Values Can Be a Nebulous Concept

Values express the meaning of human attitudes towards the reality, thereby explaining the motivation of human behavior: “We do something because we find value in… Conversely, we do not do something because there is no value in the activity” (Anderson, 2010). While the idea of values is personal in its conception and execution, values do come from the society we live in (Anderson, 2010). Just as development is an essential feature of life, so are changes in values an essential feature of social development. And though researchers into human motivation assert a consistency in the things people value in life (“How Values Work”, n. d.), there is a difference in how strongly these values are hold, as well as in the way they are interpreted. A vivid example of inconsistency in values is the different interpretation of moral values by moral philosophers, resulting in the emergence of ethical theories. Thus, we have the theory of relativism that has no universal norms of right and wrong, because people can have opposite moral views which can be equally right; the divine command theory which claims that good actions are aligned with the will of God and bad ones are, accordingly, contrary to the will of God; Kant’s Categorical Imperative that is rational; utilitarianism that calls the action moral, if an individual or a community is motivated by one’s own benefit; and social contract theory that insists on social cooperation, because people are not capable to create anything of value (Quinn, 2006, pp. 53-96). Not only do these theories approach the concept of the highest moral from different perspectives, but they also have sub theories inside of them, showing that the same values may shift in significance, once they are review by philosophers. At the level of the society, the shift in values can be traced in worldwide trends. For instance, the trend towards democracy in the last decades of the 20th century – a transition from authoritarian to democratic rule – implies that the society proceeded from certain values towards another (Abramson & Inglehart, 2009, p. 2). It is due to this nebulosity that the whole human history is actually a history of values.

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