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Old 08-28-2019, 12:33 PM
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Thank you, Max. That is indeed what I was after.

I'll add that some may have a wider definition of "contribute to society" than others; and/or may conclude that the amount of contribution is not definable by the amount of money paid for it.

But I agree that there are some total freeloaders. I don't think the amount of time and effort (and money) needed to sort them out is worth it; plus I don't want to have to step over the bodies on the street; plus I think the risk of infection from those bodies would be a health hazard to everybody. (Metaphorically as well as literally: not only can people who can't get health care become literally infectious, but I'd rather have that freeloader sitting home getting stoned on the dole than out mugging people to get the money to do that with.)

-- Kearsen, altruism may be involved, but I also gave non-altruistic reasons, which you seem to be ignoring.

And I'm pretty sure I said quite a while ago in this thread that what seems to me to be happening isn't that conservatives believe in personal responsibility and liberals don't, but that we have a different idea as to what that means. -- yup, clear back in post #41:

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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I think both liberals and conservatives favor personal responsibility, even if liberals are far less likely to use the phrase; but I don't think they mean quite the same thing by it.

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.

What liberals mean by it is more like:

1) each person is responsible for the effects of their own actions. Doing something that accidentally causes harm doesn't make you a bad person necessarily, and avoiding it entirely may be impossible; but that doesn't remove the responsibility, and the person who causes accidental harm should do their reasonable best to ameliorate it.

2) each person is responsible for pulling their own weight. This may be done in financial or in non-financial forms; 'their own weight' is a variable measure both between people and at different points in any one person's life; and nobody is pulling, or can pull, the whole load.

Both of these can be hard on people in different ways. The conservative attitude seems to lead to results such as: if you did poorly in school, it's because you didn't study hard enough, and you deserve not to be able to get a good job. If, whether or not you did well in school, you don't have enough money to pay your bills as an adult, this is because you made some wrong choice along the way; you've done something wrong, and whether or not you get some form of grudging help you deserve to be denigrated for it. If you took a gamble in your life that didn't work out (and conservatives seem to be all for encouraging people to 'take risks'), that's your own fault, and you deserve to be poor and to be denigrated for it.

But the conservative sense means that, if you did manage to be doing well financially, and you're not doing anything obviously considered socially evil such as bashing your neighbor's head in, you're off the hook. You can keep all your money, except what you owe for services directly rendered to you, and you don't have to spend any time or energy or money worrying about anybody else. (The hook may get you unexpectedly at any moment. But that's usually not allowed for in such thinking, or is handwaved as something that won't happen if you just keep Doing Everything Right.)

The liberal sense means that you're responsible for a whole lot of other people, some of whom you know next to nothing about. If you say something innocently that damages somebody else, you ought to apologize and quit saying it, even if that means that you have trouble thinking of an alternate wording. If you discover that tuna fish caught in Thailand was very likely caught by slave labor, you're not a bad person for having bought such tuna before you knew about it; but now that you know you ought to be looking at cans of tuna to see where they're from, and pay extra for the ones that say they were caught and processed somewhere else, and worry that the somewhere else may not be any better. No fair deliberately refusing to look at the news so you won't find out. And you shouldn't complain about, and should support directly and/or vote for, money and/or time to be spent to help people who aren't doing as well as you are; at least as long as the money and/or time to be spent won't do you serious harm.

But when you need help yourself, you're off the hook. Because nobody can be expected to pull the whole load, and at any given time some people can pull less than others; and that doesn't mean they're bad people who ought to be denigrated. As long as you're doing your best to pull what you reasonably can, that's enough.
  #302  
Old 08-28-2019, 12:52 PM
steronz is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Correct. Progressives don't like the concept of personal responsibility, so they try hard to avoid talking about it. That's why people keep trying to change, or not to understand, the allegory.

"What responsibility do you bear for your own situation" is not a question that liberals like to ask, because the answer is very often something other than "It's not my fault - it's society/institutional racism/class privilege/the government didn't give me enough money/I can't be expected to delay gratification or wear a condom".

So they try to change the subject, or not understand it, or try to claim that fiddle-playing grasshoppers are vital to a functional ant society.

Regards,
Shodan
What responsibility people have for their own situation often has very little bearing in a public policy debate.

Everyone has a personal responsibility to make good reproductive decisions. Everyone agrees on this, Shodan. But in terms of public policy for public education, conservatives stop right there. "Don't want to get pregnant? Don't have sex." It's so simple! Personal responsibility.

Meanwhile the rest of us out in society with working eyes, ears, and brains have realized that emphasizing personal responsibility re: abstinence education is about useless as a public policy. Instead, condoms, birth control, and safe sex education work. They just work. And that's the difference. Focusing on personal responsibility in the face of working public policy is just a way to avoid doing anything to contribute productively to society. "Why should my tax dollars go towards buying condoms for deadbeats? They should just practice personal responsibility, then my tax bill will go down."

Let me ask you this, Shodan -- are there any kinds of responsibility that aren't personal in your world view? Or is that adjective completely redundant?

Last edited by steronz; 08-28-2019 at 12:53 PM.
  #303  
Old 08-31-2019, 01:25 PM
Damuri Ajashi is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Yes, it does.

If I steal your car and crash it and cause $1000 in damage, who should pay for that damage, me or my rich next-door neighbor? Most people would say it was me, even though my neighbor can more easily sustain the loss. He could volunteer to do so out of altruism, but that is not the same thing as saying he is personally responsible. Because it is not fair/equitable to make him responsible for what I do, or the consequences.

Who is responsible in the old story, the ant or the grasshopper?

Regards,
Shodan
Let me try thos again.

Let's say I steal all your money get you sent to jail for a crime I committed, i rape your wife and routinely beat your kid and force your wife kid to live in squalor. I use the money i stole from you to pay for my kid to get a STEM degree at Stanford and invest in his start up tech company which turns him into a billionaire. Now after you and I are long dead, my kid is a wealthy and your kid is living in squalor.

Does my kid have any responsibility to do anything for your kid?
  #304  
Old 09-04-2019, 05:40 PM
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The diving boat 'Conception' burned and sank near shore on Catalina Is land. The Captain and crew abandoned the burning ship and went to a nearby boat to call the Coast Guard. All of the passengers perished. What was the personal responsibility of the Captain?
Did the Captain have a personal responsibility to the passengers (beyond just calling the Coast Guard)?

Do we acquire personal responsibility by virtue of our position or situation or are we only responsible for being self sufficient? The passengers made the Captain self sufficient in exchange for their safety. Did he act responsibly?
  #305  
Old 09-04-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Crane View Post
The diving boat 'Conception' burned and sank near shore on Catalina Is land. The Captain and crew abandoned the burning ship and went to a nearby boat to call the Coast Guard. All of the passengers perished. What was the personal responsibility of the Captain?
Did the Captain have a personal responsibility to the passengers (beyond just calling the Coast Guard)?

Do we acquire personal responsibility by virtue of our position or situation or are we only responsible for being self sufficient? The passengers made the Captain self sufficient in exchange for their safety. Did he act responsibly?
There is already a thread for this.

I’d say that, in spite of bull***t myths about "going down with the ship," the Captain has a duty to the passengers and crew, yes, but not to the point of dying just to put on a good show. If there was anything that could have been done to save those people, then he should have endeavored to do it. But maybe there wasn’t anything to be done. That’s for the investigators to determine.

IANAL, but specifically, there is this thing called Seaman's Manslaughter that could be applied if the Captain or any member of the crew did not take reasonable steps (that’s my wording) to ensure the safety of passengers.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 09-04-2019 at 06:29 PM.
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