In the biblical world. Honorary Doctorates topic. Calling ones self doctor.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by JNelson467, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. JNelson467

    JNelson467 New Member

    I happened to run across this particular page and thought I would share it for those who are intersted in the whole " call me doctor" type of topics, etc. The page is at:

    I found it interesting in regards to those who have a honorary doctorate and those who actually earned a accredited doctorate. Many of whom I found and also respect have the " honorary doctorate". I was also surprised at who had honorary doctorates yet do not list themselves as " Doctor ."

    Not sure what my opinion is, but thought I would share this page as I have seen recent discussion on honorarys etc. lately.
  2. AdAstra

    AdAstra Member

    The way I see it, is as follows. There are many people out there who have made extraordinary contributions to humanity. If they are awarded honorary doctorates, then that is a wonderful acknowledgement of their achievements. These types of honoraries are generally very few and the ones I would respect would not come from insignificant institutions that themselves have never made any contributions of note to humanity.

    Honoraries that are distributed to person's whose only claim to fame is to make gzillions of dollars from being a TV personality and essentially using this medium and their message to persuade generally poor, lonely and gullible people to part with their money, have no value whatsoever other than to give these individuals even more 'credibility' in the eyes of their audience, and use this to extract even more money from them.

    An honorary doctorate should not be used as a tool for self-aggrandizement and self-promotion.
  3. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    My own idea, based on miscellaneous information from miscellaneous sources, is that most Honorary Doctoral degrees are awarded by the university in hopes that the recipient will assist them in some way in their efforts to raise money for the university. At "lesser" institutions this goal is achieved by charging a fee for the degree.
  4. AdAstra

    AdAstra Member

    Well, that is probably why those who make gzillions fooling others to part with their money are given honorary doctorates. The aim is purely selfish, and that is to get some of that loot too.

    I have not lived in the USA, and all other places that I know of used to bestow honorary doctorates not for the hope of obtaining financial favours from the bestowee, but to acknowledge their achievements. Sadly, that seems to have fallen by the wayside a long time ago, and it is probable that too many honorary doctorates are given away as a means of fattening up the institution's own coffers, not to mention that even an honorary doctorate would boost the esteem and money making power of the 'honored'.

    It's all rather unsavoury. Or maybe that's the way it has always been and I lived too long in a land of high ideals....
  5. larryjf

    larryjf New Member

    In my opinion, it's not really an honorary doctorate if it is paid for.

    There is nothing wrong with someone who has been honored with a doctorate to be called doctor. Otherwise it's really not an honor.

    It is also my understanding that the Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) is generally given only as an honorary degree, at least in most U.S. universities...

    Wikipedia reference

    I have seen many seminaries that do not have a D.D. program, but do honor people with that degree.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2006
  6. JamesK

    JamesK New Member

    Just because it grants no title or pre-nominal, it doesn't mean that it isn't an honour. There are many honours that would rank above an honorary doctorate that do not grant titles.

    Has Bill Gates KBE not been honoured? What about a recipient of the Victoria Cross?

    Besides, it is frowned upon by many countries for recipients of honorary doctorates to be addressed as doctor.
  7. larryjf

    larryjf New Member

    I don't really agree with that. I think it is quite the opposite, an honorary doctorate ONLY grants a title. That's what Doctor is, a title. It is not only a title for someone who has earned a degree, but also for someone who has been awarded one honorarily...

    From Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
    I think that argument is a little misguided. The argument is not if someone can use the title of doctor, but if someone should use it if it is honorary - the title does exist. To compare it to a medal that has no existing title is not a valid comparison. I also think that those receiving the Victoria Cross have definitely earned it.

    So if the argument is that unless you earn it you can't use the title, then the Victoria Cross recipients should have a title because they did earn it. But there is not title for them (except hero). So the comparison is at best very weak.
  8. 3$bill

    3$bill New Member

    I don't think that follows, larry. "Unless you earn it you can't use the title" implies "If you can use the title, then you earned it," not "If you earn it you can use the title." The VC is a clear counterexample.

    ~a -> ~b <--> b ->a
  9. JamesK

    JamesK New Member

    If it isn't an honour without the title, why would universities state that the title should not be used? Some examples from the UK alone.

    Staffordshire University (pdf),
    Oxford Brookes University,
    University of Central Lancashire (pdf, p79)
    University of Brighton
    University o Northumbria (doc,p30)

    It is usually worded as "It is not customary...", so while it may be used, it probably shoud not be.

    Besides, the reference to the Victoria Cross was of something not really being an honour if it didn't grant a title.

    3$bill's point is also valid.
  10. larryjf

    larryjf New Member

    There are also universities that say the title of doctor may be used with an honorary degree...

    From Queensland University of Technology regarding the honorary degree of Doctor of the University...
    Should we stop addressing Dr. Desmond Tutu with the title of doctor since his doctorates are honorary?

    Benjamin Franklin received an honorary doctroate in 1757 from Oxford University. From then on went by "Dr. Franklin"

    It seems to me that in Christian circles, even earned doctorates should be avoided as titles except perhaps in official church records and documents. It seems to smell a little of hypocrisy for someone who follows Christ to be so caught up with titles.

    Be that as it may, i still don't think it's "wrong" for an honorary recipient to use the title doctor. Especially if it's a degree that in general is only given as an honorary degree.

    Although, i also think that an official documentation should state that it is an honorary degree - perhaps by adding (h.c.) or (Honorary) to the end (firstname lastname, D.D. (h.c.))
  11. larryjf

    larryjf New Member

    Perhaps a better signature for a Christian servant could be...

    Instead of
    firstname lastname, D.D.
    we could use
    firstname lastname, Go.D.

    (i read that from another board, but i forget which one)
  12. JamesK

    JamesK New Member

    Actually, that is already claimed by the Order of St Michael and St George.

    The classes are humourously described (at least by Yes Minister) as
    CMG - Call Me God
    KCMG - Kindly Call Me God
    GCMG - God Calls Me God

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