Responsibility is the ability to take authority and control over something or the duty to take care of someone (Cambridge Dictionaries Online, n.d.) One can imagine how chaotic the world would be without people taking responsibility. It is imperative that taking responsibility is one major aspect that all humans ought to observe. The interpretation of what is responsibility is subjective to some fundamental considerations, in this paper, the fundamental considerations that determines what responsibility is and to what extent are analyzed. According to Garrath Williams (n.d) , individual responsibility is tied to the moral agency and the role each one has in the society.
A person, as a moral agent acts from a given reason (s) that one can arrive at rationally. The free will inherent in humans makes one to choose from among numerous options the course of one’s actions. From this perspective, an individual acts in such a way that the consequences of the actions can be rewarded or rebuked. Therefore, whatever the outcomes of actions, the actor takes the reward or the blame depending on pre-set conditions. For example, if I see a thief stealing from a neighbor’s store, I may decide to tell the police, the owner, or just ignore as this may not be my business. From this example, whose responsibility is it to protect the property, stop stealing, and make everyone one save. I may claim it is the responsibility of the police and the owner to keep a keen eye on the property. But, on a careful examination, if I ignore and do not inform the police or the owner, my actions are morally wrong and as such I am not responsible a member of the society who does not mind about others. Therefore, responsibility would entail actions that bring the great or good of the members of the society.
If I report, to the police, they (police) have the prospective responsibility as determined by the role they occupy in the society. In this case, I have the responsibility to report to them of any incidence in the society. Therefore, I should have a greater concern of what happens within my environment as a person in authority by virtue of having a higher reasoning capability among all animals. If each person takes responsibility of what happens within the environment be it at home, school, church, etc., the negatives associated with the society would be minimal. For example, the parent has a duty to guide their children at home. At the same time the children have the duty to obey them. The same relationship is fully transferable to a school environment whereby the teacher and students ought to be accountable for their actions. The teachers expect the student to work hard and pass while the teacher guides them. Such includes attending all classes fully for both parties.
However, there is a limit to the responsibility one can have especially when it comes to free will. If I see someone in a mistake, or in an imminent danger, my responsibility is limited to informing the person. By so doing, I shall have adhered to all fundamental consideration of moral responsibility i.e. to make the right decision and take up my roles seriously. In the event that the person ignores my advice and ends up been hurt, it is imperative to transfer the responsibility of such in action or action the victim as the person had the free will to choose.
In conclusion, generally, responsibility involves taking accountability of ones actions, thoughts, and feelings. In this case, the thoughts influence feelings and both affects the actions or in action. Therefore, taking accountability of ones actions is the most fundamental aspect of personal responsibility.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Responsibility. N.d. accessed from http://www.iep.utm.edu/responsi/#SH2d on November 9, 2014.
Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Responsible. n.d. accessed from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/responsible on November 9, 2014.