Importance of Values and Virtues in Ethics

What are values?

Values are the keys to peaceful and smooth life. They are the guiding stones for living life with respect and dignity……

Values can be defined as the behavior, which we should aspire to internalize, but they like us often appears contradictory and inconsistent. Values can be referred to as set of beliefs which guide us to differentiate between right and wrong.

In brief, they are the reflections of our sense of right and wrong, our character and more important our spirituality. Whenever we are in a dilemma, a clear sense of values and ethical standards hold us in good position.

Principles and standards:

Values are the codes, accepted principles or standards which we use to guide in our interaction with our friends and families and in our professional life also.

However it’s important to know that values may differ from person to person and Nation to Nation but principles are universal i.e. they do not change.

Significance of values:

Values are the foundation stones or base of a sound moral character. An individual, who leads his life based on his value system, will never stumble or slip in his life and all his decisions, even during times of difficulty, would be rational and wise.

They would be his guiding principles and gives him clarity of thought and vision. The confusion in dilemma, which one faces during decision making, would be smoothed and made easy.

The fear of any consequences, which he may have to face, due to his decision, is also eliminated. Fearlessly, he would live his life with his head held high and with self-respect, dignity and pride.

Values reduce conflicts and make easy to live:

Values make life easy to measure and reduce conflicts and doubts. Values such as integrity, honesty, compassion, selflessness, and co-operation increase the personality of an individual and make him a far better human being.

It is important for each one of us to know our values and behave in a way i.e. consistent with them. Albert Einstein had rightly said, “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of values”.

When we are confronted or encountered with the question, how do I solve my problem? We will get the solution by falling back on our values.

The clouds of conflict will subside to clarity as we derive strength from within, making the solution easy. Values are virtues, ideals and qualities on which actions and beliefs are based, they shape our outlook, attitudes and conduct.

Values are innate and acquired:

Values can be innate or acquired. Innate values are inborn while acquired are assimilated from our surroundings. Divine virtues such as love, peace, happiness, mercy and compassion as well as positive moral qualities such as respect, humility, tolerance, responsibility, co-operation, honesty and simplicity are innate.

Acquired values are those adopted at the place of birth or place of growth and are influenced by immediate environment. Examples of acquired values are dress, cultural customs, traditions, habits and tendencies.

Different kinds of values:

Values may be of various kinds such as biological values, psychological values, intellectual values, moral values, cultural values etc. All this kinds of values have different characteristics but they have intrinsic or extrinsic values over growth and development of human principles.

Biological values deals with physical, survival and growth of man such as food, sports, shelter, pleasure, career, health etc. and Moral values is necessary  for our intellect and will like our choices, actions, decisions & habits.

Psychological values deals with the psychological character of human such friendship, community, companionship, family, love, life, marriage, social interaction etc. On the other hand intellectual values correspond with mental fulfillment of human like truth, science, art & religion.

At last the value that left is cultural one and it has a very significant role over values because culture and values are somewhat same. Cultural values are those values which are shared in a community such as ideals, principles, laws, customs, rituals, beliefs and tradition.

All these values have their own significance and impact over our beliefs, character, behavior and spirituality.

Conclusion and its essence:

God said that the task of each human being is to create a far better world and man asked “how can I do it? The world is such an outsized vast place, so complicated now, and that I are so small and useless, there is nothing, I can do”.

But God in his great wisdom said “just build a far better you”. A better you can be built only when you have a strong value system and lead your life in accordance with it.

Thus, never question the role of values in your life. Life without values would become unbearable and we would be looking for the dark. Values enrich our experience of life and convey happiness. So we always strive to enrich ourselves in principles or values.


Written By - Adarsh Rai


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