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E . The Rules of Family and Tribal Responsibility

While the primary responsibility for correct action lies with the individual, as a direct consequence of the fallibility of the individual, the family unit and tribe must seek to detect and correct errors in individual actions. The earlier that errors are detected and corrected, the better. The rules of individual responsibility provide that "family leaders, tribal leaders, and other responsible individuals may also be held as partly responsible for the aberrant conduct of individuals, including the failure to properly develop individuals and/or the failure to achieve the necessary enlightenment of individuals, when individuals for whom they have leadership responsibility have failed in their individual responsibilities." In other words, family and tribal leaders have the responsibility to ensure the growth of the individuals in their family or tribe, respectively, and to the extent that they might fail in this duty to supervise the individuals for whom they have supervision responsibility, they can be held to answer individually to higher authority for this failure to properly supervise. In a proper set of circumstances, an entire family and/or tribe might be held to answer for a given failure. For instance, where the aberrant behavior of the individual was so obvious that anybody ought to have noticed it, and yet nobody even reported it to higher authority, and the result was a totally aberrant act which caused grave injury to some other family, tribe, or even to society as a whole, then such group responsibility would be appropriate. The essential lesson is that, in the community of individuals which comprises our society, you are "your brother's keeper" (and your sister's, and your parent's, and your children's, etc.). A direct corollary of this principle is the fact that family and tribal leaders are responsible for organizing volunteers (or those who are compelled as punishment) to perform community service. As with any leadership task, the responsibility is to see that the strongest needs are met first, and that each need is addressed with the appropriate number of volunteers (one or more).


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