On Human Responsibility

By March 19, 2007Business, Theology

When are we going to grow up? One indicator we are told for human maturity is the ability to take responsibility for our actions. On that basis, we still have a long way to go. We have literally centuries of practice in evading responsibility, and even in today’s post-modern individualistic world, it’s always someone else’s fault.

In the beginning, it was the Gods’ fault if anything went wrong. Gradually, it became the emperor’s, or the king’s, or the lord’s. Then it was society. Or the system. But with increases in education and democracy these displacements of responsibility wore thin, so human ingenuity passed the buck further. What if it were history’s fault, or something that happened in our childhood. Or something dark lurking deep in our subconscious? The common thread in all of this is that in no way are we accountable in any of these cases. So draw up a chair, pass the remote, and let’s rail at a few more architects of our misfortune. But the game theorists and complexity scientists have a message for us. Individual human actions do have effect, and history is forged out of our present interactions. So stop whingeing and start acting, and take responsibility for creating a world that you do enjoy.

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