About the Honor Blog

This blog has been created for the purpose of exploring controversial moral problems, using the concepts explored in The Book of Honor as a foundation. Since it seeks to tackle difficult problems, readers should approach it with serious minds and should expect to have their prejudices challenged. However, an element which is central to The Book of Honor is that there are things upon which all normal humans will agree. This blog seeks out those things - it focuses on areas of agreement, rather than disagreement, so that the discussion can remain positive even in the face of serious disagreements.

The Gratiae

One of the most important conclusions reached in The Book of Honor is that acting in a good and moral way means giving value to other persons. The things which represent that value are called the gratiae, and in The Book of Honor, we learn there are three of those things:
Liberty, and

Good actions are those which support human life, which recognize the freedom and dignity of other persons. Immoral, evil actions are those which deprive persons of their lives, deny them their freedom, and/or destroy their dignity.

The Virtues

The purpose of The Book of Honor is to establish a code of conduct, a set of factors which will guide persons toward honorable behavior. Those factors are summarized in the form of seven Virtues:
Hope, and

These Virtues are used to guide honorable behavior; a person who considers and applies the Virtues when making decisions, when taking action, will serve the gratiae - and act in a good, moral way.

About the Author

Hopefully most of your questions about me are answered by the About page. However, within the context of this blog, I think it also is important for me to point out that:

Inevitably, controversial subjects will touch upon the political arena. There is no way to remove all bias from a discussion - so I believe the best thing I can do is to let you know that I am Catholic, and inclined toward conservatism.

Previous Posts

Mar 25, 2020: Screen Time in Lockdown

Jan 17, 2020: Responding to Difficulties

Dec 18, 2019: The Dangers of Mixing Science and Religion

Oct 6, 2019: Seeking Civil Discourse

Aug 11, 2019: The Premise of the Movie The Hunt Is Appalling

Jul 29, 2019: Noisy Churches

Feb 11, 2019: Dads and Daughters

Dec 19, 2018: The Coarsening of the Public Discourse

Sep 5, 2018: The Catholic Scandal Revisited

Aug 22, 2018: This Month's Catholic Scandal

May 28, 2018: The Immorality of Virtue Signalling

May 1, 2018: Bill Cosby In The News

Mar 4, 2018: Loyalty

Feb 6, 2018: Omelas In Real Life

Jan 7, 2018: The Honor of Science

Nov 24, 2017: Welcome to the Honor Blog!

The Honor Blog

Today is: Apr 10, 2020
Post From: Jan 17, 2020

Responding to Difficulties

A few weeks ago, during Mass, I saw something which got me to thinking about the different ways people respond when they see someone experiencing difficulty. Of course, the response will depend on the nature of the difficulty, so it is significant that this was an acute and relatively minor event: a young lady fainted during Mass.

I think the first thing worth noting is that most people respond with an instinctive desire to help. That is quite a positive thing. What it says is that human beings really are inclined to do good things. A discussion of whether humans are fundamentally good or fundamentally bad is not the direction I want to go, today - it is a great topic, but not for today - so I will stop there. I think humans really would like to `do the right thing', would like to behave honorably. That does not necessarily mean they do, but they would like to.

The other thing which struck me about the entire incident is that it illustrates a difference between the way men and women respond to these things. Well - I think it does. You can decide for yourself whether the contrast I am going to draw reflects real differences in gender or is instead a reflection of me as an individual.

After the initial rush to help, what I noticed is that there was an aftermath of people who would stop by to visit the pew in which the young woman was sitting. Most of the people were women, especially older women; they would stop, talk for a while, and even pat the young woman who had the fainting spell.

Now, had I been the one who fainted, I would have wanted the consoling and comforting to stop as soon as possible. Once I was sitting up and talking, I would have started making jokes about myself in order to move the attention elsewhere. That inclination informs my approach when other people are in distress - that is, I would take the same approach for other people, too. I would be eager to help, but once I was sure the other person was cared for, I would look for chances to make jokes, to disperse the attention - because I would be assuming that person would be taking the same approach I would have taken.

My impression is that a lot of that stems from a difference between men and women. My perception is that more women are inclined toward making the personal connection, with the result that they will offer comfort - in this case after the time I would have thought the comfort would be welcomed. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to want to be independent, with the result that they chafe at the offering of any more comfort than strictly necessary, and sometimes even at an amount which actually IS necessary.

It might be that I am wrong, though - perhaps the difference has more to do with individual personal comfort than gender predispositions.