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What makes a person honorable? None
Old 05-06-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
runoverazebra
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A recent thread got me wondering what qualities I think make a person honorable or dishonorable. I have my own ideas about honor, but I was curious as to what others think.

What makes a person honorable? What makes a person dishonorable?
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:45 PM   #2
Ilara
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  Originally Posted by runoverazebra
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A recent thread got me wondering what qualities I think make a person honorable or dishonorable. I have my own ideas about honor, but I was curious as to what others think.

What makes a person honorable? What makes a person dishonorable?

In my moral code:

Honour = honesty, forthrightness, respect and compassion for self and others, courtesy, rational behaviour, kindness

Dishonour = dishonesty, manipulation, treating others badly/thinking badly of others on no rational basis, bad manners, irrational behaviour, cruelty

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Old 05-06-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
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What makes a person honorable? I would think honor is related to integrity and morals and then that would mean that being honorable would mean being full of integrity. A person who chooses to do the right thing when there is a moralistic distinction between right and wrong would be considered a person of integrity and honor.

Then I suspect the opposite would be true of someone who is dishonorable. Someone who takes advantage of others if it means progress for themselves. Do to others as you wish others to do to you, that is quite the cliche but we must not allow that to take away from its meaning.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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  Originally Posted by jonam87
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What makes a person honorable? I would think honor is related to integrity and morals and then that would mean that being honorable would mean being full of integrity. A person who chooses to do the right thing when there is a moralistic distinction between right and wrong would be considered a person of integrity and honor.

Then I suspect the opposite would be true of someone who is dishonorable. Someone who takes advantage of others if it means progress for themselves. Do to others as you wish others to do to you, that is quite the cliche but we must not allow that to take away from its meaning.

Do you think that honor is defined by an individual's moral code or by society's ethics? Or perhaps both?

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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Honor is one of those words that has a more individual meaning, I think. It's really not easy to define it any more specifically than as a synonym of "good" or "decent".

I would ascribe honor to a person who acts according to their conscience. Someone who is willing to act in the best interest of others without regard to personal cost. It is not an absolute term, and what constitutes an honorable act varies from person to person and from society to society.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
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All my study on this term has shown that those segments of any society that rely on being honorable share the same basic understanding about what it is. It always seems to be some slight variation of "recognizing and fulfilling your just obligations". Also recognized is that the only person that can have any impact on your honor is you.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #7
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  Originally Posted by runoverazebra
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Do you think that honor is defined by an individual's moral code or by society's ethics? Or perhaps both?

I would think it would be purely up to the individual. What is right and what is wrong has never changed despite whatever a given societies ethics are at any given time in history. Simply because something is accepted by the general populace does not make it right.

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:09 AM   #8
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1. The first and most important criterion that comes to my mind is living by the golden rule.

2. The second thing that comes to mind is honesty/integrity. Some of that is just part of No. 1. And it's somewhat complicated in that there are certain things you don't owe it to anyone to be honest about, and there are circumstances where a "little white lie" can be best, and etc. But barring extenuating circumstances, the idea that you don't lie and you're true to your word.

There are other things that can go into making someone a better person -- e.g., charitable acts -- that I don't really associate with the idea of "honor." Maybe it's fair to say that, for me, being an "honorable" person just means not doing anything "dishonorable" -- and doesn't require acts "above and beyond the call of duty."
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:25 AM   #9
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What's are some universally accepted traits that are considered honourable?
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:26 AM   #10
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I heard an interesting theory on "honor" that I generally agree with.

Being honorable means keeping your word.
Your "word" consists of all agreements you make and those things that others expect of you. To keep your "word," you must either fulfill those agreements and meet expectations or do your best to notify and correct shortcommings at the earliest possible time.

I would say the simplest formulation that most people would accept is honesty and truthfullness.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:11 AM   #11
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  Originally Posted by reckful
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1. The first and most important criterion that comes to my mind is living by the golden rule.

2. The second thing that comes to mind is honesty/integrity. Some of that is just part of No. 1. And it's somewhat complicated in that there are certain things you don't owe it to anyone to be honest about, and there are circumstances where a "little white lie" can be best, and etc. But barring extenuating circumstances, the idea that you don't lie and you're true to your word.

There are other things that can go into making someone a better person -- e.g., charitable acts -- that I don't really associate with the idea of "honor." Maybe it's fair to say that, for me, being an "honorable" person just means not doing anything "dishonorable" -- and doesn't require acts "above and beyond the call of duty."

This is very similar to my thoughts on the matter. While acts that are 'above and beyond' honesty and the golden rule certainly contribute to my positive perception of a person, I don't think they contribute to honor.

