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Forum Post: Personal responsibility: The moral argument against compassion

Posted 1 year ago on June 17, 2012, 11:46 a.m. EST by JadedCitizen (4277)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Martha Stout writes the following in her book The Sociopath Next Door: “Not to have a moral sense flags an even more profound condition, as does the possession of conscience, because conscience never exists without the ability to love, and sociopathy is ultimately based in lovelessness.” It is the genius of the modern conservative movement that they can take a fundamentally immoral idea and dress it up as a moral imperative. That they can turn such simplicity as the phrase “personal responsibility” into such destructive power. That they can convince otherwise decent people to think in very inhumane ways.

http://planetpov.com/2009/11/11/personal-responsibility-the-moral-argument-against-compassion/

36 Comments

36 Comments


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[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

If you dont think we are living in a time of decreasing personal responsibiity, then you are living in a dream state.

Obesity is up. Drug use is as rampant as ever. Beers sales are stil increasing. The personal savings rate is 1%.

We are living in an immediate gratification society. The only thing people care about are material things, to a large extent.

People are suing people all over the place. Someone just slipped and fell in a train station. They are fine, no injury. Still suing.

No one is asking politicians to do things to benefit their kids, its all right now, right now, whadya got for me?

The world could use some more compassion. But they also could use some more personal responsibility.

[-] 3 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 1 year ago

Bombarded with perpetual advertising.Quality education a thing that is becoming extinct.Socialised losses for the one percent.Private gains for the one percent.Two oil wars that benifit the rich.Men supplied to fight these wars due to an economic draft.Caused by weak leaders that have offshored every well paying manufacturing job that does not have o DOD contract.The greatest growth in jobs is forcast to be low wage non benifit cashier jobs that can top out at eighteen grand a year.People applaude the death of unions who fill these jobs.A nation that is under constant surveliance by its goverment.Afraid to use there voice against a corrupt and ruthless corporate aristocracy.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

^right on point

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

All of those things stem from income inequality.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/sorry-republicans-these-are-the-facts/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508142542.htm

Recommended reading: The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger,, http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/mar/13/the-spirit-level

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Sorry, but income inequality has nothing to do with the personal decisions we make on a daily basis. There are plenty of poor people that live very respectful lives, that dont blame others for anything.

Income inequality has nothing to do with people who have plenty of money eating like hogs, refusing to excersise, not helping their kids with homework, etc.

The person I spoke of suing the train company, they have plenty of money already. Its just a shithead thing to do.

Middle class America going and buying bigger TV's, when they have hardly any money in the bank is another good example.

We are in the middle of a cultural bankruptcy. Its the new Lost Generation.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

I hear you are quite famous for posting, "The masses are asses". What do you call that if not blaming everybody else for our current state of affairs. If personal responsibility is absolute, then it should not matter to you what anyone else does. Just make the right personal choices and you will be fine. No need to blame the masses.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Look at our current Congress. What a bunch of losers. Who voted them all in? The masses. Its pretty obvious.

No one said its an absolute except for you. Ive never stated that, it doesnt even make sense.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

You told me the other day that personal responsibility is all that matters. That is where I am getting the idea from. You blame the masses for your being over taxed and being to stupid to vote in the right congress. To use a conservative approach -- I think you should stop whining about who is in congress and who put them there. Your destiny lies in your hands. If you don't like the way things are in your life, blame yourself - don't blame other people. Take personal responsibility for your own life. ---- sound familiar?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Please show me where I stated it was all that matters. Please do that.

I said without it, there isnt anything you can do to help that person. Not that it was the only thing that matters. You sure do jump to your own conclusions, dont you.

If you think that our congress is a great group, more power to you. Unlike you, I think personal responsibilyt is a sliding scale. And no matter how responsible you are, society is going to dictate some circumstances, like this idiot nation refusing to vote for anything besides corporate backed leaders.

The taxes, the wars, the income gap, the trade policies, the Fed....This nation loves putting hte same people in to fix the problems that they created.

Im sorry, but that is freakin stupid, and it IS affecting all of us now.

And its going to get worse before it gets better.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

[-] 0 points by hchc (2818) from Tampa, FL 23 hours ago

Everyone's story is unique. And its not up to me to figure it out, its up to them. You can go ahead and raise the minimum wage all you want, it isnt going to help the situation, because the corruption at the top is always one step ahead of the politicians (seems how they are the ones that fund the politicians, it makes sense).

There will always be people giving up. The goal is to get people to realize their own potential. FOr most, its just not that important to them. We all get to decide what we want to do everyday. Its all personal choices. Some get dealt a raw deal, some make the deal raw themselves.


