Saturday, September 6, 2008

Honor: A History


You really should study logic. It is mind-numbing to try and follow your line of reason. In fact “reason” isn’t the right word to apply to what you do.

“Honor” has several definitions. I take Bowman to mean the first definition in my Webster’s New World College Dictionary, especially “good reputation and credit.”

Logically if you oppose Honor then you prefer dishonor, for that is it’s opposite. You don’t want a good reputation. A bad one will serve you quite well. The fact that honor is understood by children doesn’t mean that is childish and something adults should avoid. It means it is in our nature. We don’t grow out of childish honor into adult dishonor. We grow, in fact we used to grow, to have a more sophisticated or adult sense of honor. We don’t worry about a good reputation in regard to being the first to eat our porridge, but we value our reputation at work and we want to be considered honest and trustworthy.

We and the Islamists have a different sense of honor. Just because they kill daughters who they feel have dishonored them doesn’t mean that we should eschew honor and choose dishonor in its stead. “Doing the honorable thing” in Western society, as Bowman writes used to be considered a virtue. In fact if someone were to stop and think about it logically, it still is.

Lawrence Helm

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