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peter lindsay

Physics Teacher,

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Where is the "Bill of Responsibilities"?

I as an outsider am intrigued by the constant referral to the US constitution and the bill of rights. As a teacher I teach my kids that with rights, come responsibilities. So what are the responsibilities that accompany your protection under the bill of rights?

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    Feb 18 2013: Wonderful question!

    With the bill of rights I think citizens have only three responsibilities, 1. To be Self-reliant, 2. Behave in a civil manor, and 3. To help support the government. Although it is desirable for citizens to have virtues like charity, I would not say they have a responsibility to do so.

    BUT! The bill of rights is really a set of limits placed on the government, and the US government has totally disregarded those limits on its powers and has become tyrants.
    So at this time I say the US citizens have the responsibility to wake-up and take back the government.
    The government does not have the responsibility to take care of its citizens, and do not have the power to force some citizens to take care of other citizens.

    Now not to be tied to the bill of rights, I think we all have the responsibility respectful to our fellow citizens and to nature. To me when you don’t keep yourself, property, community clean, you are being disrespectful.

    Anyway Peter, I say our main responsibility is to be self-reliant.
  • Feb 19 2013: Great question! I love it. I think our responsibilities are to abide by the laws, participate in civic duties like jury duty, voting, etc. I don't think the government can ask much more than that. Is just that enough? Probably not, but it's not the government's place to ask for much more.
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    Feb 18 2013: I think it is hard to take responsibility for something you are unaware of.

    The government and the culture have become one of entitlement consequently there is no awareness of the freedoms in the first place.
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    Feb 18 2013: You hear a lot about the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but they are meaningless in America. That's why you hear so much about them. One political party wants certain parts of the Constitution honored while other parts dismissed, and the opposing party feels the same about things on its (unconstitutional) agenda. Both parties, though appearing to be in constant heated argument are actually universally conjoined in their favoring of keeping Constitutional Law illegal.
  • Feb 18 2013: American actions on taxes and military service used to reflect that attitude. Now the conservative view is " if it feels good do it -but don't expect me to do anything I don't want to do." Also, stay away from conservative politicians in the bathroom. Okay that last guy probably wasn't a shoplifter - he just had to go in a Walmart.
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    Feb 18 2013: Excellent question.
  • Feb 18 2013: Peter, this is a great question, one worthy of broad consideration and propagation. Ultimately, many questions and topics here relate to human relationships and civil behavior. My position is that if a person demands rights, he must accept responsibility for consequences and effects while exercising his perceived rights. Why, because behavior effects other people. If a person has no love for others, there can be nothing but potential trouble---bad relationships. "No man can live on bread alone"! We live on depending on others.

    Perhaps this example could harmonize with your concern: A person has the right to eat as much and what he pleases, becomes unhealthy and thereby becomes an expensive cost entity. Medical costs are born by insurance companies and the so called rights could become an increased cost burden to all others through higher premiums. What are the responsibilities of each of us to help others by living better? There could be a thousand other examples!

    To your question could be included an invitation to TED participants to suggest wording for a 'Bill of Responsibilities' for implementation in many nations!

    You have a good topic and I hope thinking TEDsters will rise to the occasion and offer wise counsel! Should we reasonably assume the underlying motive is an improved worldwide human society and civil arrangements?
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      Feb 18 2013: My motive is as you suggest and your example regarding healthcare is a good one. Another example would be if you have a right to a speedy and public trial etc then I have a responsibility not to abuse the courts by taking out pointles litigation in the hope that I will receive a settlement.