Responsibility vs. Obligation…

Responsibility versus Obligation…is there really a difference between the two?

What is the best way to describe each word to really get the true and ideal meaning of it?. In your opinion, would you say Obligation is more important than Responsibility or vice versa?, and what made you choose your answer?.

I looked both the words up in the dictionary to find out what it means and to give me more idea and a better perspective on these two words and this is what I got.

From the ‘Lectric Law Library’s Lexicon


The requirement to do what is imposed by law, promise, or contract; a duty.

In its general and most extensive sense, obligation is synonymous with duty. In a more technical meaning, it is a tie which binds us to pay or to do something agreeably to the laws and customs of the country in which the obligation is made. The term obligation also signifies the instrument or writing by which the contract is witnessed. And in another sense, an obligation still subsists, although the civil obligation is said to be a bond containing a penalty, with a condition annexed for the payment of money, performance of covenants or the like; it differs from a bill which is generally without a penalty or condition though it may be obligatory. It is also defined to be a deed whereby a man binds himself under a penalty to do a thing. The word obligation, in its most technical signification imports a sealed instrument.

In layman’s terms, an Obligation is a course of action a person or an institution is bound to do whether they like it or not. So in other words it is like you are tied to do a certain task or duty for a specific period say:

A financial support to an illegitimate child, you are expected & obligated to give all the financial support that the child needs until the child reaches the right age, unless this agreement is not constituted by law and decide not to do your moral obligation to the child.

Then comes Responsibility.

From the Free Dictionary

by Farlex


1. The state, quality, or fact of being responsible.

2. Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden.

From what I’ve gathered, there are different types but it almost means the same…so what makes it different?.

I say….moral moral moral and ethics ethics ethics. This is what makes an obligation sweeter and a responsibility fulfilling in my opinion. No tied-up feeling just pure passion & sense of self-satisfaction of being able to do the right thing with all your heart without feeling obligated.

No matter what the situation or the case maybe, I believe that if someone has this values & up bringing then these two words won’t be a question & as confusing after all, and hats off to those who has this innate quality in them.

I guess that is all I’ve got to say. What do you guys think?

Please visit this link, this is very helpful for people who are in doubt in some cases.



2 responses to “Responsibility vs. Obligation…

  • aeon

    for me is a simple….
    Responsibility is a Duty, Obligation is a Human Trait..

    responsibility is something that you have to do because people are counting ono you to do it..

    obligation is something your obliged to do or something that is like a nice gesture and is encouraged but it is not necessary

    • cr8tiveSoul

      @aeon, thanks for giving us a piece of your mind about the topic and it is expected that people have different opinion ’bout it and as my last paragraph states, it’s all about the up-bringing of the person if it was instilled & taught & lived by an example of the parents from an early age then he/she would always know what’s the right thing to do.

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