thegreekdog wrote:So the question has come up in two forms. How much blame or responsibility should members of an organization have for the activities of that organization or the leaders of the organization? This has come up in the context of two items:
(1) The Catholic Church and its protection of accused pedophiles and whether parishoners should be responsible for this activity or should carry some of the blame.
The issue here is that the Roman Catholic Church vests a lot of its power in the idea that priests.. and then Bishops and ultimately the Pope are not just more learned people, but actually better people, closer to God than average folk.
In one sense, that means that parishoners have little responsibility for the views of leadership, because they are not truly free to object and debate. Instead, it might point to reasons why they might turn their backs on the church (which many have), but that is a very, very difficult issue. On the other hand, every Christian, even within the Roman Catholic church has not just the right, but the obligation to point out and stand against repeated sinning, evil. There is a process for that, (not getting into that) that differs from in standard society, but it is there. So, basically, parishoners have an obligation to lovingly and Biblically challenge their church to do what is right. However, that does not necessarily mean they have to or should publically condemn the church in any real way.
(note.. I do draw a definite distinction between the response necessary after all this has happened, particularly to the leadership that is guilty of improperly dealig with the events versus anyone who was in a position to directly observe, know and possibly intervene. ANYONE must intervene directly and immediately in any way they can to protect a child.)
thegreekdog wrote:(2) The US federal government and its killing of innocent civilians through drone strikes and whether US citizens and/or supporters of the current or two prior administrations should be responsible for this activitiy or should carry some of the blame.
Of course we all share some blame.
Our primary power is in the voting box. The problem is that no one presented has presented any indication they would do things differently.
This is just one example of our broken system. We need to fix the system, rather than just concentrating on the results.
In the immediate, people can write letters of concern, but its of minimal worth.
thegreekdog wrote:I think there some factors that go into the assignment of blame or responsibility. I'll list two of them here (off the top of my head, so don't hold it against me if I miss something):
- Relative effect the members have on leadership or the organization itself. Can Catholic parishoners influence the Church? Can citizens of the United States influence the federal government? To what extent can they influence or change the organization or its leaders?
- Consequences to the members of the organization for activities of dissent. What is the consequence to Catholic parishoners if they stop attending mass or stop tithing? What is the consequence to citizens of the United States if they protest or stop paying taxes or vote for someone else?
Stopping paying taxes will do nothing, because taxes go to far too many needed places. It is the worst possible response. In fact, one of the biggest problems I have with the so-called "conservatives" wanting to cut taxes is that they really seem to just want to hamstrung average people, cut average people's voices in various ways to build up their supporters and cronies, not really to make cuts where cuts should be made -- be it reigning in true waste or limiting various types of abuses such as drone strikes against people not legally convicted of anything.
thegreekdog wrote:- Does your opinion of the members of a particular organization change if you know that the members have been attempting and continue to attempt to remedy the problem? Do you have less anger towards Catholic parishoners if they make demands of the church? Do you have less contempt for American citizens if they vote for someone who would not use drone strikes or protest the use of drones?
EDIT (forgot one)
I don't hold Roman Catholic parishoners responsible for these actions for the same reasons I am not Roman Catholic. I don't believe the average parishoner's feelings or ideas are given much credence. It is a hieirarhical system. I put the blame on the Popes and on down. The problem is that Popes, Bishops and Priests are just plain human... but that is essentially a heretical thought to most Roman Catholics, particularly traditional Roman Catholics.
We will ALL, however, be held responsible for the actions of our government, becuase we are fundamentally a Republic and even when it is somewhat fictional, put ourselves forward as a thinking and caring society of rules.