Bring back the Duel…
August 5, 2011 by Dirk
Many people would agree that one’s right to freedom of expression also implies responsibility. That is one must also accept the fact that there are possible consequences ,e.g one’s words may impact another person’s sense of dignity.
In “polite society” libel & hate-speech laws are the preferred -or should I say the imposed- method of holding individuals to ‘account’ should they express themselves freely,albeit ignorantly & without consideration. It could be argued- & I would – that such laws actually infringe upon freedom of expression and are about avoiding self-responsibility- paternalism comes to mind.
Paternalistic laws do not teach they divide and lead to resentment.
The point I’m trying to make here is that such laws are ineffective ,indeed they are more about controlling behavior than inducing self-reflection & or acknowledging personal responsibilities for things said & done. Honor ,self-respect & co-existing with others with dignity should not be matters of law.
Now the question becomes what is the best way to induce others to develop a sense of honor and or internalize the virtue of taking responsibilities for one’s words & actions.
For example if some clown get in your face and starts attacking your mother,your ethnic origins etc,in short is being insufferable a very valid ,very understandable & very human response would be to punch said clown in the teeth. This is not an assault rather it’s a consequence,or to put it another way this is dignity teaching the ignorant manners.
Of course it goes without saying that others might chose to ignore the offending clown,turn the other cheek or attempt to politely point out that those who disrespects others in all likelihood disrespects them selves.
Bring back the duel I say.
The code of the honourable duel surrounded the notion of honour. Duels were fought not so much to kill the opponent as to gain “satisfaction”, that is, to restore one’s honour by demonstrating a willingness to risk one’s life for it, and as such the tradition of duelling was reserved to the male members of nobility, in the modern era extendend to those of the upper classes more generally. From the early 17th century duels were often illegal in Europe, though in most societies where duelling was socially accepted, participants in a fair duel were not prosecuted, or if they were, were not convicted
….Duels traditionally took place at dawn, when the poor light would make the participants less likely to be seen, and to force an interval for reconsideration or sobering-up. ….@
What better way to impress on the young & or reform lairs,cheats,racists & the generally disrespectful that there are consequence therefore one would be wise to think, before one opens one’s mouth & or assaults another person’s sense of dignity. Indeed, ‘treating others as one would have others treat one’s self’ ,would in all likelihood become more of an actual reality & lived principal rather than it being just another maxim often mentioned but practiced little.
Once bitten twice shy, as the saying goes.
A person who respects him or her self and has a sense of honor-,upon reflection can not but respect others. The chances of such a person being punched in the teeth are highly unlikely- again those who respect themselves are less likely to knowingly disrespect others. Of course there will always be clowns who haven’t figured out yet how to behave in a respectful & dignified manner,some can be reasoned with ,others of the more obtuse kind well what can I say…
Bring back the duel
Indeed imagine living in a society …”in which liberty is not a matter of laws,coercive power,or shadow of government but is characterized by manners and a moral sense of right and wrong”
On a side note check out the numerous comments/reactions regarding my proposal -mostly negative…but then again you know ,you might be on to something when 7 of ten people scoff — @ Dawgs Blawg