Monday, December 29, 2014

Principles of Responsibility Everyone Needs to Understand

When I debate abortion supporters, I'm always surprised how basic principles of personal responsibility are so new and revolutionary. People are so intent on defending rights, that they completely forget about personal responsibility.

Here are some fundamental ideas about personal responsibility that everyone needs to adopt. It's not just about abortion. It's about life.

1. No person is an island. Responsibilities exist even if you don't choose them.

If everyone chooses their responsibilities, then society becomes ruled by the law of the jungle.

2. Responsibility is not oppression.

Quite the opposite, the weak are helped by the sense of responsibility of others.

3. You are responsible for your acions.

I think this is self-explanatory but many still don't get it.

4. Responsibility is not incompatible with rights.

Freedom is not license. It presupposes obligations to others for their welfare.

5. Pointing out responsibility is not incompatible with compassion

You can empathize with someone even while holding them accountable for actions you disapprove of.

6. Responsibility may be chosen BEFORE it is created. Not after.

If you create or undertake a responsibility, you can't abandon it at will,without taking the proper dispositions. When your responsibility is properly discharged, then you're free to do as you will.

7. You are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of your actions. 

This one really confuses people, so I will take time to explain.

Some actions have consequences that don't always happen, but that are predictable outcomes. For instance, if you smoke, a predictable outcome is the development of respiratory disease.

Not everyone gets respiratory disease.

But it's a foreseeable outcome of smoking.

In the same way, pregnancy is a foreseeable outcome of sexual activity even if you use contraception. Because contraception fails.

You are responsible for the outcome of pregnancy. It's not an accident, even if you use contraception.