On Honor and Edward Snowden II

After some more thinking and reading on the topic of honor, I think it would be accurate to say that honor is relative. Consider an honor code among thieves, or pirates. In my example, on the one hand, Edward Snowden acted dishonorably by running away from his (assuming) promise to be punished if he ever revealed NSA secrets. But on the other hand, he acted honorably by leaking the type of information that he leaked, and then by running in order to remain “at large” to explain himself and continue the fight for liberty. In other words, relative to the sphere between he as an individual and those other individuals, that he promised to submit to, their punishment, if he ever violated his promise to them, he brought dishonor to his name; however, relative to the sphere between he and every individual whose rights the NSA is violating, he has not. In my opinion, he’s acted admirably. That he would violate a promise is something that should be considered when dealing with him, of course, but that’s a price he seems willing to pay. What do you think? 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.