What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
03-11-2011, 06:16 PM
 
What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
One of the most rarely used words in the English language, today, in the Western world, is ’honour’. Come to think of it, the only place I remember seeing it used in mainstream media is Start Trek, where Klingons use it all the time, and we know that Klingons are often ridiculed there.

There were times and places in human history (not too many) when the word had a well defined meaning and the meaning was important to those who used it.

Today, the word sounds archaic, slightly idealistic and ridiculous.

So, in this thread, I would like to explore what the word means to you, both in theoretical and practical terms.
Quote this message in a reply
03-11-2011, 07:43 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
That word holds power for me. I have no code to follow. I only have honour.
Honour dictates that I do what I consider right. If I loose my honour I must get it back.

Honour means different things to different people. But most can agree that it is worth more than we can know.

People have killed others and themselves over it. Nations have gone to war to obtain it. To obtain something that has not set value.

Again I say. honour's value depend on the person. I know it's value to me. The question is... what value do you put on honour?

NEW AND IMPROVED!
Twice the anger, Half the space!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-11-2011, 08:12 PM
 
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
The word honour (just like love, faith, patriotism, etc.) has been hijacked and co-opted by so many people for so many purposes. It came to mean loyalty to whatever group, standing for whatever goal or principle. German officers sense of honour prevented them from standing up to Hitler.

However, we all understood why John Le Carre named one of his best books “The Honourable Schoolboy”. Even though Jerry Westerby betrayed his masters who had thought he was one them.

The hijacking is obvious. It does not mean loyalty. SS guards had loyalty. It does not mean integrity. Bin Laden had integrity of some sort (his belief in his horribly misguided crusade seems genuine).

At least to me, ‘honour’ means something GOOD. Random House (among other things) says: “high respect as for worth”. It is a concept implying worth: human value. And it is not a relative concept, but it mirrors our universal core values as human beings.
Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Zatamon's post
03-11-2011, 10:11 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
Richard Dawkins has suggested that reputation is what punishes "cheats" in our society. Honour seems to be the currency of reputation... the more of it you have, the more trust you can buy.

However, this certainly doesn't explain "honour killings" like we see among the Japanese, muslims, or... yes... Klingons. Perhaps this is the part that we ridicule, because it makes so little sense to those of us from The West.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-11-2011, 10:43 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(03-11-2011 10:11 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Richard Dawkins has suggested that reputation is what punishes "cheats" in our society. Honour seems to be the currency of reputation... the more of it you have, the more trust you can buy.

However, this certainly doesn't explain "honour killings" like we see among the Japanese, muslims, or... yes... Klingons. Perhaps this is the part that we ridicule, because it makes so little sense to those of us from The West.

To me "honour" is a synonym for "right action".
As more moral relativist than anything, I find the
term very difficult in a great many instances as we
cannot justify moral judgements with any great degree of certainty.

Sticks and stones may break my bones
but names will never hurt me~~~~~
Cooyon WillieLaughat
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Mr Woof's post
03-11-2011, 11:30 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(03-11-2011 10:43 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(03-11-2011 10:11 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Richard Dawkins has suggested that reputation is what punishes "cheats" in our society. Honour seems to be the currency of reputation... the more of it you have, the more trust you can buy.

However, this certainly doesn't explain "honour killings" like we see among the Japanese, muslims, or... yes... Klingons. Perhaps this is the part that we ridicule, because it makes so little sense to those of us from The West.

To me "honour" is a synonym for "right action".
As more moral relativist than anything, I find the
term very difficult in a great many instances as we
cannot justify moral judgements with any great degree of certainty.

I think I like your definition the most here, personally.

To me, the best kind of honor is taking the "right action" in a selfless manner or intent when a choice is present. It is easy to make a choice that benefits yourself. But the honorable choice is one that you choose to put others before yourself. It's a choice made that's worthy of the respect of others, and then following through on that choice so long as following through remains the right thing to do.

How we judge that to be the right choice is difficult, and it is not often known to be the right choice until the consequences have been fully laid out. That might not be for years or even decades later. Even then, I suppose honor is dictated by those who write the history book and paint the picture for later generations.

I think that some mistake their own pride and arrogance for honor. If someone wounds their pride, they believe their honor is wounded.

Godzilla Kitten, Directed by J.J. Abrams
[Image: Kineoprojectfinished3_zps79916ea4.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-11-2011, 07:11 AM
 
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(03-11-2011 11:30 PM)kineo Wrote:  To me, the best kind of honor is taking the "right action" in a selfless manner or intent when a choice is present. It is easy to make a choice that benefits yourself. But the honorable choice is one that you choose to put others before yourself.

I like that thought.

Definitely 'honour' is often used as a synonym to 'incorruptible'.

Someone who can not be bribed to go against his/her own principles is often considered an 'honourable' person. However, they have been thoroughly evil people who were 'incorruptible' in their twisted values and we would not consider them honourable.

