The ethos of honour is opposed to a morality which affirms the equality in dignity of all people and consequently the equality of their rights and duties. . . Honour became Verwoerd’s driving force. To protect the honour of the Afrikaner, anything was permissible – even the most dishonourable policy.
In other words, to protect the honour of the Afrikaner, the apartheid regime resorted to stripping people of their rights and dignity. One only has to think about Nazi Germany’s veneration of Hitler, or the South African government’s reluctance to criticise Mugabe’s regime in
But what about conservative Christianity? Which moral code does it advocate? This is something that I’ve recently thought about, and I’ve only begun to clarify my own thoughts. So please let me know if my thinking is in error.
I would argue that all indications seem to point to a morality based on honour. After all, the divine theory of morality states that all moral law comes from God, so whatever he commands must be right. But what if God told you do something you felt was wrong? Think of the story of Abraham sacrificing his son according to God’s command. Abraham was fully prepared to sacrifice Isaac, not because he felt it was right, but because he didn’t want to disobey God. Is this not an indication of a morality based on honour: the belief that it is more important to obey than to do what is right? I wonder how Abraham would have reacted if his moral code was based on human dignity and individual responsibility. Maybe he would have told God to get lost.
One also only has to think about God’s horrendous actions in the Old Testament (which I’ve mentioned here), and how modern day apologists bend over backwards to defend him. Lee Strobel, for example, devotes an entire chapter in The Case for Faith defending God’s atrocities against innocent children. Is this also not an indication of a morality based on honour: instead of standing up against God for doing something wrong, his followers go all out to defend him?
Just some food for thought . . .