Sunday, February 13, 2011

What is responsibility? This is a question most parents try to teach there children. Even so we find ourselves pondering this question in the last chapter. It seems the finding include it means there is causation for one. It is necessary for a free society. It is something certain people can not have such as idiots, infants, and the insane. It is something that courts attempt to assign. Unfortunately it is something that after reading the chapter I find hard to explain with words yet it seems that I intuitively understand what it is and I expect many others have the same impression. I have two final thoughts, first I challenge someone to explain to me what responsibly is and make me understand in English words and second I would like to draw attention to the line about women drawing more utility from making others happy than men do. Comments please.


  1. Responsibility is a rough concept because it leaves little room for grace. If I get an A I want to be responsible for it, if I get an F I want to blame someone else. If I total my car after hitting a patch of ice I do not want to be at fault, because after all I did not make the ice, but I am responsible for my choice to drive on ice.
    Responsibility is accepting and living with the consequence of ones choices and actions, whether these are good or bad. Responsibility is also learning how to maximize ones ability to make positive choices.
    Of course women get more utility from making others happier! The female sex has been conditioned by society for millennium's to be submissive servants! some might say that evolutionarily our survival has been dependent upon our ability to gain utility from a status in which we were powerless to change, otherwise we would have killed ourselves into extinction.

  2. On the note that -women get more utility from helping others than men-. I agree with Lacey in the sense that women have been conditioned to do this in many ways since birth. Thinking about the way little girls are encouraged to play with baby dolls and take care of them compared to the cool nerf guns boys get shows how our society highlights for females the concept that it is necessary to enjoy caring. Although, Heyak was around before nerf guns enough of the current culture at that time would reinforce his statement.

    So I think this statement is ok to throw out on a cultural level. However, I don't think one should ever use it to rationalize individuals actions (example saying thing like "guys are jerks" to explain forgetting about your birthday). We should be aware that this could change over time. Also as of now there is currently no scale for rating utils and compare between the sexes that we can use and say "Aha this is true no question" (most methods to actually record this in a study would involve surveys and often people like to lie on these).

    Anyways since Valentines day has just pasted this brings me to making an assumption. Perhaps, this could be the foundation for the reasoning, that men stand more to gain in marriage* than women (because they on average a man might now be living with someone who likes to care for them more than a woman.

    Economist Dan Ariely mentions this point in a Youtube video on the topic.