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Honor and Honesty


Are these two words closely related? Can either word be used to describe human behavior without inferring the existence of the other word?

Dictionary definitions of the noun, honor, have some meanings common to the noun, honesty. By eliminating the last four letters from HONESTY and replacing them with the letters, “O,” and “R,” the result is the word, HONOR. Taking it one step further, does the word, “or” become operative? Can we have Honor without Honesty? Is it possible to have Honesty without Honor? For example, a salesperson selling a wrecked vehicle claims, “You have my word of honor that this car is in like-new condition.” Is omission of the fact it was wrecked an evasion of honesty?

The relationship between Honor and Honesty has historical roots. Was the honor of a Knight in any manner open to being questioned? When a Knight gave his word, it was as if the King himself supported the actions of his Knight. During the “Knights of the Round Table” honor and honesty were always expected, but did the Round Table exist and was it really round?

Under a flag of truce, opposing armies could be trusted and were bound to honor a flag of truce that protected a meeting held in plain sight between enemies on a battlefield to the extent that a despicable act like killing the participants (while talking under a flag of truce) was out of the question until the conference attendees returned to their lines. Then members of each side knew it was OK to start killing members of the other side.

Even in Hollywood’s western movies, when the good-guys rode out on white horses to talk with the bad-guys, the meeting seldom turned into a violent exchange involving weapons.

The universal custom of raising one’s right hand with the empty open palm toward a stranger has roots from the act of showing that the hand did not hold a weapon. Honor and Honesty were in play by that gesture. So, for the most part the two words are interchangeable but in the absence of Truth, the meanings of both words are tarnished beyond repair.



Autumn Cote Added Oct 22, 2017 - 7:43pm
To improve readability I advise adding white space between paragraphs.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 23, 2017 - 8:20am
let me start with,  “Knights of the Round Table.”  myth from what I understood was a successful use the media of the time to turn England away from chaos.  The nation was invaded by the Normans in their long boats.  And they were settling in the country.  The law of the land depended on the place your foot was.  Chaos was caused as much by the king and nobles.  How do you end the chaos is to create self constraint.  Teach self constraint.  Raise honor and honesty onto a pedestal,  “Knights of the Round Table.”   
America and Europe with more protest and terrorism is in chaos.  And the people through out history do not like chaos.  Who likes chaos is those that create it.  Those that seek power, because 99% of the time a leader tells the people he can stop the chaos.  He presents himself as having honor and thus being honest.  He stops the chaos by force and becomes a tyrant.  A revolution has occurred.  
Open borders creates a Norman invasion with different players but the same results.  The present government feels is does not have enough power and uses the immigrants as chaos generators.  Why hasn't Saudi Arabia let in immigrants that share a religion.  Because they are of a different sect.  They know this will create chaos and they have enough problems in maintaining control.   
In the West if those same immigrants get the vote they think the people that open the door for them are on their side.  They also want the flood to continue.  Create an underground government inside the country.  So they will vote in more of them, power.  And they provide the leader saying I can control the chaos.  Lenin and his successor Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Chaves and his successor Maduro obtained power by this same approach.
Mircea Negres Added Oct 23, 2017 - 3:28pm
Honor and honesty are not interchangeable or independent in my opinion. Kinda hard to find an honest thief or honorable liar... Nice post. 
Dino Manalis Added Oct 23, 2017 - 4:17pm
Honor and honesty are similar, but not the same, they may be just titles, like Your Honor or Honorable Senator!
Mark Hunter Added Mar 9, 2018 - 12:05am
I know people who have honesty but not honor ... but it seems a lot less likely to have honor without honesty.

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