My Understanding Of Honor And Dignity

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I have always been found it interesting why and how the people came up with the whole concept of honor and dignity so long time ago. In ancient Greece, in ancient Rome and even in Britain we see these two concepts being highly valued and caused people’s admiration. In epics like Iliad and Beowulf we see how both Achilles and Beowulf posses’ similar qualities and how their decisions are more or less influenced by the ideas of honor and dignity. Kind Arthur even says that he prefers to die rather than losing his honor.

The definition of honor is a high regard or respect; personal integrity; reputation; privilege (Webster’s Dictionary). Because of honor we’ve seen how big heroic acts have been performed but we’ve also seen how wars might start because of it. Honor basically defines the duties of an individual within a social group. To huge extend it is related to social position and is a social term. Through the years the meaning of honor has changed a bit but it’s still hard to explain what exactly is honor. I believe it has something to do with reputation and maybe the way you other people see you.

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The definition of dignity is the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed (Webster’s Dictionary). Human dignity is a sense of self-worth. Therefore, dignity is a sense of pride in oneself that only a human being has with them. This conscious sense makes them feel that they deserve respect and honor from other human beings. Dignity has a very long philosophical history - Pico della Mirandola, Kant, Mortimer Adler and Alan Gewirth all have slightly different philosophical ideas about what exactly dignity is (Wikipedia).

When we are talking about honor or dignity it is really difficult give a specific definition as they both are pretty much about how a person interprets them. In my opinion honor is the feeling of self-conscience and is best reflected through actions. Honor must be the center of what one’s moral revolves around and is the capstone of a person. I think dignity is the sense of self-worth. Human dignity to me means not only possessing strong morals that help society to prosper and improve, but following through on them. Dignity is one of the most unique characteristics any being can possibly possess.


  1. Dignity. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from
  2. Kee A. Jeremy. 2014. What is Honor?
  3. Honor. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from
  4. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from
  5. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from
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