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How do you define honor?

  1. May 18, 2003 #1


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    Greetings !

    How do you define it ?
    What's your opinion about it ?
    What is its importance ?
    Do you think it's mostly universal
    for mankind or mostly culture-dependent
    (if that question is relevant to your view) ?
    Other stuff you consider relevant.

    Please, feel free NOT to discuss it unless
    you really want to, I won't be offended !
    So what ?! So I posted a thread on this !
    So I wanted to know your opinion ! But...
    Who cares ?!

    Live long and prosper.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2003 #2


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    Social kudos. A nice system created by society to generate an automatic hierarchy according to adherence to select codes of conduct. A evolved mechanism to discourage radicalism, and hence preserve stability.

    Erm... It just exists. In some ways it is restraining and bad for change, in others it preserves the state of the world and secures the rights of weaker people.

    One part of honor is the way it forms a foundation to trust. Studies show that a world where you can form a reliable belief in trust and good will is one in which human life may flourish. A sense of honor and dignity, in some form or description, is mostly essential in this way.

    Both. It's is directly culture-dependent, but indirectly all cultures develop in many ways that are universal to the nature of mankind.
  4. May 19, 2003 #3
    Re: honour

    Interesting thread, drag.

    I define it as the feeling of dignity, based on pre-supposed standards for achieving that dignity.

    There's nothing wrong with it (IMO), provided it doesn't impare one's judgement, and cause one to behave irrationally. Oh, wait a minute, that's exactly what it does!

    Seriously, I think that it's fine, but is often taken to extremes, and is then just a way to feed one's ego, while still behaving stupidly.

    Can't think of any, except that it helps one's self-esteem.

    I think it's dependent on personal opinion. Yes, often it is culture-dependent, and there is no universal standard for it, but I still think that one chooses how to attain honor.
  5. May 19, 2003 #4
    Died at war = honor. (Survived = not much).
  6. May 19, 2003 #5


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    Greetings !

    Hmm... pretty negative opinions, so far.
    Mentat's perfectly right about the ego part.

    How about honour suplementing compassion, for
    the strong who consider compassion itself
    to be a sign of weakness ?
    Any other notable aspects you can think of ?

    Live long and prosper.
  7. May 19, 2003 #6


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    Mine wasn't exactly negative... I mean that it is socially useful to have such a concept, but we can't consider any sense of honor as somehow transcendent. I suggest that each society has it's own sense of honor system to provide that little boost to standing codes of conduct, and to assert it's own society's superiority. In a society which emphasises competition and stubborn determination, compassion can indeed be a matter of dishonor. (No doubt we all turn to Japan as an example here...)
  8. May 20, 2003 #7
    I think honor may be hard-wired...but the expression of it is cultural. For instance, there are people who completely think that it is honorable to lie, cheat, and steal, to achieve their goals. This, of course, is based on their supposed superiority.
  9. May 20, 2003 #8
    Yip, that is exactly where my mind went, and I agreed with and liked the way you said the things you did.

    It’s a ‘social thang’, loose face, commit seppuku, and everything returns to normal...
    It was more of a dishonor to be a ronin than to be a samurai who lived by bushido, yet the ronin had more honor than skilled laborer who were still a notch above a peasant.

    So, to save face, I will consider committing seppuku if Dubya looses the next election…NOT!
  10. May 21, 2003 #9
    Re: honour


    Not screwing over others for your own benefit. Ie. Selflessness, standing by your principles, and not caving in to fear and other base urges. And other stuff like that.

    The amount of honourable behaviour in the world and the amount of warfare and other troubles are inversely proportionate.

    See above.

    There have been many definitions of honour through the ages, in different places. However, some conceptions of the term were truly whacky, such as the samurai being able to kill a peasant if the dude didn't bow low enough to gratify his stupid ego (there's a reason those feudal retards were overthorwn). To me, honour is based on logic, which really is a lengthy topic so I won't get into it here. But clear thinkers, it seems to me, no matter where or when they are from, will eventually reach certain unavoidable conclusions through logical deduction. This is why Socrates and Prince Siddhartha came to similar conclusions about humanity. In the end, apart from crazy cultural spasms such as we saw in various feudal cultures, "honour" (to me) is an absolute of human behaviour which can be reached in any time and place provided the people are capable of clear thought.
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