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Nem

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Posts posted by Nem


  1. Responsibility isn't something that you do, it's a state - you know the consequences of a behaviour and have alternatives - you implement that behaviour, you're responsible for the consequences. Behaving responsibly is just to say that your behaviour is predicated on recognition of that knowledge, it doesn't imply a particular choice as better or worse than the other.It's entirely possible to say, 'I had some idea of the potential consequences, and I chose to act in this way because people shouldn't live in fear of the ill-controlled predations of the poorly socialised.' There's a strength in such statements. In choosing because something is right to you, true to your ideals, and damn the consequences.

     

    The problem with taking that approach is it's not at all gentle, it more or less says,

    'Hey, look: Principles are there to make life difficult - to make losing not absolutely terrible. Yeah, the respect people give you for behaving responsibly is great and all, and the freedom from having to calculate all the outcomes to feel safe with your choices is nice, but it's not free. You'd better watch out if you don't know what you actually believe, because the stakes are the same either way and you probably won't be okay losing for someone else's truth.'

    And most people just aren't cut out for something like that, to put it bluntly. Most people, reasonably enough, really really want to go home at the end of the day and have the TV, and the bath, and the coffee, and... ya' know? Most people want to be warm and loved. They want something gentle. And that's just not compatible with behaving responsibly, because to behave responsibly is to take whatever you put after 'I knew and I did it anyway because [this thing I believe]' and put it above the entire set of consequences, including the TV and the bath and so on. That's not something gentle - that's 'If god gets in your way, cut him down,' territory.

     

    The problem with not taking that approach is responsibility becomes, to some degree, synonymous with blame.

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