The February 2023 Session on LRM monthly telegram discussion was on “Upholding Values in this present day”. An interesting topic you would say.
The moment the flyer went out, the comment I started to get from people was, naaah, one session would not be enough to handle the topic. My response was “I know just let us start first” LOL.
So, the day came, and we start…. thirty minutes into the conversation, we are still looking for a consensus on the definition of values, morals, and principles. Somehow, dictionary meaning seem not enough, intellectuals are discussing. A definition was eventually established, so we continue. The host asked for what determines the rightness or wrongness of values… hmm another debate, and for the first time since the inauguration of the LRM telegram discussion, we spend two solid hours, to be precise 1 hour, and 50 minutes if we remove the minutes spent on pleasantries.
It was an insightful evening of discussion, and it was worth it.
We ended the February session on “Upholding Values in the present day” but not concluded, adjourned, to be continued in March.
So, I bring the topic here for the contribution of a larger audience.
What are Values?
Extracted from the chapter three of my book “Single and Waiting”, according to the Cambridge dictionary, they are the principles that help you decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations. It also defines principles as moral rules or standards of good behaviour or fair dealing.
Collins dictionary defines values as the moral principles, beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group. It defines principles as a set of standards or rules of personal conduct.
I define Values as those things that inform our principle. Our principles are formed by our values.
What informs our values in life?
The saying “we are products of our environment” comes to play in answering this question. Our values are formed by the things we see while growing up either at home or in the society. We grow up becoming what our individual homes, environment, and society consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly impacts on us.
So, it goes further to give the question, can values be right or wrong? I would say the answer to this is relative. What is right to an individual, or a particular society might be wrong to another person and in another society, and this was what most participants that evening echoed.
Now Fr Benjamin Ulebor suggested during the discussion that unless the word moral is added to preface the word value, it might be difficult to determine if it’s right or wrong. That means we’ll be saying something is morally right or wrong. However, some people did not agree that value should be prefaced that way. What is your opinion?
So, please what’s your take on this topic? Can Values be right or wrong? How and why? Kindly shed more light on values, morals, and principles, and please define each as a separate entity before bringing any of them together.
Now, the truth is, if we don’t clearly define value, it will be difficult to declare them right or wrong. Then it makes it sensitive and dangerous to encourage anyone to uphold values less they end up upholding wrong values.
Values are eroding, we say. Good values? Right or wrong values?
So, when you say values can never be right or wrong… clarify
When you agree that values should be upheld… please specify
When you say values should evolve, hmmm, another deep water to dive into, help clarify so we don’t subject values (right or wrong) evolution to erosion.
I suffice to say that evolving values can become eroded values.
Please let the discussion continue…
PS: please feel free to join the conversation next month, March 19th using the link below, as we continue to expound this topic. You can catch up on the recorded February conversation on the telegram page. Look out for it in the corner for pinned items above the page.
LRM is an open forum without a religious, age or race bias, you are welcome to join our monthly discussion!
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Mary A. Adepoju