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On Values, Ethics, Morals & Principles By

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Copyright 2001 Paul Chippendale
eMail: paul@minessence.net Web: www.minessence.net
A Values Inventory (AVI):
www.minessence.net/AValuesInventory/AboutTheAVI.aspx
On Values, Ethics, Morals &
Principles
By
Paul Chippendale
I am frequently asked, "What are the differences between values, ethics, morals and
principles?" My short answer to the question is usually, "Values motivate, morals
and ethics constrain." In other words values describe what is important in a person's
life, while ethics and morals prescribe what is or is not considered appropriate
behaviour in living one's life. Principles inform our choice of values, morals and
ethics.
"Generally speaking, value refers to the relative worth of a quality or object. Value is
what makes something desirable or undesirable" (Shockley-Zalabak 1999, p. 425).
Through applying our personal values (usually unconsciously) as benchmarks, we
continually make subjective judgments about a whole manner of things:
...we are more likely to make choices that support our value systems than
choices that will not. Let us say that financial security is a strong value for an
individual. When faced with a choice of jobs, chances are the individual will
carefully examine each organisation for potential financial and job security.
The job applicant who values financial security may well take a lower salary
offer with a well established company over a higher-paying offer from a new,
high risk venture. Another job seeker with different values, possibly adventure
and excitement, might choose the newer company simply for the potential
risk and uncertain future.
Values, therefore, become part of complex attitude sets that influence our behaviour
and the behaviour of all those with whom we interact. What we value guides not only
our personal choices but also our perceptions of the worth of others. We are more
likely, for example, to evaluate highly someone who holds the same hard-work value
we do than someone who finds work distasteful, with personal gratification a more
important value. We may also call the person lazy and worthless, a negative value
label. (Shockley-Zalabak 1999, pp. 425-426)
What then of ethics? Ethics are the standards by which behaviours are evaluated for
their morality - their rightness or wrongness. Imagine a person who has a strong value
of achievement and success. Knowing only that this value is important to them gives
us a general expectation of their behaviour, i.e. we would expect them to be goal
oriented, gaining the skills necessary to get what they want, etc. However, we cannot
know whether they will cheat to get what they want or "do an honest day's work each
day". The latter dimension is a matter of ethics and morality. Take another example, a
person has a high priority value or research/knowledge/insight. They have a career in
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Copyright 2001 Paul Chippendale
eMail: paul@minessence.net Web: www.minessence.net
A Values Inventory (AVI):
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medical research. In fact, knowing their value priority we would expect them to have
a career in some form of research, however, we do not know from their value priority
how they are likely to undergo their research. Will the person conduct experiments on
animals, or would they abhor such approaches? Again, the latter is a mater of ethical
stance and molality. Johannesen (cited Shockley-Zalabak 1999, p. 437) gives further
examples which help distinguish between values and ethics:
Concepts such as material success, individualism, efficiency, thrift, freedom,
courage, hard work, prudence, competition, patriotism, compromise, and
punctuality all are value standards that have varying degrees of potency in
contemporary American culture. But we probably would not view them
primarily as ethical standards of right and wrong. Ethical judgments focus
more precisely on degrees of rightness and wrongness in human behaviour.
In condemning someone for being inefficient, conformist, extravagant, lazy,
or late, we probably would not also claim they are unethical. However,
standards such as honesty, truthfulness, fairness, and humaneness usually
are used in making ethical judgments of rightness and wrongness in human
behaviour.
Clearly our values influence what we will determine as ethical; "however, values are
our measures of importance, where as ethics represent our judgments about right and
wrong" (Shockley-Zalabak 1999, p. 438). This close relationship between importance
and right and wrong is a powerful influence on our behaviour and how we evaluate
the behaviour of others.
Now let's move to another level. How does one go about choosing what ethics are
right? In the next section I describe the approach to answering this question I believe
best suited to today’s society.
