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JeffVader's avatar

Is personal responsibility an extinct species?

Asked by JeffVader (5401points) March 10th, 2010

All I’ve heard on the news lately seems to be some horrific crime, followed by how it was the Police’s fault, or Social Services fault. Lets get this straight, Baby P died because his mother & father murdered him, not because of the inactions of Social Services. & the Police were not responsible for the rape & murder of 17yr old Ashleigh Hall by convicted sex offender Peter Chapman. If the parents want to blame someone why not look closer to home. They didn’t monitor the girls internet use, they clearly didn’t advise her of the dangers of giving out your details to strangers etc.

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46 Answers

Sophief's avatar

I saw Ashleighs mum being interviewed, she didn’t even look upset. To answer your question, I would say so. I’m just so pleased I am not a child in todays society.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sometimes I think it is extinct.
Many people will never admit to their mistakes.Ever.

JeffVader's avatar

@Dibley I know what you mean…. she did look worryingly together & all to ready to abdicate responsibility & blame the Police. She should accept it, her daughter is dead because she brought up her child poorly.

wilma's avatar

I agree, it’s becoming more and more rare for people to take responsibility for their own actions and circumstances.

and another thing; no, life isn’t fair.

davidbetterman's avatar

Personal responsibility is never extinct. Even if society’s to blame, it is still each individual’s responsibility to control him/herself.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

The news focuses on them because it stokes the fires of outrage in readers and viewers. They pay no attention to people who are responsible so this view they present on the news is not represenative of everyone.

Responsibilty: I has it.

CMaz's avatar

It has always been an issue. That “personal responsibility” or lack of it.

The difference now is it is live and broadcast to every home in the world.

Sophief's avatar

@ChazMaz Hey where have you been?

marinelife's avatar

That seems to be the spin put on everything these days, but it is still all about personal responsibility.

Many times the media tries to find a larger lesson in a story. While that lesson may be there (tracking released sex offenders seems tob e an ongoing problem in our society), the final word still comes down to personal responsibility.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Um… I also wouldn’t blame parents of a murdered child as being “at fault” because “they didn’t monitor their child’s internet usage”. The blame for a murder rests on the shoulders of the murderer.

I wouldn’t blame the parents (who didn’t actually commit a murder) based on their public appearance on television.

JeffVader's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I agree… to a point. The parents were directly blaming the Police for failing to monitor this sex offender. Who, incidentally, went underground as a result of the laws introduced following the murder of Sarah Payne (an English version of Megan’s Law if you’re from the US). Whereas, if you put the perverted freak to one side for a mo, the first point of blame has to be with the parents. The message has been loud & clear for years now. Parents, monitor your children online. Explain to them the dangers & how vulnerable they are. Don’t accept friends requests from people you don’t know & never meet someone you’ve only met online. If the mum & dad had taught these things, the child would not be dead, simple as. The parents responsibility far outweighs the Police but the media & the mum blamed the Police.

bunnygrl's avatar

@Dibley I agree. The dangers faced by todays kids are too scarey to contemplate. I remember my gran saying to me long before I ever got married, and that was over a quarter of a century ago, that the world was going to go to hell. She said “it’s weans having weans hen, and they’ve nae idea how tae raise them” and God knows she’s been proven right. When I was in my teens so many girls were getting pregnant, so many of them without support, or anyone to teach them how to be a parent. Then as you’ve said in your question, social services are blamed when children get hurt. Its heartbreaking. These babies don’t ask to be born, god love them.

@CyanoticWasp thats just the point though. My Gran ALWAYS knew where I was and what I was doing. Thats a parents job, to keep their children safe. So yes, she has to take a whole chunk of responsibility for her daughters death. That being said, I will never believe that people who sexually abuse children have a place in our society. Yes, I know thats harsh, but even ONE child being hurt is too many. Its about time that the victims human rights are respected and not those of criminals.
hugs honeys xx

Sophief's avatar

@bunnygrl I think maybe that was for @Cloverfield

bunnygrl's avatar

@Dibley <hugs> I was answering your first post at the top of the page, sorry honey, I should have made that clear.
Hugs xx

Sophief's avatar

@bunnygrl That’s ok, no problem at all.

JeffVader's avatar

@bunnygrl I love the way you’ve actually written with a Scottish accent :)

bunnygrl's avatar

@Cloverfield I had the most amazing fabulous Glaswegian Gran honey
love and hugs xx

nikipedia's avatar

Isn’t it possible that the responsibility genuinely does rest on a number of people’s shoulders? One person committed the act and is responsible; another party could have prevented the act and shares some responsibility.

