On Honor and Edward Snowden

Honor, to me, is keeping your promises and staying true to your principles. Honor does not seem to be a very important part of the lives of Westerners. I only ever heard the term growing up in movies and, more recently, in book series like John Carter, Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings. If one promises on pain of death not to reveal something, but he does, would it be a matter of obtaining his honor for him to submit to his promise? And if he instead skirt and ran, would he bring dishonor to himself? What if someone committed a crime against an innocent person in order to prevent another crime against an innocent person? Would obtaining his honor mean owning his actions and accepting responsibility for the injustice that he has created? A recent example, if Edward Snowden promised not to leak information about the NSA’s activities (he may not have), and then after doing so ran and hid from his promises, should his actions be considered dishonorable? I’m having a hard time concluding that they are not. And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.