The Values Debate

We had this little water cooler debate yesterday as to what amounts to values & ethics & culture. What exactly do these words mean in today's consumerist society. I guess it's all ugly & muddy out there. I am adding this as a place holder to initiate a nice & sane debate as to what you feel about them.

Do add in your comments :)


  1. let me use my soapbox first, and the attempt to answer the question starts with the question itself - what do we mean by 'values' per se.. are there some kind'of ten commandments written out somewhere that say thats acceptable & thats not acceptable. maybe for someone coming to work and not working amounts to critical lapse in the 'values' based system, but for some it doesn't amount to even an iota of sin. so maybe what amounts to 'values', can not be viewed in isolation. Instead it is a factor of causality with no scope for finality in it. So if it is finite variable whose result depends upon circumstances, then how can there be a single set of 'values' that fulfills the requirement for all ?

  2. Hey Rahul,though i wasn't part of the debate you are talking about...yes i do heard these heavy words like value,ethics,culture very often...but most of us use these words without even knowing what they mean....and do anyone really bothers about what ethics,value,etc. are?? Firstly do we act in the same manner as we suggest others?why don't we face the truth as it comes?why we look around when we know the answer is within us?why we say something do something?Do we play the roles we have to?There are too many questions i feel it's better to look at our own then to hook on someone...

  3. I remember past days in my village. When a daughter is getting married in a village all villagers donate there beds, bed sheets, tables what so ever they can to help her family. They are happy and exited as if the marriage is of there own daughter.
    An't we have such types of feelings now? An't we loosing values like Vasudhev Kutumbakam????

    Following your values is not that easy esapcialy in todays world of consumerism. But to say that values are of no use and they looks pretty only in books is pathetic and can be told only by morons like ......

  4. @vineet
    "why we look around when we know the answer is within us"
    I doubt, & i don't know nor claim that i know the answer.

    "Following your values is not that easy esapcialy in todays world of consumerism."
    So you agree that there are 'your' values and 'my' values. I see what i like to see.

  5. Values, Ethic are the word come out when your stomach is full, when u full filed u r basic need. If u don’t have the food and shelter at that movement of time u just think for survival not for values or ethic. I remember there was one move Kala pani where one man eat other man because of hunger and belief me if u go there and teach them a value or culture I think there is no big sinner then u.

  6. Remember Einstein theory of relativity, adding to Abhi I feel that every act is relative to
    situation, your wrong may be right for others.

    What important is that what you feel.

  7. Just like we complain now about the 'glory days' lived by our ancestors having a healthier social values set, they must have complained about their times too...

    Likewise the next generation would dishonor their state at the memoirs of our times.

    The band plays on and on and on!

    I would rather call it 'in-adaptability' of one to the changing seasons in the human society. It's human nature of course, to be fussy about what you have. We all do it!

    Coming to values: how do we define values? A set of social-grammar rules or protocols defined by the elected or self-proclaimed wise individuals of the society? I leave this post with no conclusion. I am curious about how you guys reciprocate to my belief! :-)

    Think about it!

  8. A correction to my earlier post:
    Following values is not that easy esapcialy in todays world of consumerism(not your values).
    But yes up to some extent I agree with Rahul that values are what we like to see coz it is getting manipulated day by day. Like for me stealing is against my values still I can steal my taxes which is a manipulation of my values. I surrenders agains the external pressure which is money. But my instinct always stops me from stealing... There is always a fight between the external pressures and values. That's whaty I say following values is not always easy.

  9. I came across to find exact definition of values, ethics and found one line definition that have great mean.
    Values -- an individual's accepted standards of right or wrong
    Morals -- society's standards of right and wrong, very similar to ethics
    Ethics -- a structured system of principles that govern appropriate conduct for a group, including activities such as professional ethics, compassion, commitment, cooperation

    Unfortunately, now a day this is only definition. Everyone is defines the values as per their comfortable zone.

    Some extent I agree with abhi:
    “Values, Ethic are the word come out when your stomach is full, when u full filed u r basic need. If u don’t have the food and shelter at that movement of time u just think for survival not for values or ethic.”

    Hold!!! One positive point is comes from "gomsy" first comments. I think might be person is not following in metros or other big cities but values, ethics still live in small cities and villages.

  10. i think it is very difficult or too artificial to lead a life which is as per the book or as per the religious text or as per the constitution etc., i think all of us are basically individuals with independent thought-process.We act in a way we do cause we wanted it that way, irrespective of whether it is against regular conventions. thus, i think we are always driven by instinct and i think that's how we will always be. i think it is impossible for someone to go against the instinct.

