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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

More philosophy than a hot topic, but I've seen it come up as a key divisive issue in several posts recently.

Nobody can make you feel anything.  You are responsible for your own reactions to what they do.  So nothing should be considered offensive.

If someone abuses you and you stay, then you are responsible for what happens next.

If you walk alone at night in a shady neighbourhood wearing a short skirt, despite thinking that increases your chances of being raped, then you are the sole one responsible for the consequences of your own actions.

If a 4 year old shoots a 2 year old with a gun left out by a parent, that's the fault of the parent, not the fault of the gun, or a culture that encourages keeping guns at home for self-defence.

If someone has an opportunity to get a higher education by going massively into debt, and doesn't take that opportunity, they are responsible for ending up a truck driver instead of a high paid lawyer, and have no claim on the income of that lawyer, even if lawyers, on average, get a better start and more financial aid from their parents than, on average, the people who ended up as truck drivers.

If someone is raised in a neighbourhood with high crime, high single parenthood, high drugs, low income, poor schools, etc. then they are still, when they reach the age of 18, just as responsible for their actions as any other adult AND THEREFORE none of those factors are in any way to blame for the outcome of that person's life, and they are not worth fixing since they don't cause problems.

If someone is foolish enough to go into a cult, go to a loan shark, get addicted to drugs, take out a mortgage they can't afford to pay back, or anything else that a sensible well informed person wouldn't do, then they are solely responsible for the consequences and government should avoid sticking its nose into people's affairs by trying to ban the sale or promotion of such activities.


What do you think about responsibility?   What is it?   Who should take it, when and for what?  What are the implications of one person taking responsibility for an action, when other people also helped cause it or could have prevented it, or intentionally tried to put the person in a situation with few options?   If someone smarter than you tricks you, do they bear no responsibility?  Should society reward that?

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM
Replies (41-50):
Teacher101
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Wait...

So....

If you walk alone at night in a shady neighbourhood wearing a short skirt, despite thinking that increases your chances of being raped, then you are the sole one responsible for the consequences of your own actions.

Did you actually just imply that if I am wearing a short skirt it is my fault that I got raped?

Being raped is an unwilling act, so the person responsible for the rape would be the rapist. The victim is a victim. End of story.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:12 PM
Quoting Teacher101:
Quote:

If you walk alone at night in a shady neighbourhood wearing a short skirt, despite thinking that increases your chances of being raped, then you are the sole one responsible for the consequences of your own actions.

Wait...

So....

If you walk alone at night in a shady neighbourhood wearing a short skirt, despite thinking that increases your chances of being raped, then you are the sole one responsible for the consequences of your own actions.

Did you actually just imply that if I am wearing a short skirt it is my fault that I got raped?

Being raped is an unwilling act, so the person responsible for the rape would be the rapist. The victim is a victim. End of story.

I've seen people on CafeMom present the position that I described in the OP.

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM

So why is this?  Does the short skirt entice normal men and turn them into rapists?

If you walk alone at night in a shady neighbourhood wearing a short skirt, despite thinking that increases your chances of being raped, then you are the sole one responsible for the consequences of your own actions.

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM

New research into consciousness is showing that a large part of our lives (if not all of it) is controlled by our subconscious, not our conscious minds.

What Controls our Behavior?

Most of us would vouch for ourselves:

“I am in charge of myself”. “My behavior is controlled.”

You will be surprised to know that most often, we have very little control over our actions. We are driven to behave the way we do, and we are rarely in command.

Life is full of actions every moment, not all of which are results of our conscious decisions. Most of our actions are driven by the subconscious mind on which we have little control

Unbelievable, but it is true. When we think before we decide or act, we do so with our conscious mind. But life is full of actions at every step. Every moment, our mind is busy analyzing and making split-second decisions. What you are doing now is a result of your decision to do so. Do you know how you arrived at this decision? Not really - not all our actions are results of our conscious decisions. Most often, they are controlled by the subconscious mind. We are not in control of the actions governed by our subconscious mind.

Understanding what is subconscious mind and how it impacts our behavior can help us better understand people and improve our relations with them.

What is Subconscious Mind?

