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Values, Ethics, Morality

Values

Values refer to the important and enduring beliefs or principles, based on which an individual makes judgement in life. Values do not attach judgement of right and wrong to a personal domain. Values refers to something that one consider to have worth in one’s life. For example – being a vegetarian, choosing materialism over spiritualism etc.

Types Intrinsic (Primary) Values which are an end in itself – education for wisdom
Instrumental (Secondary) Values which are means to an end – education for job, Gym for toned body
 

 

Nature

Universal Which do not change with context or time and remain same always – Love, truth, care, respect, peace
Evolving Change with time – Polygamy, Satipratha, LGBT, Parda system,
Change with place – Abortion, Food Preference, Collectivism vs individualism
Subjective (Relativist) Values which change with the context or situation – Killing vs Euthanasia vs killing in self defence vs capital punishment – Values which can be justified in a particular situation
Objective (Absolutist) Absolutists are the people according to whom values do not change with respect to time or context – Killing is killing no matter what

Conflicting values in contemporary times

In contemporary times all the conflicts in this world are due to non-acknowledgment of values of others. People keeping their values above of others, and not respecting the values of others become the cause for widespread differences, mistrust & intolerance in society as well as international sphere.

  • Materialism vs spiritualism
  • Hierarchy vs egalitarianism
  • Capitalism vs socialism
  • Globalization vs localization
  • Theocratic vs secular state
  • Individualism vs collectivism
Fundamentalist When one becomes colorblind that other’s values should not exist (Only his value is right) – ISIS
Global conflicts Due to conflict of values – Rising intolerance i.e. not acknowledging others values – USA vs Russia
Moral Polishing Value conflicts – Bajrang dal on valentine’s day, Cow killing vs cow vigilantes

Ethics & Morality

  • Attaching judgment to values
  • Determine right & wrong aspects of human action
Ethics Collective set of values prescribed by a group  – organization, religion, society, culture, profession – They are externally sourced by a common set of principles a group or society believes in
Morality Individual set of principles, determining right & wrong for oneself – They are internally sourced means what an individual believes in irrespective of society
E vs M They are mostly complementary to each other but in some cases are antagonistic – Inter caste marriages, Doctor treating a rapist, lawyer fighting a case for a terrorist, Khap panchayat vs individual thinking, RRM Roy vs orthodox rituals
  • Ethical values become moral on socialization; whereas consensus based codification of moral values become ethics
  • Law – Emerges out of larger consensus + Objective in nature + Codified + Binding & Enforceable

Determinants of Values / Ethics / Morality

Individual level Family Formative stage, 1st informal stage of socialization, emotive component, collectivism & helping attitude of joint family vs economic aspirations & alienation of nuclear family
School 1st formal stage of socialization, learns Discipline, Equality (EWS & Riches), Intermixing of cultures, Study of all religions
Religions Refers to selfless duty – Niskamkarma, Jakat, Lunger versus exploitation of religion – Fatwa, ISIS, Saffron vigilante
Peer Group Peer group pressure to sail with the flow or become an odd man out
Leaders Which aspire us to be like them – Raghuram Rajan, Vinod Rai, Durga Shakti Nagpal, Abraham Lincoln
Media(Print & Electronics) – Awareness vs Sensitization; Cinema – Social equality vs commodification of women
Professional Minimum standard & behaviour required in a profession – Doctor, lawyer
National level Which binds us in a common thread – Constitution, Common History, Common Enemy pre independence & post-independence

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