  11. @rahul
    when i say "why we look around when we know the answer is within us"'s for all those preachers
    who say more and act less....i feel our politicians comes into this category..It's about our system,the way it works...its about hypocrites..

  12. I personally don’t feel that we should get into this mess of ethics, morality, values and their opposites.

    We just use them as a reason to justify our actions good or bad, right or wrong and to some extent to show that this "I" in me is right and is intellectually strong, even if not intellectually strong it is good enough to understand the psyche of crowd so is following it. These words come out of a confused mind that has lost himself completely or is in a process of loosing.

    All we need to do is live our life to find the essence of it and as long as we are getting these type of questions/conflicts it is not clear to us. So let's check ourself.


  13. Oops ... so, people have started to share their views about Values, Ethics and that to be especially talking about "Indian" values n ethics.

    @Vineet Bhatt

    You're right Vineet that there are lots of questions which are unanswered till but this shouldn't stop anyone on debating about a topic which is related to our motherland. I have written "motherland" not "India" coz our values starts from
    here only. We don't treat our country as a place for shelter
    only, we treat is as our mother ...right guys? But the questions comes in my mind, how many of us still serving our motherland (instead of paying taxes which is forced by the government)? The answer is "NO" ... or is there anyone in the list who wanna debate on this as well.

    @ Gomsy aka "Gautam Kumar Singh"

    So, Mr Gomsy after reading your comments, it seems that you're strict follower of values and ethics ( more appropriately true hypocrite ...don't feel offended if I was harsh). First thing which I've noticed is the value shared by you 'Vasudhev Kutumbakam', I really appreciate this but have you ever tried to incorporate this in your life ... and many people you have met (in India) who still act on this ... words are NOT enough always, it requires actions buddy.


    you rock as always ... appreciate your thoughts when you say "...they must have complained about their times too"


    Hey Dude ... people from Metros n Villages are made-up of same bone n blood. It's all about how we think ... you know why Villagers talk more about values n ethics because they have ample time to discuss it and criticize people who are far ahead to them. It is a general tendency of human to
    criticize the people who are growing (at least Indians i.e. "we" have this tendency).

    If the villagers n people living in small towns have values n
    ethics then the rape/molestation cases shouldn't be happened there...FYI...the ratio of rape/molestation/eve-tease is more in small towns as compare to metros.

    We are not seeing the intend behind the values and ethics
    which was set from our ancestors. I don't know exactly but I think they have never commented on the way people dress and the sex. Most of the people think that if a girl/lady is wearing short dresses is not following the values but that's 100% incorrect. How can clothes show our values n ethics? Also, the "pardah" system was introduced by Mughals not Aryas.

    We belong to the country who has given Kamasutra n Khajuraho to this world. How can our values restrict us to have open sex?

    I appreciate Americans for the values which they follow and the reason is they are NOT hypocrites like us. They do what they say ...

    I hope many of us disagree to my views but I am stick to this.

  14. I will try to be as clear as possible, but you know what, these kind of topics thrive in these confusing & warm waters. There is what i make of it.

    When we are bought in this world, we start with a new clear canvas, it is we that have to fill in the colors, it is we that have to give meaning to our lives.But we do not live in some vacuum, instead we are in two way interaction with the environment. The problem is that even a rational mind when it comes with the lack of order in outside environment then an anomaly, an absurdity is born & then person takes the refuge in this confusion and complains not about the being short on 'values' but instead of the lack of clarity. For most of the their existence we have certain canons that we follow, not because they are morally binding, but
    because they were the observations of a rational society assimilated
    through generations.I have no problem with that, as a rational mind is more likely to be in sync with canons of a rational society.I guessthere is no doubt if stealing is wrong. everybody agrees to it. At least i think so. The problem starts with as to what constitutes stealing. Does not paying taxes amount to stealing ? Does fake bills amount to stealing ? The curt answer is yes, and i am no saint in this department either.Try putting your self in the shoes of the person of the 'alleged' victim & you will realize that you have wronged.This lack of accountability & empathy are the basic reason for such maze that our life has become.I am more comfortable with not defining any strict meaning for things like values & ethics instead i would prefer to see that my actions doesn't cause negative reaction or feedback to the environment that i am in.This is not to say that i am infallible, given the right price i believe everyone is fallible.It is just that you must be comfortable with what you have done, not be comfortable in the heat of the moment, but be at ease & be at peace with your actions when you go to sleep & think if the day was well earned & deserved.