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Honour vs Dignity

In a fascinating article, Peter Berger demonstrates that the concept of dignity has replaced the concept of honour in both Western morality and Western jurisprudence, see here.


What Berger’s analysis lacks is an acknowledgment of the tenuousness of the concept of dignity. It is stated by proponents of human rights laws that all human beings have dignity by virtue of being human.


By contrast not all human beings have honour; in many instances honour is a birth right, but one must live up to this right in order to be regarded as honourable.


Notwithstanding its limitations, honour was rooted in human culture and the natural need to earn renown and gain a sense of belonging.


The modern notion of human dignity however is little more than a tautology; human beings have dignity because they are human.

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