Ethical values represent the general principles that should guide people in their social life.
Ethics is born from the understanding that if the actions of an individual directly affect another, those actions can affect them for good or for bad.
Thus, one can also think about the best way to relate and the best way to act. Ethical values are the result of knowledge built on the basis of reflection on human actions and the determination of principles that move good actions.
From the construction of a life in society, human beings became capable of evaluating actions as good or bad, beneficial or harmful, selfish or altruistic.
From this human capacity to judge actions, they are able to define general principles that can guide actions in view of the good. These principles are called ethical values.
Ethical values are all the universal qualities that a social group believes are favorable to the relationships between its members.
Examples of ethical values
The good is a value recognized as the ethical ideal, it is the basis of good action, right action and virtue. Good is the opposite of evil, in some philosophical and religious theories and currents, Good (with a capital letter) is the goal of human life.
The good is the main of ethical values because it is the principle on which all other values are based. The idea of the good can be identified with values such as: happiness, pleasure or justice, for example.
Thus, all action guided by these values would be in conformity with the good. Actions can be evaluated and take on their moral worth when they promote good.
Finding and defining what the good is and how it can guide human actions is the basis of ethics and the foundation of all ethical values.
Justice is the fundamental value that guides the judgment of human actions so that the effects of actions are not harmful to others.
An action is fair based on the idea that it is the most favorable possible for both parties. While injustices occur when an individual or group is favored at the expense of the detriment of others.
Freedom is an ethical value that sustains societies and is related to the ability of people to make choices as long as these actions do not restrict the freedom of other people.
Thus, the rights related to the possibilities of action are guaranteed: freedom of expression, of creed, of coming and going, of gender and other individual and collective freedoms.
Truth is a value linked to the idea of honesty in relation to knowledge and information about something.
Actions must be guided by the truth so that those involved can have access to relevant factors for understanding the context and can make choices without being totally or partially deceived.
Life in society presupposes the relationship between different people. Thus, for the relationship between people to be the best possible, each person must understand himself and others as a subject, never as an object. Understanding the other as a subject is the basis of respect, it guides actions so that everyone has the right to their individuality.
Along with respect, solidarity comes from the idea that, in society, people are often in different positions. Solidarity is a principle that aims at actions that can act as an aid to people in conditions of difficulty and vulnerability.
Peace is an ethical value related to non-violence and non-aggression, it gained its relevance in a warlike past.
Realizing peace is ensuring that people can live peacefully, without risking their integrity. Peace is a value and an ethical ideal where all values converge.