November 15, 2005

Liberty and Responsiblity

Well, call me strange, but maybe I just should stop responding over at Alas and put my thoughts down here.

I am going to leave aside the original conditions in the post I linked to here, and instead pose this question:

Which do you think is a better way to operate in the world? I see two basic ways people are expounding (I may be missing the point somewhere along the line):

1) Attempt to alter the world to a more perfect condition. Risks exist everywhere; accept them.

2)Alter one's behaviour in accordance with one's situation. Attempt to alter the world to a more perfect condition.

The first seems to think that risk-management shifts the blame to the victim of an event and it interferes with the enjoyment of life. I can see their point a bit; to many people think foolish behaviour deserves a "punishment" so to speak. So that if you leave your keys in the ignition "well what did you expect to happen" if you got the car stolen, can contain within it "that's what you deserve".

On the other hand if everyone normally left their keys in the ignition without fear, then if the car was stolen the blame would rest squarely and compeltely on the shouldrs of the thief.

However, I have a limited control on the behaviour of others. I can best control myself. Moreover, the idea that risk management has limited success seems rather defeatist to me, and rather limiting in and of itself. I think one can alter one's behaviour to make any given situation less risky without interfering with the pleasure. It just takes some constructive thinking.

Maybe I'm getting it all wrong.

What do you all think?

Posted by Rachel Ann at November 15, 2005 08:27 PM | TrackBack

I am not about punishment, but I am about accepting the consequences of your actions. That holds true for me too, I have done and still do plenty of stupid things. I, like anyone else, must accept those consequenses (whatever they may be) and LEARN, from my stupid behavior. Knowing this, helps me make much better choices. And I do think there is such a thing as a better choice.

Posted by: Blair at November 15, 2005 08:41 PM

I agree with being able to only control ourselves. I'm always about the odds...of putting things in my favor. Risky behavior doesn't accomplish that.

Posted by: esther at November 16, 2005 05:08 AM
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