Discuss word origins and meanings.


Post by NogaNote » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:40 pm

What is a victim, in terms of responsibility?

I believe responsibility is ultimately about making good choices. Good choices are a function of freedom and authonomy. Are there ever circumstances which deprive, strip us of the capability of making a good choice?

Viktor Frankl , a susrvivor of the death camps, saw morality turned inside out, like some obscene creature which nature did not intend, and still he could say this:

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Could this kind of expectation be called "fundamentalist responsibility"? Is it the obverse side of what nicktecky was describing as "eliminating responsibility"?


Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:56 pm

Capital V. Victim. Professional Victim.

I'm with you. I'd rather call it "Fundamental Responsibility" . Sheds the -ist. It is the 'form' "responsibility", not the person.

Bonhoeffer said something similar? His last words?

Victim or Victor?


Post by NogaNote » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:43 pm

Bonhoeffer: “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”

His most famous sermon ("First they came for...") has been bowdlerized to serve those who will compare Gitmo to Gulags or concentrtation camps. But having looked at quotes from his writings (thanks for reminding me of him, gd) I thought this was a very remerkable statement:

“It is the nature, and the advantage, of strong people that they can bring out the crucial questions and form a clear opinion about them. The weak always have to decide between alternatives that are not their own.”

The victim's catch-22 is the conviction that he/she is served in their life only choices over which they have no control.

My problem with trying to make sense of this is that I always look at extreme situations (like concentration camps) and despair. After which, the only certitude is metaphysical faith, which I reject.

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