Distinguishing Values & Morals

Values vs Morals

Morals and values serve as guiding forces in individuals’ lives, providing a sense of direction and a code of conduct for interactions with others in society. People often look for the moral of a story or the deeper message an author is trying to convey, while also wanting their children to receive a value-based education to help them stand firmly in their adult lives. Morals are typically thought of as proper or right behavior codes, while values are beliefs about what is right and wrong. This article will discuss the differences between morals and values in more detail.


From childhood, individuals are taught how to behave and interact with others in society. Values are the belief systems that individuals develop as they grow regarding things, people, and social issues, as well as concepts of what is right and wrong. Values are generally built gradually, with the foundation provided by parents, teachers, textbooks, and religion. Individuals are often greatly influenced by the actions of great men and women from the past and choose to adhere to the values these figures held in their lives. Values are fundamental beliefs that inform people about what is right and wrong, and what is just and fair. For example, if someone believes that honesty is the best policy, this indicates that they hold the value of honesty in high regard in their life. When discussing values, many concepts are held dear, such as democracy, honesty, justice, liberty, patriotism, respect, love, and compassion.


People often hear about moral and immoral behavior, with the term “immoral” typically referring to illicit relations or engaging in sexual acts considered wrong by society and religion. Morals, therefore, are values imposed from outside that are intended to guide individuals in their interactions with others in society. Morals are codes of conduct considered right and expected to be followed. Most morals come from religion, although some are imposed by a particular political system, such as in a communist society where hoarding is seen as a sin against fellow people. Individuals or things are considered immoral based on personal values. Morals are like unwritten laws and are expected to be followed like commandments in a religion. They are mandatory, and all individuals are expected to adhere to them. The term “moral” can also be an adjective meaning good or right.

Key Takeaways

  • Morals and values are closely related concepts that guide individuals in their interactions with others in society.
  • Morals are codes of conduct that dictate what is right and wrong and primarily come from religion and society, while values are internal belief systems held by individuals that guide their behavior.
  • Values are personal and subjective, while morals are universal and objective; values can change, while morals remain the same.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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