Can we make the world a better place if we change the way people think about honor? This is the question philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah explores in this smart, three-minute short film. He gives several examples of how customs that were once considered a matter of honor — challenging someone to a duel or foot-binding small girls — persisted for thousands of years but ceased after a few decades.

But why? Only when the fundamental dialogue in society is based on respect, Appiah says, can we change the way accepted practices, such as honor killings, are viewed by the people who carry them out.


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I found this very thought-provoking. I think it can be applied far beyond practices like duels and "honor killings." What this speaks to, for me, is the fact that most crimes are *justified* in the minds of the criminals, especially when you're talking about institutionalized crime. You can't stop systemic atrocities without first breaking down the faulty reasoning that fuels their existence.

What are some other practices, besides honor killing, that we can work to remove from our society?

Krista's conversation with Kwame Anthony Appiah is one of my favorites from your program.  Living in the Middle East, honor killings are something I've been learning more about.  Phrases are used like "blackening our faces" for being dishonored, and "whitening our faces" for restoring that honor.  As a Westerner, it's an extremely difficult concept to understand; how the killing of a daughter can restore honor.  I'm interested in learning more about Appiah's thoughts and approach to change in this area.  Thanks for sharing this video with us.   

Related thoughts. As suggested above changing some definitions of honor starts with establishing a relationship based on honor and respect. Honor everyone...http://www.altervideomagazine.com/201...

I don't think of honor being external.  How does honor involve someone other than yourself? Isn't honor something that one maintains within? Honor can only be diminished if you allow it to be. It's up to the individual to decide. This whole situation could be resolved by not allowing others to determine your honor, it seems to me.  Caring more for what others think than what you think is at the root of the issue.

For us in Western cultures, it is up to the individual to decide.  In the Middle East, however, there is a group based honor.  As far as I can gather, an individual can dishonor the group and the reputation of the group.  In the case of honor killings, by killing the one who acted dishonorably, you are saying, "We, as a group, disapprove of their action", and thereby restoring honor to the group.  

This idea is compelling, but I found it infuriating that every example of people foolishly and violently throwing around honor involved brown people. If we are going to have a discussion about honor, we should be comprehensive enough to include examples from all over the globe - Including the United states, including European nations, including predominantly Christian cultures. Take, for example, the case of Brandy Martell, a transgendered women murdered days ago  in Oakland, CA after an altercation with a man who became enraged upon learning she was trans. This likely had everything to do with a perceived restoration of the honor of this man's masculinity and sexuality. 
http://www.dailykos.com/story/... 

I am studying to become a certified Spanish teacher. I find this video a wonderful idea to address in class. I believe that any issue that has to do with justice, fairnes, equality, right VS wrong,  ...would be wonderful topics that I can use in my future teaching.

In the 40's Stetson Kennedy ridiculed the KKK in the radio Superman show by exposing their silly rituals thereby greatly reducing their numbers. perhaps some form of media see or heard by these honor killers can be used to show how horribly ridiculus and cowardly they are.