You said, "Everyone's story is unique. And its not up to me to figure it out, its up to them."

Your compassion is overwhelming.

You said, "The goal is to get people to realize their own potential. For most, its just not that important to them."

Everybody's lazy and doesn't care. Let them rot in their own bed.

You said,

"it is all personal choices."

ALL is an absolute term - as in all or nothing.

Again, to use the conservative approach - I think you should stop whining about your raw deal. Don't blame the masses. Your personal choices all led you to where you are at in life. If you don't like it, do something about it, but don't blame other people for your raw deal in life --- Personally, I think that is nonsense, but I hear it from the right all the time. Do you see the point being made about how the conservatives use it as a moral argument to not have compassion?

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Personal choices when there is a choice. Obviously some people dont have a choice. They arent hte ones I was speaking of. I thought this was understood.

Guess it wasnt.

I guess the real debate is what percentage of those that have it "unfair" are that way because of personal choices, and what percentage got the shaft?

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

When do you not have a choice? When is it obvious that some people don't have a choice? You thought it was understood. Is that a joke? People have misunderstandings all the time - that is why we have arguments. What is this whole forum, if not a bunch of people not understanding one another.

Anyway, the debate is whether people use personal responsibility (the absolutist version pushed by the conservatives) as a moral grounds to exclude themselves from a need to care about the plight of others. It is the whole grounds for continuing an unjust society where it is up to the individual to succeed and never complain about any injustices or unfairness in the system.

"Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself"~Herman Cain

You can rewrite the quote to make it fit blaming the masses and congress for your being taxed to high.

"Don't blame Congress, don't blame the masses, if you can't make ends meet and pay to many taxes, blame yourself"

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Im not sure how this ended up here, with us quoting that idiot Herman Cain, but I guess all I was trying to say was that we could use more compassion, but people have got to start accepting some responsibilty to their actions as well.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

The way conservatives use personal responsibility and effect the minds of people is the point of this post. I know Cain is an idiot, but it seems a lot of people subconsciously use his version of personal responsibility without even being aware of it. You originally said personal responsibility is on the decline, and I pointed you to material which suggests income inequality explains it. Which you replied did not matter. The point is when social responsibility declines, what do you think happens to personal responsibility. They are tied together. Why do scientific studies show that higher levels of income inequality lead to higher mortality rates in the country? Why do statistics prove that mental health declines?

I hope you check out the links. The information is all there.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

So let me ask you this? Which happens first? Social resp declining, or personal resp declining?

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

Chicken or egg. You tell me.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Im not sure. I could prob make a case for either.

Enough people become spoiled and take advantage of the system, the rest stop wanting to hold up the system.

Or the system is becoming so messed up, I might as well say fuck it too.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

they seem parallel

[-] 0 points by YouKilledTamdinThar (31) 1 year ago

Parallel? You mean like MattLHolck's mountain of meaningless posts and the road to nowhere?

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

congress is as responsible for drone aggression as Obama

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

rent and loan payment far exceed taxes

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

C'mon man, you're not following the rules. In America, we do not point out unfairness perpetrated by others, we man up and take responsibility for our own lives.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

banks make inflated interest off inflated house pricing

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

If people are that stupid, it is their own fault. Banks are just making money, my man. Now, stop your protesting and man up and take it like everybody else.

[-] -1 points by shadzhairart (-357) 1 year ago

Indeed, a cultural bankruptcy. Nice expression.

[-] 1 points by writerconsidered123 (344) 1 year ago

very nice expression

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

anyone that speaks up for the rights while on the job is subject to termination

[-] 1 points by writerconsidered123 (344) 1 year ago

perhaps thats the mirror wall st. should look at

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Wall st knows one thing- increase the money.

Its up to us to govern ourselves. And the masses refuse to vote for someone who isnt backed by multiple corporations.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Bottom line: We all go through hard times. Some of us get screwed, some of us screw outselves.

The ones that are screwing themselves have got to snap out of it, because it is making it harder to help those that really need it.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 1 year ago

Please check out the links and give the information a view.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/sorry-republicans-these-are-the-facts/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508142542.htm

Recommended reading: The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger,, http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/mar/13/the-spirit-level

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I wish men would stop cutting off their hair

everyone looks so culled

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

?....

That weird, even for you Matt :)

[-] 0 points by YouKilledTamdinThar (31) 1 year ago

I wish Matt Holck would stop makng meaningless posts to this forum.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

oh look, a tea party lock

care to respond?