That said, I read an article yesterday suggesting that if you believe in basic biology, chemistry, and physics, it follows that free will and thus personal responsibility are an illusion. The author writes, “It is my belief that, as more attention is given to the mechanisms that govern human behavior, it will increasingly be seen that the concept of free will is an illusion, and the fallacy of a basic premise of the judicial system will become more apparent.” If you can access it, here’s the rest of the article.

squidcake's avatar

Not to mention the type of people who sue McDonald’s because they can’t figure out for themselves that coffee is hot.

JeffVader's avatar

@squidcake Quite…... or work out the link between 200 BigMacs & a fat arse!

syzygy2600's avatar

yeah, I’d say it’s dieing out. Doesn’t help matters that many people enable this type of behavior by giving sob stories about bad childhoods to every murdering asshole to try and diminish their responsibility.

ragingloli's avatar

whatever gives people an excuse to rage against evil governmetn agencies is fine with people

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

The mcdonalds coffee incident was in 1994. That’s no longer relevant to current events.

wundayatta's avatar

Stuff and nonsense. The dangers are no worse than there were a generation or two ago. What is different is the media coverage of the few incidents there are. It gives people the impression that such things are far more prevalent than they have ever been. Just isn’t true.

I’m too lazy right now to find sources for this, so someone else can. Still, until you find data to prove me wrong, my assertion stands.

bunnygrl's avatar

@nikipedia that was a really interesting article, thank you for the link
hugs xx

squidcake's avatar


My apologies for being so completely irrelevant. I’m ashamed at myself.

galileogirl's avatar

Infantacide has been around as long as we have and has always been the responsibility of the actual murderer. On the other hand when you are dealing with a 17 yo, it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their child about dangers but nobody can control, monitor or oversee that child well enough to keep all danger away (short of handcuffing them to a bodyguard)

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

To expand on the mcdonalds coffee lawsuit, that was more than just “ow that coffee’s hot. I think I’ll be an opportunist and sue”. That woman had 3rd degree burns over 16% of her body, required extensive skin grafts and the recovery time was about 2 years which is why the lawsuit occured.
That particular lawsuit was not nearly as frivolous as conventional wisdom would suggest.

syzygy2600's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy it was incredibly frivolous. Coffee is normally served very hot. Serve it warm and you’ll have people bitching that it’s not hot enough. You’re telling me this dumbass who decided to stick a scalding cup of liquid between her legs while driving deserves millions for being a numb fuck? If she had made the coffee herself at home and done the exact same thing, she would have no one to sue. But because McDonald’s made the coffee and not her, she has a right to litigation?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Sorry if the law offends your value system. McDonalds ended up paying not you.
3rd degree burns are very serious and ultimately McDonalds was found at fault for serving coffee that seriously disfigured a person. Or maybe the skin grafts ate frivolous too?

syzygy2600's avatar

It’s not about how legitimate her injuries were, it’s rewarding people for stupidity. A five year old child knows that coffee is a hot beverage. Does this mean I can buy a knife, cut my finger off with it, and then sue the knife maker because the knife was too sharp?

lilikoi's avatar

It certainly is not a species.

galileogirl's avatar

At least McD’s dodged the bullet on the “Big Macs made me fat” lawsuits.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve never seen personal responsibility in the wild. I’m not sure it ever existed. There is no evidence that such a species ever existed.

In my experience, those who rail against those who they think take no personal responsibility are the people who have the most problems accepting responsibility themselves.

syzygy2600's avatar

“In my experience, those who rail against those who they think take no personal responsibility are the people who have the most problems accepting responsibility themselves.”

That makes absolutely no sense. Care to explain?

tinyfaery's avatar

If you don’t understand then there is no point in explaining.

syzygy2600's avatar

@tinyfaery so in other words, you made a knee-jerk response that you have no way of backing up?

tinyfaery's avatar

Whatever you need to tell yourself.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Pretty much, yeah.

YARNLADY's avatar

The agencies that are used as examples of the blame game were created for the express purpose of protecting people who are incapable of accepting personal responsibility. Society long ago realized that it is in our best interest to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. When the system fails in it’s job, it makes news.

The increase in the failure of the system to do what it is designed to do it the real issue, not the absence of personal responsibility. If you want to see news of the people who have and do accept personal responsibility, look past the front page and see the stories of the hundreds of people who are a credit to society.

Val123's avatar

This is a little off topic, but wasn’t there a time when men felt a responsibility toward the children they fathered and their mother?

syzygy2600's avatar

@tinyfaery you sure proved your point!

JeffVader's avatar

@Val123 Excellent point…. & I think ur bang-on topic!!!

Silhouette's avatar

It’s certainly not as popular as it once was. It used to be a point of pride, it was a sign of maturity. Now, it seems like it’s of less value than coming up with a good excuse.

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