Honor vs. Morality

This isn’t as deeply philosophical as you probably think. I just wanted to talk about how I differentiate between personal morality (honor) and objective morality. Hmm. I’m not really sure how to put this. It’s something like this:

As a matter of honor, I feel that it is my duty to protect those less fortunate than me. I will fight for the rights of people who don’t have all the privileges I do. I’m whip-smart and a good writer, middle-class and white. I would feel dishonorable if I ignored the suffering in the world.

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s morally wrong to not fight for human rights. Some people aren’t suited for it, and that’s fine. Some people are focused on helping people in one, specific, concrete way and don’t have time to battle all the other battles. Some people give money to people who are fighting. Some people have to put on their own oxygen mask before they can begin to think about helping others. Some people are just oblivious.

This is something that is a matter of honor, a matter of myself. I might be bewildered by or irritated with people who don’t follow my code of honor, but I don’t think it’s wrong to be neutral. Humans are inherently neutral, and no one can be a shining beacon of honor and righteousness all the time.

On the other hand, actively abusing and taking advantage of those less fortunate than you is wrong. It’s a matter of morality. If you hurt people who can’t fight back and have done nothing to hurt you first, you are, objectively, a shithead.

I’m still struggling to work it out. It’s a whole thing. There’s definitely a bunch of things, weird gradients between honor and morality and self-care. I don’t know. There’s things I know are always bad, and things I know are always good, but in-between it’s a shifting, gray morass of intention and context. I guess you just gotta take it on a case-by-case basis.

 

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