What are Values
Values are those principles, virtues or qualities that characterize a person, an action or an object that are considered typically positive or of great importance by a social group .
Values are those qualities that stand out in each individual and that, in turn, prompt them to act in one way or another because they are part of their beliefs, determine their behaviors and express their interests and feelings.
In this sense, values define people’s thoughts and how they want to live and share their experiences with those around them.
However, there are also a series of values that are shared by society and that establish the behaviors and attitudes of people in general, with the aim of achieving collective well-being.
For example, freedom is a human value that all of us possess to make our decisions and to express our feelings and opinions.
Now, when it comes to those values that are applied to a group of people in which cultures and social characteristics are taken into account, then the reference is made to social values and cultural values.
Also, in more specific contexts also other groups are determined important values such as family values, the religious values, among others.
On the other hand, axiology is the branch of philosophy that has as its object of study values and value judgments.
- What are Values
- Ethical values and moral values
- Ethical Values
- Moral Values
- Scale of values
- Human Values
- Cultural Values
- Social Values
Ethical values and moral values
The terms ethical and moral deal with, among other topics, the concept of values. Although in many cases ethical values and moral values are spoken interchangeably, these terms do not have the same meaning.
The ethical values are those behavioral patterns that seek to regulate the behavior of people, are universal and are acquired during the individual development of each person.
For its part, moral values are those transmitted by society, from generation to generation, which, in some cases, maybe determined by religious doctrine. Furthermore, moral values can be modified over time.
Ethical values are behavioral guides that regulate the conduct of an individual . In the first place, ethics is the branch of philosophy that studies what is moral and performs an analysis of the moral system to be applied at the individual and social level.
Among the most relevant ethical values can be mentioned: justice, freedom, respect, responsibility, integrity, loyalty, honesty, fairness, among others.
Ethical values are acquired during the individual development of each human being with experience in the family, social, school environment, and even through the media.
Ethical values demonstrate the personality of the individual, a positive or negative image, as a consequence of his conduct. Also, you can appreciate the convictions, feelings and interests that the person has.
For example, the individual who fights for justice and freedom, values considered as positive, are the reflection of a just person. But, on the contrary, a human being apathetic towards these values and who gives some support to injustices is observed.
Therefore, ethical values allow regulating the behavior of the individual to achieve collective well-being and harmonious and peaceful coexistence in society.
Etymologically, the word ethics is of Greek origin ethos which means “habit or custom” and the suffix ico that expresses “relative to”.
Relative ethical values
Ethical values can be relative by virtue of the point of view that each individual has.
For example, for a person it is synonymous with responsibility to be punctual at their workplace. However, for another this situation is not considered as something of relevance, so you may be late for your job and not feel irresponsible.
Therefore, it should be mentioned that there are many people who do not share opinions or respect the different points of view of others. That is, what for some is an ethical or positive attitude, necessarily, is not for others.
Absolute ethical values
Ethical values can also be absolute by virtue of what is considered a habit or custom practiced by the entire society. They are not subjective and their meaning remains unchanged beyond personal or collective experiences.
That is, in general terms and beyond the existing cultural differences between people, we are all capable of recognizing what solidarity or respect is, as well as identifying those acts considered as good or bad.
For example, all individuals know or recognize what cordiality is regardless of whether or not they practice it with those around them.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that the human being lives in a constant ethical judgment, which refers to reasoning and determining which action, conduct or attitude is the most successful at a given moment , based on the norms and values imposed by the society.
When the individual is faced with ethical judgment, it is important to understand the ethical problem, seek the best solution that does not harm other individuals, and reflect on why it was the best solution to that situation.
Ethical and moral values
Ethical values also include moral values, which are those that allow us to differentiate between good and bad, and just and unfair in a given situation or circumstance.
Moral judgment is the mental act that allows the individual to determine his attitude towards what is right and wrong.
Ethical and human values
Human values are the properties, qualities, or characteristics that an individual possesses. Likewise, these values are universal and dynamic, they are shared in all cultures and, they determine the guidelines and norms of coherent behavior, therefore they are related to ethical values.
Moral values are known as the set of norms and customs that are transmitted by society to the individual and that represent the good or correct way of acting.
In this sense, moral values allow us to differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong, right and wrong .
As such, moral values are introduced from early childhood by parents or authority figures, and later, at the school stage, to be reinforced by teachers.
Many of them are also determined by the religion we practice and many others are so ingrained in our societies that their violation can even lead to legal sanctions.
Moral values are, for example, honesty, respect, gratitude, loyalty, tolerance, solidarity, generosity, friendship, kindness and humility, among others.
There are also certain hierarchical scales between moral values that, in the midst of conflict, force us to prioritize one over the other.
For example, loyalty is essential in a friendship, but if a friend has committed a crime and the police question us, the correct thing would be for us to privilege the value of honesty over our loyalty.
Similarly, in certain situations we can alternate between one and the other value.
For example, if we are very happy celebrating an important date, with music at full volume for a few hours, our neighbors will understand that they must put tolerance into practice. But if we exceed the duration of the celebration, and at one in the morning we still keep the volume to the maximum, then our neighbors will have every right to demand respect for their dream.