The Principle Centric Approach to Behavioural
Choices
'Principle' is defined in Nuttall's Concise Standard Dictionary of the English
Language as, "n. the source or origin of anything;...a general truth or law
comprehending many subordinate ones;...tenet or doctrine; a settled law or rule of
action;... v.t. to impress with any tenet; to establish firmly in the mind".
In this Millennium, perhaps more than ever before, I firmly believe that we need to
reformulate a set of principles to guide us. There are two main benefits of taking a
principle centric approach to guide all human action: (1) knowing a set of principles
concerning 'the nature of things' enables us to make informed choices and judgments
as we would know, with a high degree of certainty, the likely outcomes of our actions,
(2) knowing even a few principles helps us avoid information overload. On the latter
point, Birch (1999, p. 44) says:
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Copyright 2001 Paul Chippendale
eMail: paul@minessence.net Web: www.minessence.net
A Values Inventory (AVI):
www.minessence.net/AValuesInventory/AboutTheAVI.aspx
One way in which drowning in information is overcome is by the discovery of
principles and theories that tie up a lot of information previously untied. Prior
to Charles Darwin biology was a mass of unrelated facts about nature.
Darwin tied them together in a mere three principles of evolution: random
genetic variation, struggle for existence and natural selection. So we do not
need to teach every detail that was taught to nineteenth century students. A
mere sample is necessary to illustrate the universal principles.
Before you raise your voice in protest, "What do scientific principles have to do with
informing what constitutes ethical and moral human behaviour?" Stop for a moment
and ponder the what has been institutionalised into Western society all in the name
extolling the virtue of progress through unencumbered evolution - i.e. guided by the
principles made evident by Charles Darwin. We push for free trade; level playing
fields, argue that cloning interferes with natural selection, push for de-regulation so
that competition prevails and only the fit organisations should survive, etc., etc.
But what if we've got Darwin wrong? What if the principles instead were: survival of
those who cooperate for the greater good, selection guided by a moral sense, etc. We
would have a completely different society from that which we have today.
Understanding and internalising the principles that comprise 'the nature of things'
is perhaps the single most powerful determining factor in the shaping of the society
in which we live. It is vital that we maintain a continual dialogue around principles so
those we internalise and institutionalise are up-to-date and are our current best shot at
the truth.
Some readers may be surprised to discover that Darwin believed in the evolution of a
moral sense which provided both the core drive and structure for mind (Loye 2001,
pp. 127-128):
Go the next step then, and we see that beyond ourselves he is writing of the
moral impact of the evolving mind of humanity as a whole upon the shaping
of ourselves, and upon all else that constitutes the human world.
Alas, that this should be so difficult for us to see this! But having for so long
lost the language or the social encouragement to know ourselves and the
meaning of life this way, it is asking for mind to step out into the unknown.
But we must try for the future hangs on the effort.
Defining the Good and the Bad
The following extract from the work of David Loye (2001, pp. 128-130) is used to
illustrate the use of a principle centric approach to the formulation of a morality to
guide us into the 21st Century:
An increasingly critical problem that Darwin can help us with is defining what
good is not. It is clear, for example, that it is not the use of "morality" by
rightist and authoritarian religious and political interests as a club with which
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Copyright 2001 Paul Chippendale
eMail: paul@minessence.net Web: www.minessence.net
A Values Inventory (AVI):
www.minessence.net/AValuesInventory/AboutTheAVI.aspx
to try to beat - and even in the extreme kill - all who might in any way
disagree with them.
Large buildings, even hundreds of people, are being blown up; people trying
to check a potentially disastrous population explosion globally and save rape
victims are being machine gunned; being poor is being relabelled evil; our
right to bear assault rifles is being defended as a holy cause; whole villages
are being slaughtered down to the last woman and child; and, via the
booming persuasion of the media in all its forms, political character
assignation and actual assignation is becoming an advanced art - all in the
name of Jesus, Allah, or some other supposedly unquestioned source of
"moral" law.