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Old 05-08-2010, 07:56 PM   #12
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I've always linked it almost exclusively to integrity. An honourable person is true to the promises they make--to themselves and to others--especially when nobody is watching.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the etymology of 'honest' coincides with 'honourable'.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:29 AM   #13
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Morality is a pretty complicated issue. I think we can all agree here that honour has a lot to do with trustworthiness and honesty, as well as moral, but defining morality is difficult.

It's not clear-cut. For example, if a man defends his wife from an attacker and kills that attacker, society may claim he is wrong, depending on the circumstances of the attack. What was the most moral decision? Defending his wife? Or allowing her to be hurt and following society's laws?
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:57 AM   #14
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Strange talking about honor, as i am a former Marine. When you break things down the the very basic element i would have to say it is the ability for someone to keep their word no matter what. Had several friends that gave me their word that they had my back, when things got bad they never ran. When i got out i have had friends give me their word and break it because they felt it was too much effort. In my opinion the Marines i served with had the utmost honor and the civilians were some of the most dishonorable curs i ever had the unfortunate experience to know.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:01 PM   #15
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I don't think it's tied to morality. You can be honourable and unethical, I'd say... a thief who's true to his word and obligations would fit that description in my book. You'd only be dishonourable because of it if you presented yourself as opposed to or free of that sort of behaviour... ie, you broke a promise, either to yourself or to others, be that promise explicit or implied.

So, being unethical LIKELY means that you're dishonourable as well, but they're separate facets.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:57 PM   #16
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  Originally Posted by runoverazebra
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A recent thread got me wondering what qualities I think make a person honorable or dishonorable. I have my own ideas about honor, but I was curious as to what others think.

What makes a person honorable? What makes a person dishonorable?

Sticking to their principles when its against incentives. Dishonorable is violating key principles for incentives.

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #17
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Honorable = maximizing good and minimizing bad for all involved.

Dishonorable = causing harm.

  Originally Posted by Causa Mortis
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Sticking to their principles when its against incentives. Dishonorable is violating key principles for incentives.

I disagree. A person who causes themselves and/or others harm because of their idealistic principles is dishonorable. Take a dad who goes to join the rebels in the jungle, leaving behind his family penniless. Oh, he did what he believed in, hurting others. Not honorable in the least bit.

---------- Post added 05-09-2010 at 06:39 PM ----------

  Originally Posted by Ilara
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Honour = honesty, forthrightness, respect and compassion for self and others, courtesy, rational behaviour, kindness

What if the most rational, compassionate and kind path of action requires lying, such as being deceitful to protect people?

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Old 05-09-2010, 10:09 PM   #18
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Pride that makes them do the right thing. Pride that forces them to uphold standards.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:10 PM   #19
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I separate honor/dishonorable and moral/immoral.

I think honor is doing what you say and being respectful.

I think dishonor is lying/backstabbing.

I think being moral is doing what's good for others.

I think being immoral is doing only what's good for yourself.

You can be honorable, but immoral. You can also be dishonorable, but moral.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:42 AM   #20
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  Originally Posted by Vagrant
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I think being moral is doing what's good for others.

I think being immoral is doing only what's good for yourself.

What if doing what's good for you coincides with doing what's good for others? (if this wasn't the case, capitalism would be immoral since it relies on the coincidental alignment of private and public interests). What if you do only what's good for you, but it doesn't come at the expense of others?

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Old 05-10-2010, 01:47 AM   #21
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  Originally Posted by Blse
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What if doing what's good for you coincides with doing what's good for others? (if this wasn't the case, capitalism would be immoral since it relies on the coincidental alignment of private and public interests). What if you do only what's good for you, but it doesn't come at the expense of others?

Then I'd consider it neither moral or immoral.

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Old 05-10-2010, 02:48 AM   #22
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Since you need someone to give you the honor you think you deserve, it's definitely not something which is purely up to the individual. I think I could say that l live after that and that virtue, but it doesn't make much sense to say that I see myself as honorable because of that...this is up to the others/society.

Different cultures might see different things as honorable.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:23 AM   #23
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What causes people to be honorable? Obvious, by abiding whatever moral code of honor you subscribe too.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:11 AM   #24
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Honour = a set of principles where the inference is that actions taken are for the good of many where self-interest might be but isn't always sacrificed. Self-interest is always sacrificed if it's in opposition to the good of many.

Honourable = an adjective describing a person who adheres to the above definition of honour.

Dishonourable = acting in a manner that's counter to the definition of honourable.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:54 AM   #25
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  Originally Posted by Nelwyn
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Since you need someone to give you the honor you think you deserve, it's definitely not something which is purely up to the individual. I think I could say that l live after that and that virtue, but it doesn't make much sense to say that I see myself as honorable because of that...this is up to the others/society.

Different cultures might see different things as honorable.

I believe this to be incorrect. I have never seen any source says anyone can give or take away from another's honor. Where this comes up, it is often confusing honor with face.

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