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Honor Among Men
Who Behaves More Honorably: Men, Women, or Martial Artists?
© 2013 James LaFond
NOV/18/13
For the past 12 months I have conducted my own small scale study with my own meager funds. I have always been adverse to lending money, as I know those who require loans are unlikely to pay them back. Last Thanksgiving week I began loaning money to people who I know. In all of human history, there is no measure of honor more universal than the obligation to pay back a debt, either moral or material. I have just tallied the results and present them below. Arriving at percentages based on such small numbers is of dubious value.
I was interested in the answers to the following questions:
Repaying the Poor
Will most people pay back money borrowed from a poorer individual, with lower income, fewer possessions, and a lower standard of living?
After I pay my rent and transportation, I have a disposable income of $40 per week, with which to feed and entertain myself, and set aside money for writing supplies, training equipment and dental expenses. I have no provision for general medical. My body must heal itself for free. So, free of the allure of not paying back a better-off person, how many folks will pay back a poorer person?
Of the 17 individuals I loaned money to 13 paid me back, resulting in $280 of the $374 I loaned out being repaid, which is double my weekly income, and was therefore a significant recovery of capital. Interestingly enough, of the 4 people who declined to pay me back, 3 of them borrowed more than the median amount, with one accounting for the largest single loan made.
Are Men more Honorable than Women?
Most cultures that value honor as a binding concept have traditionally exempted women from this form of obligatory networking.
Of the 6 females, all repaid their debts.
Of the 11 males over a third [4] declined to repay their debts.
Are Cross-racial Debts Less Likely to be Honored?
It is commonly assumed by most social commentators that honor-based contracts are more likely to be respected by members of the same group.
Of the 4 people who declined to honor their debt, 3 were Caucasian and only 1 was other.
Out of the 11 same-race debts 3 were not repaid.
Out of the 6 different-race debts 1 was not repaid, making different-race debts twice as likely to be repaid as same-race obligations.
Are Martial Artists More Honorable Than Others?
It is widely assumed by martial artists in particular and people in general, that martial artists are more honorable than the common person, this being a reflection of the self-enforced discipline required to become skilled in a combat art. I will not divulge the arts practiced by those 4 dishonorable martial artists present in this tiny survey, as this would permit their identities to be deduced. I can say that the average length of their martial arts career exceeded 10 years.
Of the 4 who did not repay, 4 were martial artists.
Of the 8 martial artists who owed a debt, only half repaid it.
Of the 9 non-martial artists who owed a debt, all repaid it.
Note
This is a tiny, personal survey, and should not be extrapolated to explain or predict the actions of larger populations. You may, though, wish to conduct your own personal survey of those you work, train, or live with, if only to identify the dishonorable elements among your associates, so you might have a better appreciation of their character. Then, when the Zombie Apocalypse hits, you won’t need Brad Pitt for reliable companionship, but might look to the honorable people in your life for mutual support.
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