This is moralism, not morality. And how may the difference be defined? If we
examine closely what the Darwin in his own time and we in ours find
appalling, we see that moralism can be defined as a false, fake, or
hypocritical self-promotional 'morality.' generally designed to put down,
intimidate, or terrorise rather than be helpful to others. But what then is
morality?
...Darwin's central concept of the moral sense is what today we would call
moral sensitivity. As he makes evident in the warm wonder and all the ins
and outs of his tales of goodness at work in the so-called animal world, but
also more abstractly at our level, this is the ability to emphasise, to feel
sympathy for, to care for, to resonate to, to want to nurture, or heal, or help -
in short, to be morally sensitive to others. But what his exploration makes
clear is that he is writing about considerably more than moral sensitivity.
If we are morally sensitive to another we may resonate to their needs or
plight with mind and heart - or cognition and affection. This, however, doesn't
necessarily mean we are going to get up out of our easy chair with book or
watching television to do anything to help them. This depends on courage
and all the other components of what we call the will, or in psychological
terms, conation.
Throughout Darwin's explanation of how the moral sense developed and
operates both in animals and humans, we can see that what holds everything
together - advancing the individuals over its lifetime and the species over
aeons - is the more active involvement in the fate of one another. It is the
drive of moral agency.
An agent acts on behalf of another. Moral agency is then the force of action
on behalf of moral sensitivity and of another. A moral agent is then the
person who acts in such a way.
This is why Darwin's is actually a theory of moral agency rather than of the
moral sense, which carries only the more passive meaning that the old
philosophical term conveys.
And what is moral intelligence? Out of the grand sweep of the second and
third levels for his theory of the moral agent, the evolutionary picture Darwin
provides is of the drive of moral sensitivity. Through inspiration and
education, this drive is given the edge of moral agency. Then comes what
builds true wisdom for our species. Out of the thrust of moral agency comes
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Copyright 2001 Paul Chippendale
eMail: paul@minessence.net Web: www.minessence.net
A Values Inventory (AVI):
www.minessence.net/AValuesInventory/AboutTheAVI.aspx
learning experience that builds within us the core to higher mind of moral
intelligence.
And what of morality? It is the codes, the programming, the human software
of whatever evolutionarily prevails at any point or place in time. It is the huge
inbuilt user's manual that provides the guidelines for human-to-human and
human-to-prehuman behaviour.
It is everything that, based on the experience of the past, we have collectively
agreed to be ruled by. It is the norms, the rules, the customs, the laws, the
commandments whereby out of the power of caring, the power of reflection,
the power of language, and the power of habit, we establish social
expectancies for moral sensitivity, moral intelligence, and moral agency.
Ethics is then all the sub-booklets in mind, the sub-routines or more finely-
tuned differentiations, of how these codes are to be applied in specific
situations.
The 'moral sense' for Darwin and more broadly considered is all this. But still
it is more. Yearning for comfort and reassurance, sensing a transcendent
reality and source of meaning, for the sake of a word that might bring this
concept to earth, for thousands of years most of us have called this 'more'
God, or earlier and again increasingly in our time Goddess.
For many of us - including at least four of the greatest Asian spiritual
visionaries, Gautama, Lao Tsu, Confucius, and Mencius, as well as Darwin
historically - this has posed difficulties. However, this may be, more important
than what now or in the future this Greater Force may be called, it is
something that is more felt than named, and seems to me undeniable - and
here, too, groping in this direction can be detected in Darwin.
Out of something that is timeless and larger than ourselves, embracing the
future as well as the present and the past, there works within us something
else that additional to our experience of the past also seems to speak to us in
the shaping of all moral codes. It is simply there. Out of the evolution of the
cosmic mystery that is both within ourselves and that surrounds us,
unknowable by that part of our self we think is our mind, yet at times most
surely felt within all our being, there seems to be this voice that quietly but
persistently urges everything emergent on this earth, including ourselves, to
be the best that is in us.
