Friday, November 6, 2009

What is Honor?

Continued from "Honor Killing?"

Should a Christian Martialist defend his honor? I guess it depends on what you mean by honor.

So, let's do something really radical -- something like, oh I don't know . . . look up the definition? Merriam-Webster gives the following meanings for the word honor:

1 a : good name or public esteem : reputation b : a showing of usually merited respect : recognition
2 : privilege
3 : a person of superior standing —now used especially as a title for a holder of high office
4 : one whose worth brings respect or fame : credit
5 : the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon
6 : an evidence or symbol of distinction: as a : an exalted title or rank b (1) : badge, decoration (2) : a ceremonial rite or observance c : an award in a contest or field of competition d archaic : a gesture of deference : bow e plural (1) : an academic distinction conferred on a superior student (2) : a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a regular course
7 : chastity, purity
8 a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity "wouldn't do it as a matter of honor" b : one's word given as a guarantee of performance
9 plural : social courtesies or civilities extended by a host
10 a (1) : an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit in bridge (2) : the scoring value of honors held in bridge —usually used in plural b : the privilege of playing first from the tee in golf.

Whenever you use a word capable of so many interpretations, you run the danger of committing the fallacy of equivocation - using the same word in two different senses as though they were one.

Here's a syllogism that demonstrates the fallacy of equivocation:

Some dogs have hair.
Fido has hair.
Therefore, Fido is some dog.

More in another post.


The Warrior said...

Will wait and see your next one!

I assume you heard about Ft. Hood. You might like to visit WND, I didn't read too much but they have a lot of info it appears.


Randall Gerard said...

From those definitions I would say honor is a concept that's hard to pin down. I usually use it in the sense of personal integrity, not necessarily to denote a high standing or superiority, especially not a superiority I need to defend with deadly violence.

Obviously, muslims have another view. In this case, it seems that a man's 'honor' demands he kill family members who depart from the muslim faith, or live in a manner unbecoming to the muslim faith. Sounds like a 'Hatfield and McCoy' kind of thing.

Of course, if one takes Jesus literally, WE are to 'hate' family members who aren't believers. Just sayin'.

Randall Gerard said...

P.S. with regard to the Fort Hood incident, I stand by my former statement. Deport them all. It's the only compassionate thing to do.