Moral values are fundamental to achieve a climate of harmony and coexistence in societies, in this sense, they can be regulated by society itself through social sanctions, private order, or through penalties or punishments provided for in the legal code of the country.
Moral values and ethical values
Although it is often spoken interchangeably of moral values and ethical values, there is a differentiation between one and the other. The ethical values are constituted by a set of rules or guidelines governing the conduct of individuals, such as truth, justice, freedom and responsibility.
While moral values refer to the set of practices or customs common to a society, aimed at establishing a differentiation between the correct or positive way of acting, and the incorrect or negative one.
Scale of values
The scale of values is a list that establishes the order of importance of the values that each individual and social group consider correct, such as respect, humility, tolerance, solidarity and many others.
People learn and put into practice a series of values that are instilled in the family, from generation to generation, as they grow. Also, this list of values is increasing as new experiences are lived and learned from.
In this sense, people accumulate a great deal of knowledge that allows them to rank values and question when an attitude is appropriate or not, in order to promote personal well-being and that of all those around them.
Therefore, the scale of values is modifiable over time and, as decided by each person or society, taking into account what is considered most important from the moral and ethical point of view.
For some it will be love, respect, friendship; for others, family, tolerance or commitment. All individuals have a different scale of moral, family, work, social and cultural values, but which are generally similar.
Hence, the hierarchical order of the values is important because it allows determining which qualities or actions are considered good and correct or bad and negative.
The scale of values regulates the behavior of individuals and allows them to establish the way in which they should act before the various circumstances to face during life.
Therefore, people must be clear about how their scale of values is constituted in order to be honest with their own ideals and fulfill their principles, otherwise they would be acting against their values and beliefs.
Also, it is worth mentioning that there is a more generalized scale of values that belongs to the social group of which everyone is a part of as a citizen and in which ethical, moral and cultural are shared.
Each individual must make an effort to complement and spin their personal scale of values with the social scale, in order to focus on being a citizen who acts correctly, not only for the individual but for a social purpose. Consequently, the better the social relations.
Importance of the scale value
The importance of the scale of values is based on the minimum recognition of the most important values for each individual. In this way, the person will know how to differentiate the good from the bad and establish an attitude of life that allows him to be consistent with his value.
Otherwise, lacking a scale of value can lead to people’s vulnerability and inability to respond to cheating, abuse or bad intentions by third parties.
Therefore, it is important to build a scale of value based on love, loyalty, respect, honesty, peace, unity, love of neighbor, in order to avoid inequalities and injustices.
Human values are known as the set of virtues that a person or organization possesses , which determine behavior and interaction with other individuals and space.
Human values encompass all those actions that are considered correct, so they are also related to moral value, which is those that regulate the behavior of individuals.
Likewise, moral values correspond to ethical value and social values that, together, constitute the established rules to achieve a healthy coexistence in society.
In this sense, human value are those that establish and regulate people’s actions , surpass any cultural barrier and their purpose is that the virtues of the human being stand out for generating general and individual well-being.
Now, among the most outstanding human value we can mention the following: honesty, responsibility, respect, tolerance, gratitude, love, solidarity, freedom, among others.
When human values are put into practice, good actions are generated that have a positive impact on society, can transcend time and encourage individuals to give greater importance to what is really important.
On the other hand, it should be noted that there are a set of human values that are also part of the universal value, this is because they are common in different cultures, for example, respect, responsibility, honesty, solidarity, truth, honor or peace.
However, it should be mentioned that in contrast there are human values appreciated as relative, since they are not considered common in all societies or are not permanent over time.
Human values are important for their contribution to improve society and bring dignity to the person.
Unfortunately, today there is a crisis and loss of human value that affects humanity in a negative way due to the selfish, hateful, cruel and violent form that is observed between social relationships. For example young people who do not respect the elderly, crime, prostitution, among others.
Due to the above, good examples in society through the use of human values are essential in order to achieve a peaceful and bearable coexistence between individuals.
Characteristics of human values
Next, the characteristics that human values possess are determined.
- Hierarchy: there are values that are considered superior and others that are inferior, although this does not diminish their importance in their daily practices. In this sense, a scale of values is appreciated in which some values prevail over others when there is a conflict.
- Polarity: the values are presented in a positive sense, but they can also lead to a counter value.
- Dynamism: values are transformed as time passes, therefore they give meaning to human life and society.
- Integrality: each value is an integral abstraction in itself.
Cultural values are those that represent a set of beliefs, languages, customs, traditions and relationships that identify a society or group of people.
The cultural heritage of a society, community or ethnic group is compiled in cultural values, therefore, they are different and exclusive in each social group.
Likewise, cultural values make it possible to establish the cultural identity of people, their habits, attitudes and social characteristics.
For this reason, cultural values can be differentiated between different communities, regardless of whether there is a series of shared human and social values.
In this case, the importance of material and immaterial goods that make up cultural values prevails. For example, respecting a national symbol, showing admiration for an illustrious person in history, caring for national parks, respecting indigenous ethnic groups, among others.
