A young man was interviewing for his first job when a rather skeptical employer asked him, “Are you responsible?” “Yes,” the boy replied. “At least, that is what my mom says everytime something goes wrong.”
The concept of responsibility incorporates dual elements: moral judgment and accountability. Everyone is responsible for himself and his actions (for actions are intimately linked to identity, as stated in Part I) in so far as he can make moral judgments. Responsibility is always linked to a moral obligation.
A “right” could mean two things: something the government disallows itself from doing in law and legal proceedings (e.g. the “right” to no self-incrimination), and something that is intrinsically related to the person permitting him to do something specific. The former, which I would call a “privilege”, does not concern us at this time, as it is merely a “rule” the government agrees to follow. We will discuss government and such later. The latter one is the obverse of a moral obligation: When one is morally obligated in a specific case, he has the “right” to fulfill his obligation. This is not a “ends justify means”, for he must be obligated in the specific case considering all the circumstances. Take for instance a teacher. He has agreed to teach students, and therefore has a moral obligation to be there. If someone takes his keys (assuming the one and only way that he might make it is by car) to inhibit him from going, his right has been violated. However, he made not torture the taker of the keys to get them back, for if there is no moral way to get to class, he has to moral obligation to go to class and therefore no right to "do what is necessary" to get to class. Rights are always specific to the circumstance.
Someone may comment that this seems to reject the so-called fundamental right to life, but I would question whether, for instance the Secret Service Detailee has a right to preserve his life if an assassin is unjustifiably shooting the President (not saying there is a justifiable reason or not, just precluding a justified killing for this instance) and his chief means to save the President is to get between the bullet and the President. I would say that because of his job he has a moral duty to do whatever is in his power to save the President in this instance, and it would be wrong for him not to stop the bullet even at the cost of his life. I would suggest that the “right to life” speaks to the general moral obligation that one has to use all that God has given for the Honor and Glory of God. Life is the fundamental premise of this, and so one may never ordinarily take a life and one my only give his life when he is moral obligated to or when it is a moral option. To take a life immorally is to violate one’s right to life, but if one is faced with a death and there is no morally legitimate means of preserving his life, he has no right to preserve his life.
Lastly, authority is the power and duty that comes when one is charged with some interest of another. Authority is the power to command (not necessarily compel) obedience. Obedience is owed in justice to proper commands (something to discuss later) of an authority. However, the power to command obedience is intrinsically linked to moral obligation to treat the interest you are charged with as if it were your own interest. Should one neglect the interest, he in effect renounces his authority.