Main Difference – Ethics vs Values
Both ethics and values act as guidelines for our behavior. Both of these concepts have a major influence on our personality, attitudes as well as our perceptions. Although we always associate ethics, values, and morals together, there is a distinct difference between them. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between ethics and values. Values are standards of behavior or principles that vary according to different people. Ethics are forms of conduct or moral principles which vary according to specific group or field. This is the main difference between ethics and values.
What are Ethics
Ethics are set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct. The term ethics is mostly related to professional context. They are also known as professional ethics or work ethics. Honesty, integrity, punctuality, and loyalty are some examples of workplace ethics.
Ethics are often be codified into a set of rules or formal system; then they are openly adopted by people in that profession. Medical ethics, legal ethics are some examples of such ethics. Disclosing confidential information, using client/patient information in research without his or her permission, misleading the client/patient, are some examples of breach of ethics. It is also important to notice that ethics can also depend on the profession as well as organizations or institutions.
Ethics are unwritten laws, but since they are not formal laws, breach of ethics is not punishable by law. Therefore, it is personal values that help a person respect and uphold ethics.
What are Values
Values are principles or standards of behavior. They describe personal standards of what is valuable or important. It is the values that help us to make decisions about right and wrong, important and less important, etc. Values can be comprised of likes, dislikes, perspectives, prejudices, and judgment. They are basically the main principles that shape a person’s behavior. Therefore, they provide the basic foundation for understanding a person’s personality, behavior, attitudes, and perceptions.
It is also important to note that values depend on individuals; each individual has different values. Values of a person can be influenced by various factors like religion, culture and society. Respecting the elders, hospitality, and helping others are some examples of cultural values.
Difference Between Ethics and Values
Ethics are a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct.
Values are principles or standards of behavior.
Personal vs Professional
Ethics are often professional.
Values are personal.
Ethics are influenced by different professions, organization, institute, etc.
Values are influenced by family background, culture, religion, community, etc.
Ethics can vary according to professions.
Values can vary according to individuals.
“Family Values” by David Shankbone – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons
“Ethics – scrabble” by Orietta.sberla – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons