Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Faith and responsibility

Yesterday I wrote
Under the faith-based approach to life, responsibility is sloughed off to the authority to which one has given one's faith.
That was a bit of an overstatement. It is impossible slough off one's responsibility for what one does or what one believes.

One can tell oneself that one has irrevocably given the power over certain belief decisions (or certain action decisions) to some authority. But that is not true. I was just following orders is never an ultimate justification for anything — no matter what one believes about the source of the order, e.g., that the order came from a deity, from an ultimate authority, from an infallible authority, or whatever. None of that matters.

As a human being, one can always change one's mind. As long as a person is alive, he or she is responsible for what he or she believes and what he or she does — whether he or she believes it or not.

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