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The discernment of what is good and bad has for many years been a concept of binary characteristics.
Ethical values correspond to that awareness that we have to submit to moral prescriptions, we feel obliged to carry out certain activities and avoid others.
That consciousness of duty that Immanuel Kant refers to as the existence of duty, is the determination of the will with a universal character.
In this article, I explain more about ethical values: what they are, list and examples.
I. What are ethical values with examples
Ethical values are ideal considerations, functioning as behavioral guides in order to regulate the conduct of the human being. But it is necessary to be clear that ethics studies what morality is and also analyzes moral systems so that they can be applied at an individual and social level.
The ethical values are directed to "should be" that is, to what is normally accepted or socially correct.
Ethical values are principles that help human beings discern what is good and what is bad, although the concept of these words will vary for many years. Kant (1785) states that no matter how intelligently the individual acts, the results of human actions are subject to accidents and circumstances.
Immanuel Kant proposed that good will is good in itself, and not because thanks to his actions the individual can achieve a certain goal, but because he acts exclusively out of duty.
Some examples of ethical values could be the following:
- Noetic freedom or freedom of thought determines the commitment to self-determination of each one and the ability to think and act for oneself. An example of freedom of thought is the determination to give clarity and direction to our ideals, but without overshadowing or depriving the freedom of another.
- Justice, according to Simonides, implies giving each one what corresponds to him. An example of this line of thought would be to give each person what belongs to him or what is due to him (for example, giving freedom and goods to someone who has worked for them), but taking care of this definition with the analysis made by Plato: that it is not possible to give each one what corresponds to him but that it consists in possessing and doing what is proper to each one, that is, without more than that each one will receive the equivalent of what he produces and will exercise the function for the be more capable.
So then, a just man will be the one who is located precisely in the place that corresponds to him, acting as well as possible and giving back to the community the equivalent of what he receives.
An example that Plato uses to exemplify this is the following:
Returning the weapon to that friend who in his judgment entrusted us and who now in a state of alienation (madness) demands us. If the weapon, being his, would it be fair to return what belongs to him (his) to the friend who is absent from his trial? He is a person who is not qualified to have the weapon.
II. Difference Between Ethical Values and Moral Values
The difference between ethical values and moral values is that the latter refer to the group of precepts, principles and norms that are based on the customs and culture of certain groups. On the other hand, the former are directed to the reflection and analysis of the latter (of the moral), which allows a subject to discern between what is right and what is wrong, what is fair and what is not.
We thus understand that the difference between these two is that the moral ones apply to a group, while the ethical ones come from the reflection on which are moral acts and which are not.
Ethical values are usually consistent, although they can change if the subject's ideals or beliefs change or depending on a certain situation.
III. Origin of ethical values
Ethical values have gone through great stages. Previously, people based their concern on determining what was good or bad, and even when moral systems established arbitrary guidelines for behavior, they managed to evolve irrationally since they violated or circumvented religious or behavioral taboos, as well as laws. Imposed by leaders to avoid imbalances in their tribe.
In the medieval era, the influence of Christianity was presented, where it was considered that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Thus, happiness and fulfillment were achieved by communion or union of man with God.
Currently, ethical values are no longer influenced by religion and thus reason becomes the primary source of knowledge.
Read also: 40 Antivalues: definition, list and examples.
IV. List of ethical values
List of the 40 most important ethical values :
- Noetic freedom.
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