Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  .This section is about responsibility.  Topics include: ( ) Responsibility.  ( ) Obligation.  ( ) Duty.  ---  1/24/2006

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  "It was extenuating circumstances.  Circumstances beyond our control.  I'm a victim of circumstance.  I'm a product of my environment."  These phrases are sometimes used by people to try to excuse themselves or avoid personal responsibility.  ---  6/8/2004

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Anything we could have prevented, we are responsible for.  We could have prevented a child from starving to death (for example, by buying a less expensive car and giving the savings to the poor).  Therefore, we are responsible for saving that child's life.  (2) The contrary position says, "I could not save them all".  But the person could have saved at least one child.  (3) The issue is the phrase "easily prevented" vs. "not easily prevented".  How easily prevented, is the key question.  (A) Reaching a hand out to a drowning person floating by is easy.  (B) Going out of one's way is more difficult.  (C) Jeopardizing one's own life is even more difficult to argue for.  Working a job, living frugally, and giving money to charity is not that difficult.  ---  9/5/1999

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Do we have a duty to help others?  (1) Not if they do not want to be helped.  (2) Not if they call me crazy.  (3) Not if they do me wrong, either purposefully or accidentally, either physically or psychologically.  ---  9/17/1998

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Do we have any responsibilities?  Do we have an ethical obligation or responsibility as individuals to improve our psychological, physical, and economic health?  Do we have an ethical obligation as a society to build the ideal society?  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Duty.  (1) Duty only if they are keeping up their half of the bargain (contract).  (2) Duty only if they are not trying to hurt you (self preservation).  (3) Duty only if they are doing a right action.  There is no duty to support wrong actions.  (4) Duty only if we freely choose to get ourselves into a situation or contract, without deceit or coercion.  ---  7/6/2002

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Duty.  100% duty means 0% freewill.  Example is the traditional conception of the soldier who only obeys orders.  100% freewill = 0% duty.  We have neither 100% freewill nor 100% duty.  ---  4/29/2001

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Duty.  To what extent do we have:  (1) Duty to country.  (2) Duty to family.  (3) Duty to friends.  (4) Duty to our children.  (5) Duty to strangers or any human.  ---  7/6/2002

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Duty.  We have duty.  We have duty in many areas.  We have many duties.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Ethical responsibility increases with the degree with which your potential actions affect how many people, how much (including yourself).  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  If everything was on our shoulders all at once, all the problems of mankind, the entire weight of to the world, then we would collapse.  We are not meant to carry that burden.  Do not take it up on yourself.  Depressed people take upon themselves the weight of the world.  Why?  Out of guilt?  Out of responsibility?  They end up killing themselves because the weight is too heavy, and it wears them down.  (2) Inexperienced, enthusiastic youths carry too heavy a load.  Lazy slobs carry too light a load.  I loathe people who carry no (psychological) load.  ---  5/15/1998

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  If we say that children and old people have diminished responsibility, then we must say that the gifted have increased responsibility.  (1) Legal responsibility is quite clear, because it is set, fixed, written.  Ethical responsibility is more elusive, because it is not set or fixed.  (2) Should the smart be held more ethically responsible than the dim?  Should the sane be held more ethically responsible than the insane?  Should the knowledgeable be held more ethically responsible than the ignorant?  Should the mature be held more ethically responsible than the immature?  (3) What if you are immature and ignorant, but have the potential to be more mature and knowledgeable?  Do you then have a responsibility to develop?  What if you can't recognize your potential, are you still responsible?  (4) Do the gifted have a greater responsibility than the non-gifted?  Some would say yes, the more gifted a person is the more responsibility they have.  Some would say no, all are equally responsible.  But what if the gifted person did not realize their responsibility, are they still to be held responsible?  (5) If a person is not mature enough to figure out that they have a responsibility, then maybe they don't have a responsibility.  But what if they are remaining willfully ignorant and immature?  They may figure out at the end of their life that they had a responsibility all along.  That is a tragedy.  ---  6/10/1999

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Is there no weedling out of responsibility?  Is responsibility objective?  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  It is an ethical imperative to constantly figure out what you want to do, and not, and why.  And then to do it.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Obligation.  Ethical obligation to past generations.  Ethical obligation to future generations.  The present as the past and future meeting.  ---  12/30/1996

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Obligation.  Metaphysical obligation vs. contractual obligation.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Obligation.  Sure you could work a $5/hr job.  But we (everyone) have an ethical obligation to our current selves as individuals, and to our current society, to make the most of ourselves.  Also there is an ethical obligation to your past and future self, and to past and future society.  A lot of people in the past worked hard, and you live off their work.  You owe it not to let them down.  A lot of people in the future will live in the world we create.  You owe it not to let them down.  ---  12/30/1996

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Obligations  (1) Proactive.  (A) Do not do bad.  (B) Do not let others do bad (fight crime?).  (2) Reactive.  (A) Protect yourself from bad.  (B) Protect others from bad.  (3) Most people accept 2a, 2b, 1a, but hesitate on 1b.  1b says to fight injustice at its source.  To go after and root out injustice at its source.  Most people leave 1b to the police.  ---  03/08/1997

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Responsibility and obligation.  (1) Responsibility (how much, to who).  (2) Irresponsible: careless or negligent.  (3) Not responsible for: uninvolved in situation.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Responsibility, obligation, and duty to self, to others, and to nature?  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  Responsibility.  The feeling of responsibility.  (1) Is it an emotion or a thought?  Since all thoughts have an emotion associated with them perhaps all thoughts of responsibility have a type of emotion associated with them.  (2) Problems.  Feeling too much vs. too little responsibility.  You can carry all the weight of the world on your shoulders, or you can carry none of it.  Both extremes are a problem.  ---  3/28/2000

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  We have an ethical obligation to learn everything.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  We have an ethical obligation to see everything, especially the worst, and still be optimistic, have a positive attitude.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  We, as individuals, and as society, have an ethical obligation to know and understand everything that's going on.  We have an ethical obligation or responsibility to think, learn, search, and explore.  We have an obligation to work hard at something useful.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, ethics, responsibility.  ---  What is the difference between duty, obligation and responsibility?  If I have a responsibility to do x, do I synonymously have a duty and obligation to do x?  ---  7/6/2002

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.