Values in Ethics UPSC Notes | EduRev

Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for UPSC CSE

UPSC : Values in Ethics UPSC Notes | EduRev

The document Values in Ethics UPSC Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for UPSC CSE.
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Human Values
  • "Values" denote the value or importance we assign to various aspects of the world around us. A value is a preference as well as the conception of the preferable. We attribute values to every human action, thus denoting its vastness.
  • Values are individual beliefs that motivate people to act one way or another. They serve as a guide for human behavior. Generally, people are predisposed to adopt the values they are raised with. People also believe that those values are "right" because they are the values of their particular culture.
  • Ethical decision-making often involves weighing values against each other and choosing which values to elevate. Conflicts can result when people have different values, leading to a clash of preferences and priorities. Some values have intrinsic worth, such as love, truth, and freedom. 
  • Other values, such as ambition, responsibility, and courage, describe traits or behaviors that are instrumental as a means to an end. However, human values are of utmost importance. Human values are defined as those values that help man live in harmony with the world. 
  • They are at the core of us being humans. Without a deep understanding of one's relationships with nature, fellow human beings, society, and a deep respect for all life, one is not really educated. 
  • The sense of equality, mutual respect, the philosophy of live and let live are the cherished results of human values. They can be thought of as socially desirable goals that are internalized through the process of conditioning, learning or socialization. Our educational system is naturally concerned with values. 
  • One of the important missions is to teach some universal basic human values: happiness, fairness, love, peace, freedom, safety, respect, responsibility, cooperation, self-reliance, equality, etc.
  • Some values are considered sacred and are moral imperatives for those who believe in them. Sacred values will seldom be compromised because they are perceived as duties rather than as factors to be weighed in decision-making. For example, standing during the National Anthem is a non-compromisable value for some people. For others it may only be a matter of choice.
  • So, whether values are sacred, have intrinsic worth, or are a means to an end, values vary among individuals and across cultures and time. 
  • However values are universally recognized as a driving force in ethical decision-making. Human values hold importance due to the benefits it has for society. They provide criteria by which we judge people, objects, actions, ideas and situations. Human values may be subjective or objective, intrinsic or extrinsic, personal or community, theoretical or practical, social, political or economic etc.
Role of Family in Inculcating Values
  • Family, society, and educational institutions are three most important factors affecting a person's values. The cultural values of harmony, equity, cooperation, democracy, peace are passed on to by the family to child.
  • The family, the basic unit of society is also the first school of value learning through examples set by the members, ethical teachings imparted by elderly. These can be through stories, life lessons etc. It is family which imparts in an individual the value of sacrifice, love, feelings, high morals etc.
  • A child's family teaches him/her how to love and respect others, thereby shaping a child's attitude towards other people in society. Family members are the immediate role models of a child who models his/her behaviour around them. 
  • Members of family inculcate moral values such as honesty, truthfulness, happiness, loyalty and integrity in children, synonymous with societal values. How a child is reared also impacts the values of child in future. 
  • For example - an authoritarian type of child rearing may develop greater authority value. It is very much possible that such children may have less concern for democratic values.
  • Family is and always the first value provider, but in recent years, its role has changed, which can be seen in children's behaviour patterns. In a modern nuclear family, the value system being imparted to a child has changed. 
  • Focus may be more on competition rather than cooperation, on individualism rather than family and collectivism, on consumerism rather than gratification and sacrifice. 
  • It is unnecessary that the values being transmitted have degraded, but they have certainly changed. Remember, values are preferences. Earlier, sharing or delayed gratification may have been a preferred value. Now it is being replaced by consumerism and instant fame. Some values over time have gained the status of being fundamental. Some on the other hand are compromised because of human weakness.
  • Sometimes, family itself teaches one to be selfish in this fiercely competitive world, say by preventing sharing notes or information with friends to maintain an edge over them in various competitions. At times, it may be in the child's interest, but ultimately, it inculcates the value of self-interest and deters him from inculcating the values of cooperation and sharing. 
  • This just shows how a modern family value is different from a traditional family value. May be in future, this will become a traditional value.
  • However, a child's value system once he/she grows up doesn't need to be similar to that of parents. One may actively discard certain values through other influences such as media, education system, friends, work, etc. and above all, self-evaluation.


Role of Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values
  • After family, it is educational institutes in which a child spends most of his time. Thus, they also have an important role in shaping the child's personality. Here, the child is introduced to the world away from the family's comfort zone. 
  • As is being witnessed today, a world evolved through narrow, exclusive and intolerant thought is full of conflicts, violence, inner tensions and war. 
  • Therefore, there is a need for a world evolved through harmony, tolerance, peace, and concern for achieving human sustenance. Value education helps in achieving these goals. In a school, the student necessarily learns the following values:
    1. Cooperation - sitting with his/her classmates for 6-7 hours taking everyone along for all the events etc.
    2. Interaction with new people - Here child learns for the first time, how to make new friends with others not known to you before.
    3. Diversity of views - Exposure to different people with varied beliefs, attitudes and values.
  • Teachers are great role models, and their actions greatly impact children in their impressionable age. So do the action of other children. Education is a systematic attempt towards human learning. All education in essence develops all the dimensions of a human personality - intellectual, physical, social and moral. 
  • In recent years, due to crisis of values in educational system, the term 'value education' has become the buzz word in the educational institutions and academia.
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