One example often used to explain the subconscious mind is the process of car driving. Initially when you are learning to drive, you have full concentration on the gear, the clutch, etc. You are all concentration on the process of driving; you look at every pothole, every bump, and every obstacle. As you get trained on driving, the act goes into your subconscious mind and you tend to drive without making a conscious effort to drive. You automatically avoid the obstacles, you automatically change gears when required while you could be doing umpteen other things at the same time like talking to your companion sitting beside you, listening to the music and observing the countryside.

to read the rest:

http://www.bestthinking.com/articles/science/social_sciences/psychology/we-humans-have-no-control

AliKatCam
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:34 PM

I don't see how you can think it is someone's fault if they are abused or raped.

1. You can not control the person who is abusing you. Stay or leave the person will still be abusive. You make it seem like leaving will change the other person, it wont. They will just abuse the next person. It is THEIR responsibility to either be an abusive nightmare or a civil human being. That is not your responsibility

2. Walking alone at night with a skirt on is NOT an invitation to be raped. You are not responsible for the twisted nature of someone else. By your logic if I walk outside in jeans in a sweatshirt and still get raped then it is no longer my responsibility but the responsibility of my assailant. When in fact it is never the responsibility of the victim to control another person's thoughts or actions.

3. In this case I agree because the parent was responsible for their property and what damage it causes. 



la_bella_vita
by Bella on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:46 PM

 Bump for later

la_bella_vita
by Bella on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:48 PM

 In most cases the abuser is to blame. I would say in nearly all cases the rapist is to blame.

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I believe it is the case that it is not ever 'unavoidable' ... it might be extremely inconvenient, but not impossible. It is also possible to walk safely through dangerous places --and to be in real danger in 'safe' places. 

Quoting kailu1835:

I think that sometimes (rarely) it is completely unavoidable that you will have to walk home in a dangerous part of town at night.  Other than that, I'm gonna go with you on this one.

I grew up without a TV, and all my friends' parents respected my parents wish that I not watch TV (no movies, no internet either), so while I'd say it is very rare anymore, it does happen.

Quoting LindaClement:

I'm with you, right up until 'regardless of what you're wearing or what time of day or night it is...'

You are responsible to see to your own safety. If that means making sure you're not jogging through Central Park wearing clothes that obscure your view of your surroundings, and headphones that exclude all the sounds of your surroundings, you are responsible for taking sensible precautions for your own safety ... and not just rape, but muggings and random violence, even car accidents or animal attacks. 

No one else can ensure you are aware of your surroundings, and alert to possible dangers, and it's foolish (and irresponsible) to act 'as if' there is some collection of bodyguards taking care of you (even if they're the winged type, living in some ether somewhere....)

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a child in the US who is not aware that some people live other ways... are there really kids today who have never seen TV anywhere?

Quoting kailu1835:

I think you are only responsible for your own actions, not the actions of others.  I agree with some of your paragraphs (namely 1,2,4,5, and 7), and disagree with others.  I'll address those. 

With rape, your responsiblity ends when you scream no and fight back (if capable because you are not unconscious), and the rapists responsibility takes over for his own actions.  Regardless of what you're wearing or what time of day or night is.

In the case of someone who is born and raised in a low income area, that is their normal.  They don't know any different.  It is why great teachers are so necessary in places like that, so that kids can be shown that there is more to life than what they see around them.  You cannot be held responsible for something you are ignorant about.




stormcris
by Christy on Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I think that responsibility is a very big word that few people take into consideration all of what it entails. If each person is held to absolute standards to be responsible for their self then they would actually have to live completely isolated to do so and even then it would not be possible. It is like the idea of free will. You can have that in an abstract model but in real life there are too many interactions and variables for it to ever be more than a myth. People do often think they have control thus free will although it is an illusion. However, certain global choices trending together can perhaps create a driven will and thus direct change. Thus we have a unified responsibility to the whole but this can be sabotaged despite the best efforts by just a few thus whose responsibility is that. Then we have a directed responsibility of and to self but that comes into interaction with other individuals and thus can be thwarted with or with out knowledge. 

frogbender
by Captain Underpants on Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Nobody can make you feel anything.  You are responsible for your own reactions to what they do.  

Editing out the end sentence, I have seen a lot agreeing with this. I think it's more complicated than this. A child who has been abused, whether psychologically or physically, has the chance of growing up into an adult with mental damage. Their capacity to be responsible for their reactions to other people may be flawed. They may now be conditioned to respond in a different manner, or may not know how to react. 

And I'm not talking about right from wrong necessarily. 


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