Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1: Accepting Responsibility (early access)
The moral case for accepting responsibility even when you don't want to.
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What makes people take responsibility for things?
So much of life is random and unexpected, it's hard to say that anyone should take responsibility for anything. Your life is out of your control on so many levels. No one chooses to be born, they don't choose their parents or their siblings, if any, and they don't choose the circumstances under which they grow up. It's all chosen for them, often before people come into existence at all or have any ability to make decisions for themselves. Most people have to wait until they are at least teenagers to have some level of freedom to make their own choices. Even then, people are far from free since there are people who constrain you in your options. There's a certain amount of classes you have to take in high school which cover certain topics you have to learn. If you don't pass on those fundamental subjects, you will ultimately fail to move on to the next stage where you have far more choices.
The fact that people don't have choice until later on suggests a very strong reason to believe that you don't have responsibility for anything. You are not responsible for your actions because so many of your decisions weren't made by you. They were made by someone else. Other people bear the responsibility for what they chose for you rather than yourself. You can only be held accountable for the decisions you make, and as a teenager, you are given some ability to choose for yourself what you do and don't want to do. As a result, you have to take responsibility for the consequences of those choices. Everything else is the fault of someone else. When you get that freedom to make your own decisions however, it's natural to want more. You want to be freed from the necessity to be held back by what other people think you should do. It's one of the benefits of having freedom.
One of the drawbacks of this type of freedom however is that you have to live with what happens as a result. If you make the wrong choice, that's on you. If you do something that hurts you or someone else, you have to live with all the ways it affects your life and the lives of those around you. Doing so is an extremely difficult thing to come to terms with. For a lot of people, it's better not to do so. To separate yourself from the consequences and put it on things you have no control over. Whether it's the other people involved in it, perhaps the victims, or the system which allowed it to happen in the first place or even god for some people. And why wouldn't you? Rejecting the idea of responsibility seems like the obvious thing to do.
“Why can't you people just leave me alone?”
“Because you are the slayer. Into each generation a slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a chosen one, one born with the strength and skill to...”
“With the strength and skill to stop the spread of their blah blah blah... I've heard it already.”
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