What is value? It’s not just a good deal on something you buy. It’s not just getting your money’s worth. I know – it’s a recession. We’re all worried about our finances. I get it. We are all out here struggling. But…don’t forget what is truly important.

Value is not just the verb of getting a good deal or estimating the monetary worth of a thing, despite what the ones behind the wheel of society want you to believe.

Value is also the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something (“your support is of great value”).

It USED to be something that defined a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life (“they internalize their parents’ rules and values”).

What happened to that?

Value, in a narrow sense, is that which is good, desirable, or worthwhile. Values are the motive behind purposeful action. They are the ends to which we act and they come in many forms.

Personal values are the summation of individual beliefs about right and wrong and may or may not be considered moral.

Cultural values are values accepted by religions or societies and reflect what is important in each context.

Values are essential to ethics. Ethics is concerned with human actions, and the choice of those actions. Ethics evaluates those actions, and the values that underlie them.

Ethics determine which values should be pursued, and which shouldn’t. Courage is one such value. Those who value courage are willing to stand up for what they believe, even in the face of strong condemnation.

I’m a proponent of virtue ethics because it holds that moral values can be turned into excellences of character with practice and repetition. We become virtuous by being virtuous. We use practical wisdom to make decisions about what virtuous behavior is. It all makes sense — at least to me.

From a virtue perspective, it is most important to distinguish intrinsic from extrinsic value. Intrinsic value is something that has value in its own right, such as honesty and kindness, whereas extrinsic value is doing something for another reason (i.e., wealth and fame).

I believe what’s missing in society today is the commitment to core ethical values that all people should strive to achieve, such as honesty, kindness, compassion, respect, and personal responsibility.

These are values to be admired and illustrative of a person of integrity. Where have they gone?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: