When does "Personal Accountability" come into play?

*At first I was just going to make this thread about “personal accountability”, but it seems to have strayed towards a discussion of morality in general. Maybe just keep in mind that “Personal Accountability” is what I was aiming for as the main topic of discussion, and discussion of other sub-topics should try to build back up to it.

At what point does it become immoral to not take personal accountability for something you did wrong, but blame someone else instead for a perceived inequity they have inflicted upon you?

Does this remain constant throughout life?

Does it change over generations - perhaps because humanity is evolving (biologically and/or sociologically)?

Does it vary between individuals?

Is there a “common ground” that can eventually be reached where the majority of all parties in question can agree upon “fairness”?

Is a person born with “True Moral Superiority” (if it exists)? Do they have to choose it? Does it have to be acquired through experience? It is probably a mix between all three of those possibilities, but what is the discretion between them?

Can an individual be credited as the designer of their own moral superiority? Or does the credit belong to all of society, since an individual must have undoubtedly had to have build off what society had suggested to him/her, and not be able to rely solely on experience. Maybe credit is only due when significant contributions are made?

When contributions to morality are made, are they really bringing in anything new? Or are they just taking something that has already been said before and wording it better? Perhaps this line is drawn intuitively, and is part of a “common perspective for judging” that is shared between all people (given that they are a neutral unbiased party when called upon to give their judgment/opinion).

“But then what would come next?”

Once moral perfection is reached (if it is possible), is it followed by a sociological undertow in which individuals begin focusing on their own selfishness again?

If moral perfection could be set-up in society so that each generation is able to achieve it by their own accord, would this be an ideal layout for society? Perhaps it would be easier on people for them to learn the more severe moral lessons vicariously (such as not killing/stealing) - or perhaps we should not plan out ideals for future generations, but merely suggest those ideals to them, and let them make their own decision as to what constitutes “moral clarity”, for who are we to claim we know what humanity’s problems will be in the future? If we formulate ideals such that they are unwillingly forced onto future generations, then it confines the progress of their own moral intuition. BUT, perhaps this is a good thing, so that moral clarity has to be gained from experience, and Dogma can aid anyone who has yet to find it for themselves.

The Necessity of Dogma?

Is Dogma necessary for humanity to achieve moral clarity? Would humanity ironically be better off without dogmas restricting it? Maybe the riddance of dogma would appear to make things worse before they got better. As Nietzsche theorized, perhaps the absence of dogma based in other-worldly beliefs would allow humanity’s Will to unify itself with life in the present, and bring harmony. On the contrary, it could also result in anarchy and the complete loss of all moral progress we have made - since people would resort to hostility if their dreams in life had gone unfulfilled.

When it comes to dogma that is urges its followers to occupy their will with other-worldly rituals, perhaps it is impossible for humanity to rid itself of such a thing, but instead it is simply humanity’s goal to rely less on it. Nietzsche viewed “other-worldly dogma” or “Beliefs that keep someone focusing on a life after death” as a burden draining our society of its willpower - providing a loophole for people with ‘slave morality’ to get away with being deceptive and manipulative - and causing perpetual confusion in their victims, until superficiality becomes so apparent in society that the victims eventually let go of their dogma in order to expose the metaphorical vampires.

The Possibility of Unavoidable Malcontent and Nihilism

If society hypothetically fulfills its maximum potential for improvement, will individuals be able to accept this? Will they be able to live their own lives, accepting whatever inequities are necessary, and not feel the need to urge society towards improving itself? Perhaps society can never reach its maximum potential, and as soon as the problems of a past generation are solved, future generations just begin focusing on minuscule flaws (which were too low of a priority for past generations to worry about) and exacerbate them to the same level of heat as the problems of the past –

– Is humanity not getting any happier? … If it isn’t getting any happier, then doesn’t that imply that all of an individual’s problems are self-sustained, and the problems only exist because individuals deny that the source comes from within themselves? Perhaps this isn’t the case, given that people may still have to strive for moral clarity - even if society reaches its ideal peak; and because of this, not all problems would have their solutions based in personal accountability.

Heirlooms - I don’t think you can be born with morality. When you’re born, everything you do is just based on instinct. At birth, it is common for offspring to die of malnutrition because it’s siblings hogged all the milk or what have you. My sense of morality says that the ‘right’ thing to do would have been for all of the siblings to have slightly less milk so all could live.

