Straight Up with Sherri

Monday, December 13, 2004



V is for Values (continued)

Well, no one wanted to answer the question. I was planning on moving forward, but I am going to make a plea for you all to respond. I can be stubborn. (Many men can attest to this!!!)

Is there such a thing as a right or wrong set of values????

C’mon. I have never asked this question without PLENTY of feedback. All of you who read it, had an answer. You may have even debated it within yourself.

Is it possible for someone to have the wrong set of values? I would almost be willing to bet there are conservatives and liberals just chomping at the bit to debate this. Have at it. I am not going to just waltz through this for everyone. I am challenging some thought here.

Just to get the ball rolling, I base my set of values on the Bible and my belief that Jesus Christ is my risen Savior. Bottom line. Is this the right set of values, or the wrong set of values?

How about someone else who bases their values on something else?


  • I'm catching up with my reading, Sherri. :-)

    I agree, there are good and bad values. That's what morality is all about, selecting good values and living by them and up to them. I think, basically, that many people just don't put a lot of thought into analyzing their values...some of them have been so instilled by our upbringing and culture we kind of take them for granted.

    Let me start this at the cultural or civilizational level. Western culture vests value in the individual..his/her personal integrity, freedom to choose (even if the choice is wrong), freedom to live relatively unmolested as long as the individual respects the same right for others. Some non-Western cultures eschew individualism, they value the subjugation of the desires, freedom and personal integrity of the individual in order to secure the group dynamic. A "well ordered" society is the ultimate value, and if that means curtailing individual rights and championing group's rights, so be it.

    I'll think about this somemore and keep on with the discussion!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 AM  

  • So far. I have read the views of Sherri and Darleen. You two are each highly organized individuals who see a higher collective. This isn't a necessity; it's a choice. I generally agree that values drive our behavior choices, but there are other things as well. I believe that all "values" are good. The "bad" values are merely the absence of value. There are two ways this can be manifest (and I'm sure you've known people of each). There are those people we would consider to be immoral, they generally do things that we consider evil, knowing they are wrong, but their driving force is some objective that is more important than their underlying values. Thus, the objectives win and the values lose. They sin, knowing it's wrong, but the result is worth it. Then, there are those we consider to be amoral. These people seem to have no guiding compass at all. There is no apparent remorse for evil. To them, there is no such thing as sin. They really have no "values" of consequence.
    Ironically, Darleen, I tend to see the amoral as the strongest driving force toward a utopian society (with they in charge, of course).
    This leads me to a deeper question: are morals always personal, or can they be collective? What effect does a society (family, local, national, your chosen organizations) have on moality and values. Our U.S. Supreme Court likes to speak of local values, but that confuses me. I apologize for my disjoint thoughts this morning. I'm rambling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:01 AM  

  • - Is a total lack of values even possible?...

    - If it is, is that a bad thing?...

    - What was the number of the crosstown bus in "Speed"?...(paraphrasing: Did anyone get the number of that bus...)

    - Ok...Ok...I'll get serious now....Just so hard at this time of year with all the pretty ladies, delicious goodies, and holiday music.....

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 1:04 PM  

  • I think a better way to state it is:

    There are many things which it is right to value, and many things which it is wrong to value. There is also a right amount by which to value each thing. These amounts are set by God.

    I wouldn't say any of us really has "right values" or "wrong values" -- we're all at some shade of gray, where the things we value are not exactly the same as the things He values. On rare occasions, we actually value the wrong thing, or don't value the right thing -- but, more often, it's a question of degree. It's a question of whether we value freedom *as much as* He does, or whether we value love *as much as* He does, or whether we value one of those things too much in comparison to other things we value.

    On the liberal/conservative question, that's one of the biggest places where we differ -- some value the "right to choose" more highly than the "right to life", and vice versa. That's pretty easy to see. It's not as though either group values the wrong thing -- it's just that (at least) one of the groups values one of the things too much in comparison to the other.

    Another place where we differ is that, even when we have the same values and give them the same priorities, we don't always agree on the best way to protect those values. For example, most of us value freedom. We differ in that some think freedom is best served by putting Democratic governments in place in other countries, while others think freedom is best served by giving people universal health care. We all value the right thing -- we just have different ideas about the best way to serve the thing we value.

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