Personal Responsibility and Social Development: Implication for Global Ethics
AbstractModernity and globalization are two contemporary concepts that tend to promote individualism within the social context. This is largely due to the competitive nature of the present age, whether as persons or nations. Also, several institutions such as the economic, political, legal and educational seem to be constructed on the basis of the individuals. This has placed a burden on the individual as to what he/she does. It is on the basis of this that personal responsibility as an obligation to oneself becomes a rational discourse within the context of social development. This is anchored on the Platonic notion that society is man’s-writ-large. Based on this, it is your individual duty to ensure your good character and behaviour irrespective of how you were brought up or what kind of conditioning you have received. This becomes an imperative because if every individual takes responsibility and admit that they are the ones, not others, responsible for the choices made, then social events will reflect this thinking. For when an individual accepts the fact that he/she is morally bound and responsible for his/her action(s), then such action(s) will be taken positively to bring about individual good deeds. When all the individuals in a given society act within the bounds of responsibility and with good conscience, then the society will develop. This paper, therefore, attempts to posit that personal responsibility can promote social development where such responsibility is tainted with moral imperatives that define and constitute the social norm. This, however, will be approached from the perspectives of existentialism and essencism.
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