Virtue Knights - your thoughts?

DT Strain

Spiritual Naturalist
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United States.
Hi all,

I have been thinking of some concepts for a local group I may start up sometime in the future (after completing my philosophy degree). It would be a community organization for people of all ages, religions, and backgrounds and it's aim would be to promote ethics and civic virtue in a fun way.

If you'd care to take a look, the program is explained HERE.
I would appreciate any comments or input you may have.


I think your idea is a great one, that many have had at one time or another. I have a problem with your use of the knight as a symbol, because to me the knight is a symbol of the repulsive papal machine that slaughtered many Jews and Muslims. It is not a friendly symbol to me. In addition to that, it is a symbol of war. I know for you it probably has more to do with chivalry and valor and like values than anything else but it's good to be aware of how your symbol affects other people.

There are groups with similar goals to you, perhaps different language, for instance:

(long but worth at least skimming through)

Or you might compare what you are doing with Confucianism.

Thanks Dauer! I took a look at the link you provided. Seems that they are politically left (we are politically neutral) and that they are religious (where we are open to religious and nonreligious types). Still, interesting stuff, thanks.

As for the term "knight", there have been some others that have raised this point, so I put an explanation on the site, which I quote below...

Some have asked why we use the term "Knight". Some people hear the word and immediately associate it with one brand of historical knight. They might associate the word with the historical Knights Templar, the Crusades, or bloody holy wars in general.

But what of those who are knighted in modern times, as a title of honor for their service? What of the Knights of Columbus, the Blue Knights (police organization), the Golden Knights (an Army skydiving team), the Pythian Knights (a charitable organization), the Corporate Knights (a Canadian group for corporate responsibility), and so on? For that matter, what of the fictional example of Star Wars’ Jedi Knights or Batman, whose nickname is the "Dark Knight"? What of the London Knights hockey team? Are all of these just guises for religious bloody wars?

We take the view that a Knight is a broad label, and not necessarily tied to the activities, beliefs, or actions of one particular type of knight at one period of history. While many dictionaries would, of course, include references to feudal soldiers serving a king, there are also definitions including ‘holding a nonhereditary title in recognition of personal merit or service to the country’ or ‘an upholder of a cause’. The original meaning of the word from which "knight" came (cniht) meant "man-at-arms", a military term. Knights went on, over time, to be considered more than soldiers, but fighters for a cause.

While many orders of historic knight were brutal zealots, it is the romanticized view of the noble knight that inspires the Virtue Knights’ name. The Virtue Knights too fight for a cause, although here the "fighting" is metaphorical and the causes are much different, even opposite, to those of the historical European knight. Where historic knights were dogmatic, the Virtue Knight promotes rational discourse. Where the historic knights were violent, the Virtue Knights strive for peace. Where the historic knights were religious extremists, the Virtue Knights practice religious tolerance. Where the historic knights were exclusive to one ethnicity and gender, the Virtue Knights are open to all human beings.

It makes sense that knights in medieval times would be organized according to the social structures of their time and society, and that they would stand for the beliefs of their culture. It likewise makes sense that modern knights would be organized as modern organizations and stand for modern values. The values that the modern Virtue Knight stand for are those essential to a diverse, free, and democratic world today. It is in this spirit that we utilize the "noble knight" format as a way to make promoting and living virtuously fun and exciting.
They are politically left, but they are not specifically religious. They have atheist, agnostic, humanist members etc. They state that in the article and do have non-theist members submitting to their site. As I said before, they use different language as they are unafraid to borrow language from any religion's teachings. They will also never limit themselves to those teachings.

I have no disagreements about the possible ways knight could be meant. It has meant many things to many people. I was simply sharing what it meant to me and how it may be taken by other people as well. Many terms can be justified with enough effort.