Charlie Collins Portrait
Charles A. Collins

About the Honor Blog

This blog has been created for the purpose of exploring controversial moral problems, using the concepts explored in The Book of Honor as a foundation. Since it seeks to tackle difficult problems, readers should approach it with serious minds and should expect to have their prejudices challenged. However, an element which is central to The Book of Honor is that there are things upon which all normal humans will agree. This blog seeks out those things - it focuses on areas of agreement, rather than disagreement, so that the discussion can remain positive even in the face of serious disagreements.

The Gratiae

One of the most important conclusions reached in The Book of Honor is that acting in a good and moral way means giving value to other persons. The things which represent that value are called the gratiae, and in The Book of Honor, we learn there are three of those things:
Vitality,
Liberty, and
Dignity.

Good actions are those which support human life, which recognize the freedom and dignity of other persons. Immoral, evil actions are those which deprive persons of their lives, deny them their freedom, and/or destroy their dignity.

The Virtues

The purpose of The Book of Honor is to establish a code of conduct, a set of factors which will guide persons toward honorable behavior. Those factors are summarized in the form of seven Virtues:
Wisdom,
Courage,
Compassion,
Discipline,
Industry,
Hope, and
Humility.

These Virtues are used to guide honorable behavior; a person who considers and applies the Virtues when making decisions, when taking action, will serve the gratiae - and act in a good, moral way.

About the Author

Hopefully most of your questions about me are answered by the About page. However, within the context of this blog, I think it also is important for me to point out that:

Inevitably, controversial subjects will touch upon the political arena. There is no way to remove all bias from a discussion - so I believe the best thing I can do is to let you know that I am Catholic, and inclined toward conservatism.

Previous Posts


Jan 16, 2022: Un-Masking Motivations

Sep 22, 2021: Thalidomide

Apr 4, 2021: Escaping Politics

Aug 31, 2020: Handling Embarrassing Flaws

Jun 19, 2020: A Sign of Sickness in Education

May 10, 2020: Noble Self-Sacrifice

The Honor Blog

Today is: Sep 25, 2022
Post From: Jan 16, 2022

Un-Masking Motivations

About a week ago, the Douglas County Health director imposed a mask mandate on the City of Omaha. Many aspects of that decision have been debated in public - the legal character of the mandate, whether it will be effective from a practical and medical point of view, and what the mandate reveals about the willingness of Americans to submit to authority are amongst those.

Those are interesting topics, but I want to use this space to address a different question. I think we should ask "Why?" What is the motivation for imposing a mask mandate?

The answer, expressed succinctly, is fear. The people demanding mask mandates are afraid of the spread of COVID. They are afraid of the virus, afraid they will get sick, afraid their loved ones will get sick.

Note that at this point I have not offered any thoughts on whether that fear is justified or rational or reasonable. At this point, I simply want the motivation to be identified accurately: people who support mask mandates are doing so out of fear.

Of course, truly understanding a decision requires that it be examined from the other side, as well. Therefore, we must ask what motivates those who resist mask mandates.

That answer is a little bit more difficult to articulate, because it touches on things which are not tangible. People who object to masks point out that masks have a terribly negative effect on communication, not just because they impede speech, but because they prevent people from seeing changes in expression, deny the use of non-verbal cues, and disconnect humans from one another.

In short, people who oppose mask mandates do so because masks are de-humanizing. Masks weaken the connections between people, interfere with the development of relationships, and erode mental and emotional health.

There it is in a nutshell: As you assess your own reaction to mask mandates, bear in mind that what you really are trying to balance is your fear of physical, material illness against the spiritual, human cost of isolating people from one another.

For myself, I am decisively on the side of building relationships and emotional connections.