What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
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06-11-2011, 03:36 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
Honour has been a [mainly] masculine bonding idea. Fraternity. It has been about keeping up the rules and standards of a body of peers to which one has been pledged. Peers has usually been the operative word: knights owe a certain respect to one another, but not to peasants; monks must keep the secrets of their order, but not necessarily of laymen; police must not bear witness against brother officers, even if in breach of their public trust. Hence, "honour among thieves" = no grassing! Also among siblings: must not tattle on one another to the adults.

To me, it's not sacred or central; no more than keeping my promises, and other people's secrets. That means, i can win or lose friends, win or lose the confidence of teammates or colleagues, upon a single utterance. In the age of instant, ubiquitous global connection, that means having to watch my typing fingers, as well as my tongue, all the time. The easier it becomes to spill beans, the more precarious and difficult honour is to maintain.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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06-11-2011, 04:10 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
Just a sort of tangential comment: I also think it's easy to co-opt these kinds of words for an agenda. Because truth, honour, love etc. have what politicians and others like to refer to as a 'universal message', a message with 'this is honourable, this is loving' coded into it is that much more powerful.

For this reason I think regardless of definition it is a dangerous word, because like some other words, it appeals to our emotions rather than our reason. We are encouraged not to evaluate an idea on its merits but on its fitting in with our vaguely defined framework for 'honour', which a good debater will define *for* us...
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06-11-2011, 04:12 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(06-11-2011 03:36 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Honour has been a [mainly] masculine bonding idea. Fraternity. It has been about keeping up the rules and standards of a body of peers to which one has been pledged. Peers has usually been the operative word: knights owe a certain respect to one another, but not to peasants; monks must keep the secrets of their order, but not necessarily of laymen; police must not bear witness against brother officers, even if in breach of their public trust. Hence, "honour among thieves" = no grassing! Also among siblings: must not tattle on one another to the adults.

To me, it's not sacred or central; no more than keeping my promises, and other people's secrets. That means, i can win or lose friends, win or lose the confidence of teammates or colleagues, upon a single utterance. In the age of instant, ubiquitous global connection, that means having to watch my typing fingers, as well as my tongue, all the time. The easier it becomes to spill beans, the more precarious and difficult honour is to maintain.
I agree with this assessment - honor as a word is masculine in gender. The extent of my being a feminist is in having female qualities in my psyche - but there is no sexual equality as of yet, and there will be no sexual equality until all understand gender. As it stands, this is a man's world. That too shall change. Wink
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06-11-2011, 04:24 PM
 
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(06-11-2011 04:10 PM)morondog Wrote:  Just a sort of tangential comment: I also think it's easy to co-opt these kinds of words for an agenda. Because truth, honour, love etc. have what politicians and others like to refer to as a 'universal message', a message with 'this is honourable, this is loving' coded into it is that much more powerful.

For this reason I think regardless of definition it is a dangerous word, because like some other words, it appeals to our emotions rather than our reason. We are encouraged not to evaluate an idea on its merits but on its fitting in with our vaguely defined framework for 'honour', which a good debater will define *for* us...

That's absolutely true -- yet, most of us, most of the time, KNOW what is honourable and what is not.

ETA: My favourite scene in the movie "Gandhi" is the courtroom scene when Gandhi walks in, as an accused criminal, and the judge stands up (with the whole court following suit) to 'honour' the man he was going to send to prison for sedition.

Best demonstration I have seen of the conflict between 'legal' and 'honourable'.

(Wasn't Kingsley just awesome?)
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06-11-2011, 05:00 PM
RE: What does the word ‘Honour’ mean to you?
(06-11-2011 04:24 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(06-11-2011 04:10 PM)morondog Wrote:  Just a sort of tangential comment: I also think it's easy to co-opt these kinds of words for an agenda. Because truth, honour, love etc. have what politicians and others like to refer to as a 'universal message', a message with 'this is honourable, this is loving' coded into it is that much more powerful.

For this reason I think regardless of definition it is a dangerous word, because like some other words, it appeals to our emotions rather than our reason. We are encouraged not to evaluate an idea on its merits but on its fitting in with our vaguely defined framework for 'honour', which a good debater will define *for* us...

That's absolutely true -- yet, most of us, most of the time, KNOW what is honourable and what is not.

ETA: My favourite scene in the movie "Gandhi" is the courtroom scene when Gandhi walks in, as an accused criminal, and the judges stands up (with the whole court following suit) to 'honour' the man he was going to send to prison for sedition.

Best demonstration I have seen of the conflict between 'legal' and 'honourable'.

(Wasn't Kingsley just awesome?)
Never seen it, but that sounds awesome. My problem with Gandhi is pacifism. Seems this unit did not come preloaded with that particular software.
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