, which may or may not have been avoided (as many argue), is indifferent to the fact that one can restore what is necessary, for example, if it is the case that the individuals involved and justice agree that this is important.

All that has been said does not mean that human beings are not connected, in the sense of being part of a unit, where one’s actions inevitably affect others, but we must have clear rules of how we deal with this and how we understand responsibility, it is best to handle a concept of it and reciprocity where the high reward states of people are respected.

Un comentario sobre “Four short essays – 4 On Responsibility

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  1. Let me try to simplify things a little.

    Morality seeks the best good and least harm for everyone. Moral judgment applies that criteria when judging between two alternative rules or actions.

    Rules, and the rights they protect, arise by agreement. In formal matters, these agreements are published as laws. The means by which laws are created are defined in a previous agreement, between each citizen and every other citizen, that constitutes the government (for example, the Constitution of the United States of America). Slightly less formal are the rules and rights protected by other rule systems such as mores, customs, manners, and ethics.

    All practical rights are agreements between us to respect and protect certain rights for each other. To protect a right to property, we call the police when we see someone trying to steal our neighbor’s car. That is a responsibility that we accepted when we agreed to protect that right for each other.

    To “hold responsible” the thief who stole the car, means first to be sure that he was the one who stole it, and second to restore justice by (a) repairing the harm to the victim, (b) correcting the behavior of the thief is feasible, (c) protecting the society by imprisoning the thief until he is corrected, and (d) doing no more harm than is reasonably required to accomplish (a), (b), and (c).

    Society and conscience are two separate entities that make demands upon us for certain behavior, and that hold us responsible when we fail to meet those demands. Usually, our behavior satisfies both demands. But, sometimes conscience requires more from us and may conflict with the demands of society. (For example, the “conscientious objector”).

    When our conscience holds us responsible for social conditions, we may feel the need to address those conditions in some practical way, perhaps by advocating to change laws, perhaps by giving to charity, perhaps by volunteering to help others, and so on.

    But neither society nor conscience can fairly require us to personally fix a problem that is beyond our power to fix alone.

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