Difference between Morals and Values
Key Difference: Morals are a set of rules that differentiate the right from wrong based on the belief system of society, culture, religion, etc. Values are a set of rules that are set by an individual person.
Morals and values are a part of an individual’s lives. They often dictate the behavior, personality and the way of living for a particular individual. Though many people believe that they are the same and can be used interchangeably, they are mistaken. These two terms are related to each other and do often correlate in a person’s life; however they are different from each other in many ways.
Morals are a set of rules that differentiate the right from wrong based on the belief system of society, culture, religion, etc. These are ethics that have already been set for us and we have to conform to them while growing up. From the moment that a person is born, they are often told that steeling is bad, being polite is good, offering help is good and being mean is bad. These are examples of morals, which have been passed down in generations. Morals vary significantly depending on the region, culture, religion etc. Many cultures stated that Gods demand a human sacrifice and this was morally acceptable; however other cultures state that murder of any person, under any condition is morally wrong.
Merriam Webster defines ‘moral’ as, “of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior; conforming to a standard of right behavior; sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment; capable of right and wrong action.”
Values are a set of rules that are defined by an individual person. It can be influenced by morals, family, background, upbringing, etc. Personal values are believed to provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive, etc. They are significant to the behavior of a person. They determine how the individual’s behavior will be during his lifetime. For example, if a person believes that women should be inferior, he would go on to treat women as inferior beings even if the law states that men and women are all equal. Values can be influenced by morals, religion, or society; however they are not required to be. Examples of values include: respect, honor, patriotism, compassion, honesty, etc.
BusinessDictionary.com defines ‘value’ as: “Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person's behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations. Some common business values are fairness, innovation and community involvement.”
Morals and values play an important part in determining the path of an individual. It also helps shape the individual to the type of person he will be. While morals guide that he on the right path according to the law, society, the religion he follows; values guide that he is following the path that he believes he should follow as a person. In many cases, people are so pressured to follow morals that belong to the society, that they disregard their own values. There should a proper balance of morals and values in a person’s life.
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