Be honest and accept responsibility

We blame others falsely for two reasons: Firstly, to save ourselves from being guilty and so protect ourselves from consequences, punishments, fines or bad reputation. Secondly, to attack others, using blame as a weapon against those we don’t like.

There can be several other reasons, but all of them come somehow under these two main categories. Blaming others falsely is a lie and a dishonesty. Being truthful and honest are characteristics of a good human being.

Religion makes us good people by inculcating these two characteristics. Prophets of God are the best examples for people.

Prophet Moses was known as strict in his principles and very honest (The Quran 28:26). Prophet Jesus was given the Book and the Wisdom (The Quran 3:48). Prophet Muhammad was given two nicknames by the public, "al-Sadiq" and ‘al-Ameen," which mean the Truthful and the Honest. These characteristics encourage a person to accept responsibility and not blame others falsely.

A true believer will not play blame games, as God is omniscient and all-seeing. "O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk" (The Quran 4:135).

The belief of the day hereafter, when all of us will be answerable to God for our actions, is another way religion makes us responsible for our actions.

— Muhammad Haq, Anniston Islamic Center

Accidents make us feel out of control

First, I am not so sure it is a matter of casting blame as much as it is our human desire to have a reason for everything, to reach some sort of settled conclusion.

When accidents happen, we are unsatisfied, left with too many open ends and unanswered questions. Therefore, we seek to resolve the tension by answering our questions and tying up our loose ends by pointing fingers, creating feasible scenarios, or attempting to connect the dots of an accident in an attempt to find its cause.

The truth, however, is that some things really are just accidents, events that occur as a result of the time and space surrounding them.

We are uncomfortable with accidents (whether serious or less so) because by their very nature they are outside of our planning and control.

We, therefore, attempt to place such events in the planning and control of God; we say things like, "Well, it must be God’s will," or "God’s ways are higher than ours."

Now, there are times when such statements are no doubt true, but to chalk every unexpected event up to "God’s will" is a dangerously slippery slope that can lead to a refusal of responsibility and an overall apathetic attitude towards one’s own role in the affairs of others.

In the case of accidents, however, sometimes (perhaps most times) accidents are just that — random, unplanned events that occur in life.

When accidents are tragic or course-changing, what is most important is not who or what we seek to blame, but rather how we ourselves respond to such accidents and trust God to walk with us through them and on after them.

— Chris Thomas, First Baptist Church of Williams, Jacksonville