40 Moral values: list and examples


In this article, I will share and explain moral values: list and examples. I will also discuss the negative consequences of moral values on mental health.

Table of contents

Each of us is, to some extent, forced to stick to certain family priorities. Following these priorities leads us to the regulation of our behaviors that in turn allows us to achieve, perhaps, a kind of acceptance and adaptation.

Moral values ​​function as the foundation of what our answers will ever correspond to. That is why in this article I share and explain moral values: list and examples.

Moral values list

I. What are values?

Values ​​can be qualities that are captured in people, things or experiences. These qualities lead us to choose them over others that we do not like or leave us indifferent.

Ortega y Gasset (1961) argued that we capture values ​​through estimation (sensitivity will capture the qualities of physical objects; intelligence, abstract concepts; and estimation).

On the one hand, values ​​are subjective, since they exist only if a human being understands them, and they are objective, because they are a quality that objects (people, animals or situations) have when they enter into a relationship with them.

II. What are the moral values?

When we think of moral values ​​and a definition that we can give them, thoughts often come to us about justice, good, altruism, kindness, humility, self-sacrifice, love and respect for others – and many other active and almost automatic ideas of our structure.

Some other well-known definitions such as the one offered by Torres Triana, (2009), where moral value is understood as:

The positive social meaning, good, as opposed to evil, which guides the attitude and behavior of man towards doing good, ordering his judgments about moral life and actions derived from these.

But I suggest we try to address the following question to solve the pandemonium of ideas that will be presented in the following paragraphs:

Are my moral values ​​the same as those of my friends and family? There are probably many that are repeated in my list of values ​​and in theirs too, and that makes it easier for us to relate and understand each other.

Moral values ​​can have a label (term), for example: respect, solidarity and responsibility. Our environment (family, school, friends and television) educated us with one of these three terms (values).

But this process of memetics also has differences despite having the same name (label/term). The meaning of these moral values ​​will vary by not implying the same for me and for other people.

III. List of the 40 most important moral values

List of the 40 most important moral values :

  1. Honesty.
  2. Tolerance.
  3. Freedom.
  4. Compassion.
  5. Equity.
  6. Comprehension.
  7. Discipline.
  8. Patience.
  9. Prudence.
  10. Gratitude.
  11. Abnegation.
  12. Respect.
  13. Responsibility.
  14. Loyalty.
  15. Harmony.
  16. Ambition.
  17. Selflessness.
  18. Confidence.
  19. Courage.
  20. Bravery.
  21. Modesty.
  22. Perseverance.
  23. Solidarity.
  24. Will.
  25. Self-control.
  26. Overcoming.
  27. Industriousness.
  28. Magnanimity.
  29. Objectivity.
  30. Punctuality.
  31. Learn.
  32. Fidelity.
  33. Generosity.
  34. Honor.
  35. Honesty.
  36. Strength.
  37. Discernment.
  38. Empathy.
  39. Courtesy.
  40. Collaboration.

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IV. Moral values: examples

Below you will find detailed some of the most important moral values:

  • The honesty. This moral value represents the behavior and expression of sincerity (the truth). Although analyzing this characteristic, sometimes we are compelled to lie to achieve the same objective that moral values ​​seek: to adapt ourselves by doing good to ourselves and to others. Sometimes we lie so as not to harm someone by not giving them tragic news. A variant would be to be honest with oneself.
  • Tolerance. It is respect towards ideas, beliefs or practices when they are different or contrary to one's own. Alluding to the importance of making Scott Fitzgerald's idea (1925) conscious, who points out that a first-order intelligence is the ability to have two opposing ideas present in the spirit at the same time and, despite this, not stop functioning.
  • The freedom. It is the ability of the conscience to think and act according to its own will. In itself, this definition could be analyzed from existentialism where, through this freedom, we are obliged to choose; Sartre (1943) said that we are condemned to be free; this same freedom requires being aware of the imperative of the corresponding consequences of our decisions.

V. Negative consequences of moral values on mental health

The definitions that are oriented in the opposite direction or are in disagreement with the defense of the well-known dichotomy or duality of «good and evil» in the human being are somewhat criticized: a scheme shared in the previous paragraphs where moral values ​​are associated to what is just, by acting positively well and always against evil.

These definitions consider that much of the binary thinking of good and evil tends to value themselves or their actions as pure or correct, without opening space to the possibility that these moral values ​​are based on the unconscious and shameful assumption that we all like to think well of others because we fear ourselves, Oscar Wilde (1890) called this the basis of optimism.

One of the fundamental arguments to this antithesis is the one exposed by Nietzsche (1883). This author states that traditional values ​​had lost their power in people's lives, what he called passive nihilism.

Nietzsche expresses it with his resounding proclamation “God is dead”, convinced that traditional moral values ​​represented a morality created by weak and resentful people who encouraged submissive and conformist behaviors or behaviors since these tacit values ​​worked in their interests.

It is for this reason that this author rules over the need to replace or transform traditional moral values, which would lead him to the structure of the "übermensch" (superman).

The failure of traditional moral values ​​is characterized by its unnaturalness, since it uses mandatory rules or laws that go against the fundamental instincts of life; according to Freudian theory they are against the id; for Nietzsche these values ​​are against the Dionysian and create a panegyric concept of the uniqueness of everything that represents the Apollonian.

In Discontent in Culture, Sigmund Freud (1930) states that:

The moral conscience behaves more severe and distrustful the more virtuous the man is, so that, ultimately, those who have gone furthest along the path of holiness are precisely those who are accused of the worst sinfulness.

Freud also exposes that there are two origins of guilt: one is the fear of authority, and the second is the fear of the super-ego. The former forces one to renounce the satisfaction of the instincts; the second prompt's punishment, because it is impossible to hide from the super-ego the persistence of forbidden desires.

This traditional moral conscience is the consequence of instinctual renunciation. These moral values ​​can lead to the repression of dozens or countless behaviors typical of human beings and concluding in various mental and physiological pathologies.

For example: a person who considers that "self-sacrifice" (term) should be an inescapable basis for personal growth, which implies the renunciation of most of one's own desires, interests and affections in order to benefit others.

This chronic sacrifice that also preaches "that things should be done without expecting anything in return" and then feels despair and frustration at always finding that no one is able to thank him for all those sacrifices.

This further exacerbates the predisposition to suffer one or more of the following pathologies presented in DSM5 (2013):

Nietzsche said that guilt or an altered conscience does not arise as a natural consequence of the transgression of protective norms or of the good itself, but of the cruelty of the self with itself as an inoculation of domestication.

Freud exposes the same thing in "Malaise in culture" (1930), the affirmation that the human being is indebted to the beginning of him (the origin of the gods), is what generates him over and over again this feeling of guilty commitment.

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Until next edition, take care.

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.


  1. Triana Towers. (2009). Moral values ​​in personality. Electronic Medical Journal.
  2. Sigmund Freud. (1930). Discomfort in the culture. new library. Madrid.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) . Pan American Publisher.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche. (1883). Thus spoke Zarathustra. World Literature. Barcelona.
  • Jose Ortega y Gasset. (1961). Introduction to estimation. Western Magazine. Madrid.
  • Oscar Wilde (2016). The portrait of Dorian Gray. SLU Espasa Books. Barcelona.
  • Scott Fitzgerald. (1925). The Great Gatsby. Kingdom of Cordelia. Madrid.