Saturday, June 25, 2011


     So I've been sitting at my computer wondering what to do, and--hold on. Have you noticed that like 8/9 of my blog posts begin with so? Gotta fix that.
     Anyway, I was going to go find something to do, but I'm obligated to stay on Facebook and finish my chat with an unamed friend (sorry creepers). So--grr!--I've decided to post about obligations.
     For example, I'm obligated to post for you (and hopefully, you're obligated to read said posts). I'm obligated to communicate with my manager, who incessantly texts me the same thing four times until I respond. I'm obligated to do all sorts of things, and many of them I despise.
     And then I began to wonder--why do we have obligations?
     Yes, this is going to be an interesting, thought-provoking blog post, not a funny one.
     I googled obligations (or, am about to. Right now, I'm chatting afore-mentioned friend and typing this post) Obligation is defined as "The condition of being bound to do something." Wikipedia suggests that obligations are a biological fuel, that we cannot occupy the necessitated niche without them. But then how is it equally true that biological motivations spur us to act in our own self-interest?
     So I kept digging.
     There is an entire moral philosophy about this! For example, I stumbled across something called Unchosen Positive Obligations--a sort of moral code that binds you to do something without your choice or acceptance of said action. From there, I discovered a blog post entitled "Liberty as a Lack of Unchosen Positive Obligations." The post is complex, but once you understand it, the concept is simple: we as a human race achieve liberty and freedom by being positively obligated to other people.
     Now, at first this seems a little contradictory. How can we possibly ascertain to have freedom when we live our lives at a near-constant state of servitude to another being, object, or idea? However, once we think about it, the idea makes far more sense. Without positive obligation, chosen or unchosen, each of us would live in isolation, for fear of infringement by or on other people. Liberty would not exist simply because 1) slavery would not exist and 2) The fundamental things required for liberty (food, clothing, education, etc) would not be made available to us. Thus, to truly possess liberty in this world, each of us must contribute to the group. Obligations create freedom.
     And that is why we possess obligations.
     I just thought that was an interesting note to leave you with. I don't really have a label for this, but I'm going to put it in Writing and Publishing simply because a large portion of my manuscripts have to do with the notion of fate and free will. And--I suppose now--obligation.
     If you read this post, and like it, or are completely confused, comment on it. Let's discuss the many mysteries of the paradox of obligation.
     But until then, my friend has left the Facebook chat. I am no longer obligated to stay on this computer.
     I'm outta here!
     So that's that--and I did that on purpose :)


  1. Deep!

    I loved this. Thanks for posting, it got me thinking. And, no, I wasn't confused. I feel enlightened!

  2. Oh, and I love starting my sentences with "so". So, I should work on that, too, right?

  3. Haha thanks James. Glad to know I make sense to someone. Nah, "so" is a word of champs! Use it with pride.


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