Honor as a Critical Code of Behavior

There are many concepts and ideas that, at first glance, seem obvious and quite ingenious. In reality, however, they are complex and profound for understanding. Among philosophers and scientists, there is no consensus on the interpretation of the concept of honor, and this topic has preoccupied the minds of great people since ancient times. Today, the theme of human values, such as honor is more relevant than ever. These are notions related to ethics that are inextricably linked and are most often viewed together, as they are complementary and mutually emerging concepts.

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The formal definition of the term may be perceived as simplistic – a group of human qualities that result in high esteem. Because the noun is essentially a collective name for a group of favorable characteristics, each of these traits should be viewed individually to understand the term adequately. Honor is usually associated with nobility, honesty, courage, and morality (“Honor”). Nobility is attributed to individuals who are noble, or in other words, possess high moral and mental qualities (“Nobility”).

Honesty pertains to people that do not engage in deceptive activities and do not lie (“Honesty”). It is possible to describe an individual as courageous if he or she, upon facing frightening events, does not give in to the fears and steps up to take action. Finally, morality concerns the ability of a person to make decisions that are ethically correct and virtuous. Since the early days of human civilization, these qualities have been respected, and individuals that lacked one or more of honor’s foundational components have not been trusted.

In a social context, honor can be perceived as an informal code of conduct, according to which individuals should act to be respected. While ignoring the items of the code may not lead to legal consequences, it is still critical to hold to moral and ethical principles that make up the term (Nowak 14). Today, however, the meaning and importance of honor are started to be forgotten (Nowak 14). The significance of honor has declined; instead, individuals rely on the rule of law. However, the law may not always be rightful, and some people continuously try to circumvent it.

The problem of contemporary society is the way how people think about life. Humans try, at all costs, to gather riches or acquire fame and power. When achieving these, people often grow ignorant of honor – they deceive friends, steal, make wrongful decisions that, despite providing the person with profit, negatively affect others’ lives. Upon death, a person leaves all material belongings behind, but honor is not material yet valuable. Literary texts of ancient times best describe the importance of honor – it is better to die than lose honor. According to my observations, honor is only attributed to people that respect themselves, value their principles, and also regard others.

Honor is a critical code of behavior that cannot be eluded but only ignored. Human’s ignorance of this quality inevitably leads to decisions that are morally incorrect, unethical, and wrong. It is partly because people do not know the proper definition of the term that honor’s value has declined over the last centuries. Most of the social problems may be the result of this ignorance; therefore, the notion of honor is critical today.

Works Cited

“Honesty.” Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus. Oxford Corpus, 2016.

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“Honor.” Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus. Oxford Corpus, 2016.

“Nobility.” Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus. Oxford Corpus, 2016.

Nowak, Andrzej, et al. “The Evolutionary Basis of Honor Cultures.” Psychological Science, vol. 27, no. 1, 2016, pp. 12-24.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Honor as a Critical Code of Behavior." June 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/honor-as-a-critical-code-of-behavior/.


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StudyCorgi. "Honor as a Critical Code of Behavior." June 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/honor-as-a-critical-code-of-behavior/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Honor as a Critical Code of Behavior." June 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/honor-as-a-critical-code-of-behavior/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Honor as a Critical Code of Behavior'. 21 June.

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