In this age of Facebook, Blogging, Spam, Telephone Marketing, Sarcastic Humour, where anyone of any educational stature can fill the airwaves with whatever might enter their heads at any moment - does chivalry deserve a come back?

Where is the integrity of old gone?  In the days when knights were knights and, well ....

What ever happened to this:

When examining medieval literature, chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas:

  1. Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians: this contains virtues such as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord. This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.
  2. Duties to God: this would contain being faithful to God, protecting the innocent, being faithful to the church, being the champion of good against evil, being generous and obeying God above the feudal lord.
  3. Duties to women: this is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women.
And this:

These three areas obviously overlap quite frequently in chivalry, and are often indistinguishable.

Different weight given to different areas produced different strands of chivalry:

  1. warrior chivalry, in which a knight's chief duty is to his lord, as exemplified by Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle
  2. religious chivalry, in which a knight's chief duty is to protect the innocent and serve God, as exemplified by Sir Galahad or Sir Percival in theGrail legends.
  3. courtly love chivalry, in which a knight's chief duty is to his own lady, and after her, all ladies, as exemplified by Sir Lancelot in his love for Queen Guinevere or Sir Tristan in his love for Iseult
And this:

Upon my honor,

  1. I will develop my life for the greater good. 
  2. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth. 
  3. I will never boast, but cherish humility instead. 
  4. I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word. 
  5. I will defend those who cannot defend themselves. 
  6. I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises. 
  7. I will uphold justice by being fair to all. 
  8. I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship. 
  9. I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them. 
  10. I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help. 
  11. I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven. 
  12. I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward. 

Is there a place for Chivalry in our modern times - can we integrate these values of chivalry into our quest to promote rational thinking in our modern society?

Views: 607

Replies to This Discussion

John - LOL - well what about a guy or girl for that matter - who is already married and has the getting laid thing down already - is their room for improvement on their virtues?

I just find that we have lost site of these values in our current society - sure we've got American blockbuster movies with fit guys with big guns running around saving the vulnerable - but I'm talking more the small stuff - being kind and considerate on a moment to moment level....

We just have so much sarcasm, defensiveness, abusive, name calling, ridicule etc - what about some old fashioned courtesies?

John - I don't support any sort of inequality or sexism - I'm just talking about people having a moral code for their relationships with others whether they are married to them, their children, their parents, friends, acquaintances, enemies etc. that is respectful - allows others to withdraw when beaten - and is an active effort to avoid abuse.

John - LOL - do you think so?  I was thinking more about my own behaviour actually! LOL - thinking that I could probably do with aiming to be more chivalrous in my actions...  it not something that I've needed to develop as such - but I think that myself being more mindful of those values would improve my own well being and that of those around me.

Harley - I think I know what you mean - I spent the first 10 years or so of adulthood aiming to be perfect - 

I'm more meaning that once you've realised that you're not perfect and you've gone through and done what ever you feel like for a while - saying what ever comes into you head - then maybe there's an option for considering thinking about having some rules of thumb if your conscience tells you that you need to give a bit, but your ego is telling you to do what feels good....  using it as a guide when you have the time to think it through.... and make a more informed decision.

I found Harley Faggetter's answer to this question very compelling and I think, mostly correct. The only presently appropriate definition of romantic chivalry, which is the only type that still applies, is a behavioral mindset that best expresses one's respect, care, and love for another. Because I am a man, I will speak on the case of a man's behavior toward a woman. Not all women look for the same things in a man, nor should they. And not all men look for the same character or personality traits in a woman. Thus, when a man is courting a woman, he ought to behave in such a way that best communicates his respect and care for her, based on the type of man he is, and the type of woman he is hoping to find. This may include making sure to open the door or pull out the chair, but it may not. Harley is right in that establishing a script or code of specific behavior serves no purpose today. That is not to say that none of the behavior we commonly refer to as chivalrous will apply. They very well might. But the point of being chivalrous is not to hit all points on a checklist, it is to show respect and love for another human being. And the way one would do that will obviously vary from one human being to the next. 

Dave - I was meaning more just generally in life - even in situations such as an argument with a theist - do you degrade into name calling or ridicule - or do you act with honour and act in a way that is chivalrous?

Harley - sure - I just don't consider myself sensible - I suffer from lapses in judgement and bio-chemical causal factors that impair my judgment - so as I am self aware about this - I seek to have something written on paper in order to assess my behaviour and make judgments that assist in adjustments - 

Harley - I like the idea that there was a 'code' if you like - some rules of thumb to refer to in times of need - when action needed to be questioned or thought through.  I like to have external references for that sort of thinking through.

Of course I use my judgement to assess which external 'codes' I refer to and use to what extent.

In the past I've asked my mum or cousin or friend - but sometimes it's nice to have more impartial resources to refer to, such as a chivalrous code or other.

Harley - interesting history - I feel very romantic thinking about it......  which I don't suppose was your point though...  it does make sense though that we need some sort of code to prevent war - the hunter gatherers had the erratic retaliation - http://www.wattpad.com/143828-my-ishmael-daniel-quinn?p=35 - the french had chivalry - we've now got the UN conventions - 

Can't I have:

Upon my honor,

  1. I will develop my life for the greater good. 
  2. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth. 
  3. I will never boast, but cherish humility instead. 
  4. I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word. 
  5. I will defend those who cannot defend themselves. 
  6. I will honor and respect others, and refute inequality in all its guises. 
  7. I will uphold justice by being fair to all. 
  8. I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship. 
  9. I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them. 
  10. I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help. 
  11. I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven. 
  12. I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward. 

Harley - go on pick - I'm curious...

Harley - fair enough :)

Nope, not in my book. When the very first sentence you quote says "Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians", well, my beloved ancestors, no less beloved because they were practicing Jews, were stolen from, unfairly taxed, prohibited from certain livelihoods, forced to live in ghettos, periodically raped and murdered, and finally expelled, simply for being Jews, from such virtuously chivalric countries as England, France, Spain and Germany (or, more accurately, the various German states).

This so-called "chivalry" was merely a refined version of the same old primitive ingroup/outgroup tribalism that has infected, and continues to infect so much of our world. It's nice to look at the pretty surface, but underneath, they were no better than any who came before or after them.

Or, as my ex-husband once said "At least Hitler built the autobahns!"

RSS

About

line

Update Your Membership :

Membership

line

line

Nexus on Social Media:

line

© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service