Cultural values allow people to identify with a social group, generate a sense of belonging and roots in the customs that were taught to them throughout their lives.
Values and culture
It is important to remember that values are the qualities, characteristics and principles that are considered positive for people to put into practice and demonstrate the best of their way of being.
On the other hand, the meaning of culture encompasses all those knowledge, beliefs, traditions, gastronomies, artistic, literary expressions and habits that identify a group of people who belong to a region or country.
By unifying both meanings, the term cultural values is obtained, which exposes the broad sense of belonging that individuals feel towards their customs, qualities and way of life.
Cultural values promote the roots that individuals have for their customs and traditions. They are part of a legacy that is passed from one generation to another over time.
However, cultural values may change in connotation or importance based on the social and cultural changes that take place. Therefore, they are abstract and changeable over time.
Importance of cultural values
The importance of cultural values lies in generating in people a greater character of integrity and responsibility, as well as a sense of belonging to their roots and culture.
When people promote these values in the other members of society, they are opening the doors to the understanding and acceptance of the differences with respect to other people.
Tolerance, respect, equality, freedom of worship, among others, are some examples of the culture that are practiced.
Examples of cultural values
There are many examples of cultural values. However, some are named in order to better expose their importance and closeness to daily activities.
Traditions are a fundamental part of cultural, therefore, maintaining their inherited practices is an example of value and respect for each person’s own origins.
There is a wide diversity of expressions of spirituality and ritual or faith practices that have been extended throughout the world, and that identify people with a particular social group. The religion practiced by those around us must be respected.
Companies must have a series of rules and regulations that establish the acts that are considered ethical and correct before those that are not. All citizens have the same rights and duties before the law. Justice is a value that responds to the need to maintain and promote social order.
Greeting with kiss
Many societies traditionally have cultural traditions including one, two or more kisses when greeting and saying goodbye to people. It is an act that indicates affection, esteem and friendship. However, it is not considered cultural value in many societies.
Generosity is a cultural value that has been transmitted through time, it allows people to give themselves the opportunity to help others and to try to understand their situations. It is an act of giving support without expecting anything in return and implies respect and solidarity.
Punctuality is a synonym for respect and responsibility. In many societies, being unpunctual is frowned upon, it is considered a lack of respect and seriousness towards a commitment.
National identity has to do with the sense of belonging that an individual feels and cultivates towards a place and a society. It also refers to the possibility of having a nationality and a set of shared customs.
Social values are a set of values recognized as part of the social behavior expected of people who are part of a community.
Social values are a classification of values in general, understanding that they are a representation of the qualities and virtues that possess and represent a person, fact or object.
Also, it can be said that social values aim to achieve and maintain balance in the behavior of individuals . However, sometimes the values can generate counter values from their interpretation.
For example, when the value of respect is practiced in a group of friends, it is known that they will not generate insults or mistreatment beyond disagreements for one reason or another. This is possible because friendship comes before any misunderstanding or discussion.
The importance of social values is that they strengthen human relationships , which is why the need to put into practice respect, friendship, justice, freedom, love, honesty, tolerance and other values is recognized, with the purpose of seeking a better future.
It is important to highlight that social values can be adjusted or reorganized over time and, as the needs of society and individuals change.
Therefore, there is no strict order of what are the most important social values. Today it may be respect, but in the future it may be freedom.
Hence, social values are considered transcendental, since they intervene in the individual or social actions of people in order to achieve better living conditions.
No social value acts independently because, together, they form a chain of values that, when repeated over and over, forge positive results.
Examples of social values
There are various values that can be considered as social values. However, it is important to expose what are the main social values and their examples.
Respect is a value highly appreciated by people. It is important, above all, to respect yourself and to respect others. It is a way of recognizing that all individuals are important regardless of the differences that exist between us.
For example, listening carefully to a partner’s opinion, even when they don’t share the same ideas, is synonymous with respect.
Putting justice into practice can be a difficult task, especially since it is about respecting and safeguarding, in a balanced way, the rights and duties of individuals in society.
For example, when a person cheats another through the sale of a vehicle with hidden mechanical problems, the person must be penalized as established by law for causing damage and deceiving the buyer.
Loving yourself as an individual and loving those around us is a value that generates happiness and comfort. To love is to respect and accept others as they are, to recognize their freedom of thought and action. It also involves giving support without asking for anything in return.
For example, it is love when we accept a friend as he is and beyond the differences that may exist between the two, because we do not judge him, on the contrary, we help him to overcome himself and be better every day.
Freedom refers to being free to express our feelings, to be the person we want but without harming those around us. Freedom to be and do what you want. However, by acting wrongly before the law you can limit an individual’s freedom.
For example, people are free to enter a store and see the exhibition of objects which they can touch and compare with others, but they are not free to take what they want without paying their monetary value. If we do, we would be committing a crime and breaking the law, the penalty of which can deprive us of liberty.
Tolerance refers to accepting that we are all unique beings with strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, differences will always exist and the important thing is to recognize them and know how to respect them.
For example, opinions on the results of a soccer game may be very different for the spectators. However, the tolerant person knows how to listen and share his opinion without generating discussions or superimposing his word on others.
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