The old theory encourages us to just sit back and enjoy the medium. For
supposedly the message is settled. Having been scientifically worked out and
certified by people much smarter than we are, who are we to question what
we have been and will again and again be told? Oh, sure the message may
not be what we want to hear, but the old theory affirms that this is the grim
reality we must each - as best we can - adapt to.
The new theory tells us that the message is open-ended and eternal,
stretching out of the dim past into the mists of the future for our species. It
tells us we have a voice in the shaping of the message - but that this
message needs a great deal more nurturance, and understanding, and the
assignment of much more of the power of the media to its spreading. Above
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Copyright 2001 Paul Chippendale
eMail: paul@minessence.net Web: www.minessence.net
A Values Inventory (AVI):
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all, it tells us we are not just what we more or less dutifully adapt to. Much
more importantly, we are what we refuse to adapt to.
Concluding Comments
Whether we are prepared to accept it or not, science has had a profound impact on our
world-view and our understanding of 'the nature of things'. Many of the principles
from science we unconsciously use to inform our morality and structure our society
today are in desperate need of revision. Our blind acceptance of the old interpretation
of Darwin, with its emphasis on competition and survival of the fittest is leading us
into troubled waters. Likewise the materialistic model of Newton is still powerfully
influencing us today - with its emphasis on forces and objects.
If our morality and the way we structure society today were to be informed by the
principles of today's science, what a different world we would live in. That society
would be based on: cooperative relationships rather than competition; a concept of
evolution which includes moral agency rather than blind adaptation to the
environment through random selection; emphasis on the subjective ahead of the
objective; fields and energy would be structured to enable flow in desired directions
rather than a focus on objects to be manipulated through the application of force.
References
Birch, C. 1999, Biology and the Riddle of Life, University of New South Wales press,
Sydney.
Loye, D. 2001, 'Rethinking Darwin: A Vision for the 21st Century', Journal of
Futures Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 121-136.
Shockley-Zalabak, P. 1999, Fundamentals of Organisational Communication:
Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, Values, Longman: New York.
... un complejo conjunto de actitudes que influencian su comportamiento, pero que además afecta y somete a juicio el de los otros (Chippendale, 2001). ...
... Los principios, por otra parte, se construyen con base en los valores y se definen como una verdad o ley general comprendida por varios subordinados que marca una acción (Chippendale, 2001). Charterina (1995) los define como pautas mediante las cuales se ponen en práctica los valores. ...
... Los principios, entendidos como normas o ideas fundamentales que rigen el pensamiento o la conducta humana, son consideradas determinantes para la supervivencia y éxito de una organización y sirven de pauta o guía de acción para las políticas y actividades; asimismo, permiten poner en práctica los valores de los socios, además de apoyar la toma de decisiones (Chippendale, 2001;García-Martí, 2000;Martínez-Charterina, 1995;Vargas-Sánchez, 1995). éticos cooperativos son la transparencia, honestidad, responsabilidad social y vocación social, en los cuales profundizaremos más adelante (Fernandez, 1995;García-Martí, 2000;Martínez-Charterina, 1995). ...
