Difference Between Values vs. Principles

Main Difference

The main difference between a value and a principle is that value is a code of ethics one is following in life and principle is a guiding standard of conduct that one often pursue even if it’s difficult and they sometimes fail.

Values vs. Principles

Values are a person’s personal beliefs for or against something subjective and able to change. A principle is such a truth which is the foundation of a belief system. Values are persistent and hardly change. Principles may evolve to any circumstances and can change. A value is an individual or group’s perspective on a topic or issue. One person may value wealth and power whereas another values independence and adventure. A principle can be an individual principle or are also collectively agreed upon by society. Values are less stern and unyielding. Principles are more stern and unyielding. Values are the code of ethics; one is following in life. A value is neither inherently wrong nor inherently right. All people even criminals and culprits have some values. Principles are the guiding standard of conduct that one often pursue even if they are difficult and sometimes fails. A person with clear and aligned core values can be a strong source of support for himself and society. People who are principled-driven, typically develop their values to align with principles. Principles are self-evident and a part of most traditions and philosophies over the ages . Principles have been woven into the fabric of societies throughout human history. Various factors influence values such as experiences, background, education, and religion. Rules and standards are often used as another name for principles. Values are the individual instinct that gives him a sense of right and wrong. Principles are the rules of any subject or area.

Comparison Chart

ValuesPrinciples
Values are the foundation of an individual’s character, perceptive, attitude, and overall behaviorPrinciples are the objective realities that transcend cultures and individuals
Based on
QualitiesRules
Stern
LessMore
Objective
Helps to form principlesBased on values and promotes them
Basic trait
Code of ethicsGuides standard of conduct
Example
Being honestFairness

What are Values?

Values are the foundation of a person’s character, perceptive, attitude, and overall behavior. They help us to form our individual principles. His values always judge a person’s decisions. Values are and opinions beliefs that people hold regarding specific issues or ideas. They are ultimately internal, subjective, and malleable. They may change with the change in demands or needs. Values are important in expressing an individual’s beliefs and opinions along with helping him to and accomplish his objectives based on our current circumstances, needs and demands. Values reflect or determine the potentially alterable goals that a person have in his professional and personal life. Different individuals can have different values. For example, there is a person who values happiness above all whereas there is another person who values courage and dedication. Furthermore, high moral values display qualities such as integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, respect, fairness, and compassion. Values can be influenced by various factors such as experiences, background, education, and religion. However, a person is likely to change his values with time. A person with clear and aligned core values can be a strong source of support for himself and society. He will want his values to be in alignment with his beliefs, images, dialogue, emotions, and goals. If your values are true to your conviction, they act as a lamp to keep you on your target and purpose. On the other hand, if your values are flimsy and weak, then you are easily vulnerable to deviate from your right path.

Examples

  • Being honest
  • Speaking the Truth

What are the Principles?

Principles are the objective realities that transcend cultures and individuals. Principles are moral beliefs or rules that help you know what is right and wrong, and that describe your actions. Principles direct your life and act as a moral compass. In other words, they govern a person’s behavior. Principles are self-evident and a part of most traditions and philosophies over the ages . They have been woven into the fabric of societies throughout human history. They often cover human behavior and manage interactions between people. Principles are based on the personal values we hold. For example, if a person value honesty he will never tell lies. Here, never telling lies is the principle. A person who holds the principle that lying is wrong then he will never deviate from the truth, even if it brings him personal harm. Hence, principles are sometimes equivalent to rules, quite stern and unyielding. Principles are either collectively agreed upon by society or individual principles. Major laws in a country, (regarding murder and robbery illegal) are based on the collective principles of the society that it is wrong to kill or rob. Principles are really useful when you work as a team. Principles shape the overall mission of a person’s life. Moreover, principles determine your goals and values and help you choose between them in case of conflicts or issues. To identify the things you value most and the goals you want to pursue in your life, you ought to use these principles as a reference point. You can build your goals and values according to these principles.

Examples

  • Fairness
  • Integrity
  • Honesty

Key Differences

  1. Values are qualities or standards of a person’s behavior whereas principles are rules or set of beliefs governing a person’s behavior.
  2. Values are the qualities conversely principles are rules.
  3. Values are less stern on the other hand principles are more stern and unyielding.
  4. Values are the beliefs about subjective traits on the flip side principles are universal laws and truths.
  5. Values may change with the change in demands or needs while principles o not usually change with the change in demands or needs.

Conclusion

Principles are aspirations and values are the standards by which you live and trade.

Author:

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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