We often confuse the terms between values and principles, however, from a practical and conceptual
l point of view, they are very different. A value is an attributed quality and a principle is a law or rule necessary for the functioning of a system or a society.
Values are qualities of a subject or an object. They are added to physical or psychological characteristics, that is, they are attributed to a person or object by an individual or a social group. It is a conferred quality, a negative or positive estimate.
The existence of a value is the result of an interpretation that society makes about the usefulness, importance, or interest of an object or person according to its criteria or interpretation. They are a sentimental projection.
Values such as honesty, respect, loyalty, solidarity, love, sincerity, and others build necessary virtues in our social environment. Values are limited to culture, group, tradition, or religion.
Principles are laws or rules that are met or followed as a purpose in order to achieve an end. For example, natural law is a physical principle. The principles of a system or discipline are the reflection of the essential characteristics of that system. That is, they are necessary for a system or society to function. In the case of scientific principles, they are necessary to use such a system.
The moral values that govern a person’s behavior can be called a principle. In this case, the principles guide actions as a norm.
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Differences between Values and Principles
- Values are positive or negative qualities inherent in a person, group, or object. They are the result of the interpretation made by an individual or group and have a strong sentimental component.
- Principles are laws or regulations that must be followed for the normal operation of a system. In the case of the principles of conduct, we can find that they are used as synonyms for the moral values under which a person governs their behavior.