Using the title "Dr." based on an honorary doctorate

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by RAM PhD, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    It wasn't that way 10+ years ago, but now it's all the rage to have "Dr." before the ministers name. Even Jack Van Impe and Rexella have unaccredited doctorates which are purchased. Everybody in religious circles is a doctor now. Ok, not everybody -- but a lot!
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I don't agree with RAM on this either, but... seriously?
     
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Is it RA, DETC, unaccredited or other?
     
  4. scottae316

    scottae316 New Member

    It is my understanding that honorary degrees are usually conferred on someone who has achieved in their life and career so much that it is somewhat the same as the work for a doctorate. Now I also know that commencement speakers who give large gifts are also "honored" in this way. To me, if you have had the honorary doctorate conferred then fine if you enjoy using the term, do it. To me it is not a big deal. I also agree with StefanM about many in church circles using the title Dr. from unearned degrees. As long as they do not try to pass themselves off as having earned a doctorate, it really doesn't matter.
     
  5. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    From a legitimately accredited institution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2012
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Certainly. For example, no one would question the body of work compiled by Dr. Kermit the Frog, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Amphibious Letters degree in 1996 at regionally accredited Southampton College. He also gave the Commencement Address:

    Silly, perhaps. But harmless. No one, to my knowledge, has accused Kermit the Frog of advertising his honorary doctorate in a deceptive or misleading manner.
     
  7. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    The ethical issue (misleading/deceptive) is really in regard to perception. When one presents oneself as "Dr. John Doe" based on an honorary doctorate, the average person typically doesn't know whether it was earned or honorary, and, imho, the vast majority would no doubt assume it was earned. Why else would one use the title?
     
  8. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    What kind of accreditation?
     
  9. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Even here, the name is listed as Patty Rottmeier, not "Mayor Patty Rottmeier."
     
  10. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Non-USA RA equivalent. The school is not in the USA.
     
  11. DxD=D^2

    DxD=D^2 Member

    I have to do this... From "MUST University"... LOL

    RAM why so secretive about your PhD?
     
  12. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Oh no MUST not go there DXD. LOL.....
     
  13. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The website makes it clear that you get "bragging rights".
    That means you get the right to brag.

    How can you brag about a title if you aren't allow to use it?

    Notice that the website clearly distinguishes between a "title" and a "professional qualification".
    The website makes it clear that you get no official duties or responsibilities, i.e. no actual political power. All you get to do is brag about the title.

    So it is silly, but harmless.
     
  14. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Why the ad hominem approach? :smile:

    An opinion is shared, then the attention is directed toward me (more specifically, toward the legitimacy of my PhD)?

    I have an earned PhD from a South African institution. The institution is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE), the Education and Training Quality Assurer (ETQA) of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
     
  15. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    I agree that it is silly (Mayor or Dr), but not always so harmless in the latter case.
     
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    We're still waiting for the real-world examples of harm.
     
  17. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Making an inquiry about the name of the university that awarded you a PhD, along with the accreditation that supports it, is not an ad hominem approach. It's simply an effort to explore and understand your assertion that it's unethical for someone with an honorary doctorate to use that title.
     
  18. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    That's true... (just to clarify) that isn't the situation that I'm referring to. Its a quality (regionally accredited) graduate school that has conferred the honorary degree.
     
  19. DxD=D^2

    DxD=D^2 Member

    Oh yes, yes, but I MUST...

    I MUST say (LOL, pun intended), that some people are really at ease about the prestige of their degrees.

    RAM, I respect your opinion, I really do. I understand your perspective. However, like others who have also mentioned, I do not believe addressing yourself as "Doctor" is unethical if an honorary doctorate was awarded. Universities do not give honorary doctorates to just anyone... there must be some significance to receive it.
     
  20. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Primarily, I'm addressing those in the ecclesiastical realm, i.e., ministers/pastors/etc., who obtain honorary doctorates, then tout the title. This seems to be the group that most readily uses the title. It isn't often (although sometimes one does see it) seen in the secular arena. I know of instances where persons have used honorary doctorates as a basis for their title, then, when discussing the issue with "laypersons," they were totally unaware that the doctorate wasn't earned. To be frank, on more than one occasion, I have seen individuals repulsed by the idea that anyone would use the title based on a degree that wasn't earned. I have seen other instances where one touted a "Dr." in front of their name, yet, could hardly express a grammatically correct sentence. Especially in the arena of clergy, imho, this should not take place. Granted, it is my opinion, but if I hadn't earned a doctorate, I would never use the title.
     

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