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En México las cooperativas surgen después de los gobiernos emanados de la revolución con el objetivo de impulsar el desarrollo rural y ser una fuente de generación de empleos. Estas organizaciones representan a grupos de importancia económica y social que dan sustento a muchas familias y hoy en día enfrentan problemas de competitividad y un deterioro en sus estructuras organizativas. El objetivo de esta investigación es identificar en qué medida se lleva a cabo la gobernanza cooperativa y cómo se relaciona con las condiciones que permiten mejorar la competitividad de las sociedades cooperativas pesqueras ribereñas, para proponer estrategias de desarrollo local. El fundamento teórico parte de la gobernanza cooperativa definida como la capacidad de estas organizaciones para cumplir con su propósito o identidad cooperativa. Para abordar el problema de investigación se parte de la hipótesis que señala que la gobernanza cooperativa permite mejorar la condición competitiva de las cooperativas de pescadores ribereños. La verificación de este postulado se realizó a partir del análisis de las sociedades cooperativas de producción pesquera (S.C.P.P.) con permiso o concesión de pesca comercial de camarón, ubicadas en el sistema lagunar Topolobampo-Ohuira-Santa María, Ahome, Sinaloa, México. Se realizaron entrevistas a actores clave y se analizó la información con la técnica de análisis clásico del contenido. Se pudo corroborar que la gobernanza cooperativa permite mejorar la condición competitiva de las cooperativas de pescadores ribereños; el estudio mostró que en la cooperativa con mejores condiciones competitivas lleva a cabo un mayor nivel de gobernanza cooperativa. En contraste, la organización que presenta un menor nivel de gobernanza cooperativa es la que exhibe condiciones competitivas menos favorables. Palabras Clave: Competencia, cooperación, gobernanza, cooperativas, competitividad
... Morals are standards of behaviour that 'are concerned with how we live our values' (Chippendale, 1998). Morals signify 'actions and standpoints (praxis)' (Norberg, 2003:1). ...
... Morals signify 'actions and standpoints (praxis)' (Norberg, 2003:1). They are generally derived from principles passed on to us through the teachings of a particular culture or religion (Chippendale, 1998) (Turiel, 1980:71). He further states that social conventions 'constitute shared knowledge of uniformities in social interactions and are determined by the social system in which they are formed.' ...
... Values are used to evaluate the merits and demerits of a thing (Differencesbetween.net, 2009). A person's values 'gives a reasonable idea of what type of life-style the person is leading/or wants to lead' (Chippendale, 1998). They are 'implicit, explicit assertions of what is desirable, important, useful or worthy. ...
... It also includes the need to act in accordance with the principles of right and wrong governing the conduct of a particular group, such as doctors and lawyers (Oliver 1992). Paul (2001) frequently asked, "What are the differences between values and ethics?" his short answer to the question is usually, "Values motivate and ethics constrain." In other words, values describe what is important in a person's life, while ethics prescribe what is or is not considered appropriate behaviour in living one's life. ...
... importance, whereas ethics represent our judgments about right and wrong" (Shockley-Zalabak, 1999). This close relationship between importance and right and wrong is a powerful influence on our behaviour and how we evaluate the behaviour of others (Paul 2001). ...
... 9,31-35 • Serve as a source of motivation for people. 36 • Be of great significance 6 that people are ready to bear difficulties or sacrifice their interests to realize them. 37 • Not be restricted to a specific situation (trans-situational). 9,24,25 • Be goal-oriented nature for people and society. ...
... Numerous studies, have highlighted on the concept of value and its related dimensions. 7,9,25,26,31,35,36,54,55,57 Some studies discussed some of the differences or similarities between values and other concepts. 10,55 Yet, none have attempted to spell out the concept of value within the context of health policy-making. ...
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... In the light of major corporate failures and economic scandals all over the world, business ethics have attracted a paramount importance in managerial competence and responsibility (Ragab Rizk, 2008) because ethics prescribe what is considered appropriate behavior and what is not seen right to do in living one's life (Chippendale, 2001). Only in keeping the ethics in the center explicitly can welfare economics be enriched (Sen, 1999). ...
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En este trabajo, se planteó como objetivo mostrar si se lleva a cabo la gobernanza cooperativa y si ello se relaciona con las condiciones que permiten mejorar la competitividad de las sociedades cooperativas pesqueras ribereñas para proponer estrategias de desarrollo local. Se realizó un análisis de las sociedades cooperativas de producción pesquera con permiso o concesión de pesca comercial de camarón, ubicadas en el sistema lagunar Topolobampo-Ohuira-Santa María, Ahome, Sinaloa, México. Se realizaron entrevistas a actores clave y se analizó la información con la técnica de análisis clásico del contenido.
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