Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"Fighting for honor"?

A while back on another blog, a commenter went ballistic about "fighting for honor" in some hypothetical scenario (which I don't remember).  That really stuck in my head and has been rolling around in there since then.  Fighting for honor.  It's a concept I have heard all my life, but never gave it much thought.

Honor.  What is it?

Well, if you follow the link above you'll see that says "honor" is:

1. honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor.
2. a source of credit or distinction: to be an honor to one's family.
3. high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor.
4. such respect manifested: a memorial in honor of the dead.
5. high public esteem; fame; glory: He has earned his position of honor.

How can you fight for any of those things?  I see nothing there that can be protected or enhanced by fighting for "honor".

If, though, you could, is it worth fighting for?

I don't think so.  In fact, I think if you fight for honor, you lose it.

I think you build honor by fighting for other things that demonstrate that you have honor, not for the honor, itself.

When you fight for the liberty of an enemy, you build honor.

When you fight for the right of others to do things that you don't personally like, but that they are not violating anyone else's rights by doing, your honor increases.

When you defend the innocent from an attacker, you show you have honor.

You don't need to fight for it.

When you fight because someone has questioned your honor, or your heritage, or your beliefs, your honor withers.

When you fight because you have been disrespected, your honor dies.

When you do evil things because you hope to boost your honor, you lose it.

At least in my eyes.  I have trouble seeing how it could be otherwise.


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