On Responsibility

Anyone who’s sure of themselves, of their morals and intentions, is not truly ethical, is not struggling heroically with the mandate of genuine responsibility. It is impossible ever to be fully responsible because you are never done being responsible or never responsible enough–you’ve never given or offered or done enough for those suffering, for the poor, the hugry. That’s a law shared by Dostoyevsky, Levinas, and Derrida: one never meets one’s responsibility quota, which is set at an infinite bar (hence the figure of Christ, our infinite creditor).

-Avital Ronell, Examined Life: Meaning