Morality isn’t a constant, like so many other things. One person’s right or wrong, isn’t identical to another’s. Someone can be taught the morals of their parents, and go through life basing their decisions on what their parents said was right or wrong. This doesn’t necessarily have to be problematic, but it ensures that the child’s beliefs will never change, because the root of all their understandings would be traced back to what their parents taught them, and those would never be questioned, which I consider a bad thing.

I think a person has to have an opinion on what is fundamental to them and their existence. Once they have values that they can weigh against each other, then they can make decisions based on what they think is the best path according to their own understandings. As they go through life, their values will change along with their morals accordingly and the process will continue and they’ll have strong beliefs with equally strong foundations which can be measured against the morals of another, as opposed to saying ‘this is right because my dad said so’.

So I favour learned through experience.

Originality - This is really a non-issue to me. As far as personal accountability, it doesn’t matter whether your morals overcame adversity or you read them out of a book. If you believe in something, and your actions go against what you believe, then you should take responsibility because you were fully aware of your actions.

We’re one of billions, we’re not original. We just have novelty. Learning a language is an impressive task, but we don’t praise each other for it. We only praise what we don’t have because we think “oh, I’m f-cking grand. I can’t do what you just did, so you must be grand too!”. If you got a baby and let it be raised by wolves, it wouldn’t have morals. This is because it’s our environment that shapes us, not ourselves. We are sponges.

“But then what would come next?” - I don’t believe in moral perfection. The environment is ever fluctuating, we are ever fluctuating, so there isn’t going to be a singular method that we can apply which will output what is objectively right or wrong.

I don’t know if learning one’s own morality from scratch is ideal, in the process I’m sure there would be lot’s of suffering (not that suffering doesn’t deserve a role in ideals). I think it would be nice if we were given this opportunity though, because I believe it’s the journey through life that matters, not where we end it. So having a life where you take the journey of understanding sounds like it would be fulfilling and worthwhile.

The Necessity of Dogma? - I’m an Atheist. I believe we did all come from Africa. As we evolved, there were no dogmas. Yet here we are. Given that, I say nothing is beyond dispute. I say we should rid ourselves of dogmas. Our values might be lost temporarily, but when we’ve found them, they’ll be relevant to our time and will unify us beyond the ability of any dogma.

The Possibility of Unavoidable Malcontent and Nihilism
- Morality isn’t finite, there isn’t a peak. Once we think we have a correct understanding, we’ll occupy our time with acting on those understandings. IE - Being sustainable, helping other species and the planet survive, as opposed to just ourselves. Working cooperatively to improve our living standards. Milking life for all it’s worth, without impeding on future generations.

Getting happier? - Completing goals is still a positive, but I also believe the true source of lack of happiness comes from within one’s self. I say we should appreciate what we have, instead of what we don’t have. I don’t think people are denying that the problem comes from within themselves, but are ignorant to it. Like I said earlier, I value the journey, not the outcome. If you’re focusing on the outcome, you’ll never be happy, because the true outcome is death.

As to the first question I would say that it really varies from circumstance to circumstance, with so many different situations that occur.
As to the last question here that you ask, as whether there can be a “common ground” of fairness agreed upon among individuals, I would recommend reading John Rawls’ [i]A theory of Justice[i] if you haven’t already. It offers some excellent insight into that notion, especially his idea of the “veil of ignorance”. Im sure you can find information on it on the internet if you didn’t feel like paying the money for it as well. Essentially the main idea, is that in the “initial position” described by Hobbes and Locke people are placed under this veil of ignorance in which they don’t know many arbitrary facets about themselves such as religion, race, sex, social position and the like, so when creating the laws to follow no one is favored more than another. The idea being that it results in complete fairness.

Accountability happens once humans have decided that they know what’s really going on.
They find something they don’t like, then if they can stop it, they think they know what the true cause of the problem was.

“Personal accountability” is a virtue others must manifest. Those with enough money for a lawyers need not worry about such things while demanding it of others.

A fantastic system, all-in-all.

. . . when it’s convienient.

I’d think more along the lines of when it becomes necessary or seems affirmative (which, I suppose, is in the realm of convenience).

In other words, we take accountability when we are forced to (even if we force ourselves), or when it is advantageous to do so.