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ETHICAL PHILOSOPHY: What Does Being Responsible Mean?

From: Richard M.
Sent on: Saturday, June 1, 2013 10:29 PM



For What



The great existentialist philosophy John Kimmel once observed that "you are responsible for what you know AND WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW." Is that true?

If I eat at McDonalds and it poisons me, am I responsible for my own disease?  If I buy a gun and my kid kills himself with it, is that my fault?  If I drive drunk and cause an accident, did I intent to cause the accident?

There is a concept in law that the defendant knew OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. Claiming that through some odd quirk of his personality he simply did not know


He is punishable for the results of his actions because a reasonable person would know what would happen. The observable facts in the world are there, he choses to not know them.

What about people who simply refuse to “take responsibility” for their actions? What does that mean anyway?

George Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld all live very well now, completely avoiding responsibility for the death of millions.

At the same time, millions die without being responsible in ANY way for their circumstances.

Exactly how does that work?

We ALL face environmental disaster, but we didn’t create it or profit from it and can’t change those who do. Soooo?




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