Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can honor exist without Dueling?

Can honor exist without dueling?

In times past, a man's honor was a sacred thing that he was more than willing to die to protect.  A slight to one's honor could only be answered by a challenge that would end with a winner and a dead man.  To issue a slight was to invite a challenge, and to issue a challenge was an invitation to a conflict that was sure to end in one person's life.   Honor was sacred.  Life was not worth living without honor.

Can you name some famous Americans who died in duels?
Alexander Hamilton may be the most famous.  He was Secretary of the Treasury at the time.  Can you name his assailant?  Aaron Burr.  He was Vice President of the USA!  It might be said that issuing duel challenges and winning them was a path to immortality.  What did they duel over?  I have no idea.  Honor, of course, but what sort of honor?

If you like to look up famous duels, click here.

Do we have that sort of sense of honor today?  Do we see it in the people we admire?  Political figures?  Sports figures?  People we know?  Ourselves?  If not, where has it gone?  What are we missing?  Has something replaced it?

Can you imagine that you would issue a challenge to a duel, or accept one?