Values in Action

Values in aggregate provide goals for our behaviour; the process of choosing behaviour is one of applying the mediations between one's values to the situation at hand. Values cannot be directly ranked in the abstract; the possible gain/loss under a value in a particular situation can vary as much as any way to measure its strength; there are values that we might do much more to prevent total loss along them than we would to prevent some loss, and situations will typically involve various levels of loss or gain among values. We can begin to categorise values by categories of behaviour we're willing to back them with. Each of these categories will see its values organised into a corrisponding framework.

Morals being the strongest values, with each of the latter progressively weaker in strength, it is possible for values to be present in more than one framework; we typically would categorise the value either by the strongest framework in which it takes part or the framework in which it is most active.

Categorisation of values differs between people; those who are generally unwilling to use strong social forces to press values might have a very limited framework of ethics, either leaving them with a larger moral framework or a larger commit framework. The functionality of a state depends partly on its members having reasonable similarity in moral views, and the cohesiveness of a society (particularly on the small scale) depends partly on its members have reasonably similar ethical views (although grouping into subcultures or regional divisions can capture this variability and mitigate its effects).

Pat Gunn (aka Improv) <>