So 'honour' must mean something beyond 'integrity', in the sense that it has to do with benefiting a large majority of humanity (as opposed to a small interest group) and it is very hard to define because it comes down to the question of "universal morality".

Some people would say that "I will recognize it when I see it", some others would like to see a more objective criteria.

I think I do have such a criteria but, before describing it, I will wait a bit to see if anyone else has some ideas or comments along the line I suggested (or any other thoughts, observations, examples, suggestions, etc).
Quote this message in a reply
04-11-2011, 07:26 AM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(04-11-2011 07:11 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  Some people would say that "I will recognize it when I see it", some others would like to see a more objective criteria.

I think I do have such a criteria but, before describing it, I will wait a bit to see if anyone else has some ideas or comments along the line I suggested (or any other thoughts, observations, examples, suggestions, etc).

Honour for me not only carries the meaning of doing what's right (even at personal cost), but also of actively opposing what is wrong. And the problem with that is, right and wrong are different for different people.

But I agree, some more objective criteria could surely be found? Surely there are things which are universally agreed to be right and wrong, good and bad? I'm not postulating an objective morality, just that even in our individual subjective moralities there has to be a non-empty overlap?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
05-11-2011, 11:01 AM
 
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(04-11-2011 07:26 AM)morondog Wrote:  But I agree, some more objective criteria could surely be found? Surely there are things which are universally agreed to be right and wrong, good and bad? I'm not postulating an objective morality, just that even in our individual subjective moralities there has to be a non-empty overlap?

OK, I will take stab at defining ‘honour’ as a measure of universal morality.

Honour has always been in human consciousness. Not always verbalized: defined, analyzed, explained, but lived by a sufficient number of the tribe to assure survival.

Tribes that failed the test of honour died and disappeared.

Honour is the prerequisite of survival.

Nature created us. We are an inextricable part of it, and have no choice but to behave by its rules. Wolves know this. Primates know this. Primitive human tribes have always known this. Honour is our interdependence embodied.

Without honour we are lemmings looking for our cliff. Honour is life affirming. Dishonour embraces death. Maybe not immediately, not personally, but the human species can die by many, many little incremental steps.

Destroying our habitat along with us. We see it around us every day. The poison in our air, our water, our food -- it is all material manifestation of dishonour: of some human beings, somewhere, in some capacity, failing the test of ethical, honourable behavior.

We have been dreaming about “victory over nature” far too long, as if Nature was an enemy, instead of the sustainer of our lives. We have to sort out our loyalties in a way that doesn’t destroy us.

Each containing group takes precedent. My loyalty to my country has to take second place behind my loyalty to humanity. And my loyalty to my species has to come behind my loyalty to universal, interconnected, miraculous and fragile LIFE we are all part of.

It could take one dumb asteroid to destroy it. Or it could take one dumb humanity that developed too much power before developing enough sense. Honour could save us from that fate.
Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Zatamon's post
06-11-2011, 01:49 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(05-11-2011 11:01 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(04-11-2011 07:26 AM)morondog Wrote:  But I agree, some more objective criteria could surely be found? Surely there are things which are universally agreed to be right and wrong, good and bad? I'm not postulating an objective morality, just that even in our individual subjective moralities there has to be a non-empty overlap?

OK, I will take stab at defining ‘honour’ as a measure of universal morality.

Honour has always been in human consciousness. Not always verbalized: defined, analyzed, explained, but lived by a sufficient number of the tribe to assure survival.

Tribes that failed the test of honour died and disappeared.

Honour is the prerequisite of survival.

Nature created us. We are an inextricable part of it, and have no choice but to behave by its rules. Wolves know this. Primates know this. Primitive human tribes have always known this. Honour is our interdependence embodied.

Without honour we are lemmings looking for our cliff. Honour is life affirming. Dishonour embraces death. Maybe not immediately, not personally, but the human species can die by many, many little incremental steps.

Destroying our habitat along with us. We see it around us every day. The poison in our air, our water, our food -- it is all material manifestation of dishonour: of some human beings, somewhere, in some capacity, failing the test of ethical, honourable behavior.

We have been dreaming about “victory over nature” far too long, as if Nature was an enemy, instead of the sustainer of our lives. We have to sort out our loyalties in a way that doesn’t destroy us.

Each containing group takes precedent. My loyalty to my country has to take second place behind my loyalty to humanity. And my loyalty to my species has to come behind my loyalty to universal, interconnected, miraculous and fragile LIFE we are all part of.

It could take one dumb asteroid to destroy it. Or it could take one dumb humanity that developed too much power before developing enough sense. Honour could save us from that fate.
Which is zero-state. Big Grin

Me and you don't disagree much - except for minor squabbles of word definition. Somebody said honor is not integrity - in the dictionary of my life, I have found that to be incorrect. Back in the day, my honor decreed paying my Qwest bill, my integrity demurred. Now there ain't no more Qwest. Big Grin

Being true to oneself is a quickie definition of integrity. Projecting this truth to others is honor. And it ain't honor that is incorruptible - that's love. Wink

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: