Responsibility and its religious implications

What is responsibility?


1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one's actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.

2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within a family or organisation or society.

3. Being a source or cause. "Responsibility is what is assigned to a subject that is the causal agent of a given action or situation. If I, slap you in the face, then I am responsible for doing so."


To act responsibly you need to line up to six essentials.  Responsibility is a sum of six things it is not a thing. The six things are


1 integrity/honesty


2 respect/compassion


3 fairness


4 being ready to give an account for what you do in case it is needed


5 courage - courage will be feeling the fear but not letting it stop you doing the right thing


6 has to be firm and well-grounded


Interestingly people want to be with a God and be saints who tick non of those boxes.  The search for salvation is a selfish search for salvation from responsibility though it is often disguised as seeking deliverance from sin!


The free will question ---


Do we want to be responsible and accountable? Do we want to think we are and is that why we think it? Why do we want to be responsible?  Is it more about us wanting others to be responsible so that they have a duty to be good to us and not injure us?  Yes for take the five components of responsibility.  Nobody wants to line up the five much and prefers to pick one or two of them.  That is not wanting to be responsible at all but wanting to pass for being responsible.

Free will is about the desire/search for accountability. That cannot exist if we are not sure if we really have it. We can only go through the motions of holding people accountable.  A guess is a threat to integrity, respect, fairness, accounting for yourself and courage.  It risks turning them into a waste.  It is not evidence driven but driven by pragmatism.  It is just something you to avoid doing nothing and you cannot ask for force anybody to assume x for why can't they assume y?  A guess is a guess and you cannot ban x guess just because you don't like it.  All that shows that if we have to rest that much on an assumption then we will never get to a firm sense of responsibility. It's too weak of a foundation.  It is not a responsible foundation.

We are not accountable for assuming we have free will if we really have to assume it.  You end up with a contradiction where you are not responsible for believing in responsibility!


There is disagreement on whether what we choose is really free or controlled by programming that makes it merely look free.  Free will is an assumption as well.  We assume we have the faculty.  We assume that if we have the faculty we can use it.  You can have it in theory but it can be overwhelmed by hidden causes and programming.  So that is two big assumptions.


If the programming is not in the will but in its fixed concern about something being morally right or morally wrong then it is not really free will.  In other words if you have free will but it is not about morality and something forces it to be then it is being suppressed.  It is not active or usable free will.  So the third guess is that our use of free will is morally relevant.


What implications are we getting? ----


The doctrine that God creates all and nothing at all exists without him in any way suggests that to knife x to death means that God is knifing x to death.


Believers insist that if you think all is physical and natural and there is no God you are as good as saying blind force makes you think you are freely killing x but it is really the forces.  It is as much murder as is a brick falling down from a wall and cracking somebody's head open. 


A secularist cannot be expected to think anything other than that believers see themselves not as free agents but as agents for God.  To ask a secularist to think differently is asking them to assume a religious doctrine is true namely the doctrine that God gives us responsibility.  That doctrine is merely a guess.


The believers say that God is creating what we do but not forcing so it is still our fault if we kill.  It is our free will.  But it is a mystery how that could be done and why can't the mystery be, "God is far more responsible for what I do than what I am so my part is good as non-existent."


What if all really is fixed by natural causes and free will is an illusion?  That is the doctrine of determinism.  Some philosophers warn that we must not confuse determinism with fatalism.  But it is clear that determinists are fatalists in the most important sense of the word.  Determinists think that what you do in a minutes time is fixed.  What more fatalism would you want or need?  Saying that ten years down the line could be a different story does not get them off the hook.  After all if what we do tonight is fixed it does not matter if it is not fixed in ten years time for ten years time is too far off to really matter.


Some determinists say that it does not matter how our inclinations or wants are formed or if they are programmed into us.  All that matters is that we act on them with intent.  This is an idea called compatibilism.  It says that being programmed and having free will can agree.  Some say that it is the only account of moral accountability that makes sense or the best sense.  Even if it does it still leaves God far more responsible for the evil we do than we are.


Ronald Dworkin opposed moral relativism or morality that is all about doing what is best for yourself as in ethical egoism. He rejected the view that it should be all about pleasure either. He saw morality involved responsibility. Most would say the responsibility it is about is our responsibility to ourselves. But that does not work he says. Responsibility gives you the power to make somebody free from what it is their duty to do from an obligation or to exchange their duty for another one. A parent may set a carer child free and get a team of nurses in. But it is clear that nobody can release you from an obligation to be loving and just. A criminal cannot give a judge the right to sentence him to death for stealing a purse.  So responsibility is really about how you fit in with others.  The answer to this problem is that the criminal can give the judge the right.  But all rights often conflict or confuse so it does not mean the judge can consider his right.  Thus it is proven that morality is merely our responsibility to ourselves and what else would we want it to be?  No other form of morality is going to sit right with us or be natural to us.  A morality that puts you off it is not a morality.


Do you believe in personal responsibility? Then read the following in that light.

Responsibility is recognising how you are involved when something good or bad or neutral happens. For example, if you knowingly vote a terrorist into power you share in the responsibility for the evil he or she will do. You will go about all smug but that does not change the fact that you are worse than the terrorist because the terrorist knows how bad he can be and you do not so you are risking putting somebody in power who you must think could literally do anything of utmost reprehensibility.
So you are an enabler. Is that partial responsibility? It is in the sense that other people are involved too. But if you were on your own and you would still vote for him then you are as responsible as you would be if you were the only voter. The role of others does not diminish or lessen your full responsibility. In fact you are saying that you need them to get the strength for your true colours to show - thus you are happy that they corrupt themselves.
Imputing responsibility for evil is a necessary evil. Why? Because it admits the person has bad potential. Because it admits the person may need to suffer and should suffer for doing the wrong things. Even if a person is good, there is still a may. There is still a chance that they may deserve something bad for you don't know if their goodness is as genuine as it looks.
Do believers fear the responsibility that is ours if there is no God? Yes. The reason people want there to be a divine problem-solver is that they feel he can and will help when they cannot or fail to. They must be subliminally very sure that they will fail! If they are wrong they will be dragging others down.
If there is a God to solve problems, then it does not matter if we help nobody. The divine problem-solver has to get involved and do something. If we are the problem then he has to do something about us by making us better people. It is really his problem not ours.
Religion likes to say that our good deeds are useless but it is God who makes them useful for he is bigger than the pathetic efforts at good we make. This is a clear admission that God does the work so it cannot really matter if we do not bother.
If we bother, it is not about say making the sick better but about being tested to see if you will do good for them. It is not about helping others but using an opportunity to help them in order to be tested. That is disgraceful. Christians need to admit why they help the vulnerable instead of faking rapport and lying to them.
Believers feel that God assists them as they set out to help others and claim this motivates them. A really good person needs no encouragement from anything outside herself or himself.
If there is no God, it is up to us to do our best for others and try and do for them what a God should do.
There is nothing to be gained by believing that God is responsible ultimately.
What is to be lost by believing that? It makes no sense to say that believing in God, meaning the most important being of all and to whom all devotion and love are due, is not intended to help or at least keep things as good as they are. That is a contradiction considering God is supposed to be a verb not just a noun. A real God is what you allow to be reflected in your life. The real believer would show their love by actions and not by calling themselves a believer.
Every person invents God anew for himself. I mean that when you start to follow God you follow your own mental creation even if it matches that of others for you are following what you want to be true. The similarity is due to you being inspired by their inventions so you invent these things anew to yourself. This being the case, then when you do that, you are taking responsibility for the evil this God does. In other words, you want to be right about God and to make him exist despite the fact that he starves millions in Africa by not sending rain and has created the AIDS virus and sends adulterers and heretics and homosexuals to Hell to suffer forever for their sins. To promote the God concept is totally malignant. This is more true of priests than laypeople for they are more into God than laypeople are therefore they are the most evil of the lot simply because they believe in God. If a better god revealed himself and was planning to rid the Third World of hunger by sending more rain there the Catholics would reject him and are warned in accordance with the vile Ten Commandments to reject any other Gods than the one God’s religion revealed. I call this disgusting and I call it fanaticism.

The inventors of God and Catholicism – all who preach the faith of the Church are part in this – will not take responsibility. They will not say that if God does not exist or cannot be proven that they are taking the responsibility they confer on him on themselves. People can be sued for slander even though they thought they were not slandering and believed what they were saying. The Church says they must take responsibility for their error but she takes none for hers. She will not admit that she should be sued or punished if she is found to be in error or even if her serious allegations about God cannot be proved for you need total proof to be able to say things like that. Double-standards turn up all the time when God is believed in.

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