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Old 08-02-2019, 11:42 AM
Max S. is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 2,674
Among those of us who I think identify as conservative, I found these definitions:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
"Personal responsibility" means I am personally responsible for the things I personally did.
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
On the one hand, "It is right to give every man his due". This is Plato's definition of morality, and equivocal to personal responsibility.
Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
Personal responsibility is just the ethic for how you choose to live your life, hence the ďpersonal.Ē It has nothing to do with anybody else.

The idea is that you be prudent and self reliant and avoid becoming becoming a burden on loved ones, or society at large. Itís a powerful tool. Itís about deciding not to be a victim and continuing to strive and believe that you are in control of your destiny when life knocks you down.

All it really is is an attitude. Itís telling yourself that you are still in the fight when all you want to do is quit.
Originally Posted by Kearsen1 View Post
Personal responsibility: You are free to make whatever decision you wish, those decisions come with consequences.
I think puddleglum is a conservative, and I think he equates personal responsibility with self reliance (not totally sure):
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
What Romney get right is that the first responsibility for everyone is to take care of themselves and their family. If everyone did that then there would be no need for other people to do it for them... The only thing that can help people is self reliance and if universally practiced it would solve nearly every political problem.
And then I believe WillFarnaby is a libertarian, but his definition seems in line with the conservative ones:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
I have no responsibility towards anyone other than those I voluntarily interact with including my family, friends, employers, business associates, coworkers, and in some cases neighbors.
I believe thorny_locust is not a conservative (I'm she's new here), but she offers the following which I pretty much agree with:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I get the impression that what conservatives mean by "personal responsibility" is a combination of two things:

1) each person is responsible for their own actions, and the socially-expected results of those actions.

2) each adult is financially responsible for paying their own bills, and those of any minor children they have.
I'm not sure how Crane identifies and I don't fully agree with the rest of his argument, but he says this:
Originally Posted by Crane View Post
In the military I was taught that there is no responsibility without commensurate authority. That should apply to the Conservative concept of personal responsibility.
To a certain extent, I think you stand out from the pack in saying the judgement of others' personal responsibility has nothing to do with personal responsibility. I have trouble separating the idea of being "prudent and self reliant" from simply taking responsibility for one's own actions. You seem to think there's a difference, and further, that the difference somehow precludes judgement of others. I don't follow you there.

Prudence is just being reasonable. Self-reliance flows from self-discipline (pushing yourself to do what you need to do). If you keep discipline, you will realize that you can in fact do what you need to do. That is called self-confidence. After some time you will make the inference that you will do what you need to do, and come to rely on your self-confidence. That is called self-reliance. Once you have self-confidence and self-reliance, you can start keeping promises to other people. Not just explicit promises, but implicit ones too - for example when borrowing a lawnmower you implicitly promise to return it in good condition. If there is a reasonable expectation for you to do something after taking a certain action, then taking that action means you make the implicit promise.

Other people notice that you keep your promises, and a pattern emerges. A person who keeps their promises is called a responsible person. These other people who notice a pattern of responsibility make the same inference as a judgement of your character, but this time it is called personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is like a AAA rating. It basically means that you keep your word; you take responsibility for your actions. Other people constantly rely on that, and you constantly rely on your judgement of other people's personal responsibility.

So really, the difference between personal responsibility and self-confidence is the difference between the words "a person's house" and "my house". Both are used to describe possession of a house, and similarly both personal responsibility and self-confidence describe the same concept. Self-reliability is therefore analogous to reliance upon someone's personal responsibility.