O odpowiedzialności – debata

About a dozen people have been asked by the editorial board to examine the subject of
responsibility. We offered them the following opinions for consideration.
„Disturbed by what happened in Jedwabne we believe that our magazine cannot pass over
those tragic events in silence. We cannot ignore the contemporary problems that rise questions
about the meaning of responsibility, its boundaries, significance and the relations
between being responsible and such concepts as agent-causation, guilt, sin, stigma, penance,
forgiveness and oblivion”.
The editors have received about a dozen articles that are printed above. These have been
written not only by professional philosophers, historians and academics but also by priests and
students. They elaborate on various kinds of responsibility and the problems of culpability,
punishment and faith. The articles focus both on the theoretical aspects of responsibility and
the practical implications of the recently revealed atrocities for the Polish society (e.g. questions
of remorse, collective responsibility, redress, apology and absolution). One of the
authors, Tadeusz Szawiel, arrives at the following conclusion: „The rituals and modes in which
our moral reactions (such as feeling responsible) are expressed are in fact forms of life. They
do not serve any purpose – they are the very representation of life itself, they shape the future.
Yet all the forms of life have certain roots. Even the most innovative ones bear the distinctive
features of the past. Since every human being is summoned to be responsible, one of these features
is responsibility. Everybody is responsible in his or her own way”. This conviction is symptomatic of almost all of the published articles.