Ethics and Values together lay the foundation for sustainability. Ethics are the set of rules that govern the behaviour of a person, established by a group or culture. Values refer to the beliefs for which a person has an enduring preference.  Ethics and values are important in every aspect of life, when we have to make a choice between two things, wherein ethics determine what is right, values determine what is important.

Key Differences between Ethics and Values

The fundamental differences between ethics and value are described in the given below points:

  1. Ethics refers to the guidelines for conduct, that address question about morality. Value is defined as the principles and ideals, which helps them in making the judgement of what is more important.
  2. Ethics is a system of moral principles. In contrast to values, which are the stimuli of our thinking and thought process.
  3. Values strongly influence the emotional state of mind. Therefore it acts as a motivator. On the other hand, ethics compels to follow a particular course of action.
  4. Ethics are consistent, whereas values are different for different persons, i.e. what is important for one person, may not be important for another person.
  5. Values tell us what we want to do or achieve in our life, whereas ethics helps us in deciding what is morally correct or incorrect, in the given situation.
  6. Ethics determines to what extent our options are right or wrong. As opposed to values, which defines our priorities for life.

 Features of Ethics and Values

Meaning Ethics refers to the set of standard guidelines for good conduct, that address question about morality. Values are defined as the principles and ideals that help them in making judgement of what is more important.
What are they? System of moral principles/ standards. Acts as Stimuli for thinking/ thought process.
Consistency Uniform for whole society, organisation, religion etc. Differs from person to person based their conscience.
Tells What is morally correct or incorrect, in the given situation What we want to do or achieve.
Determines Extent of rightness or wrongness of our options. Level of importance.
What it does? Constrains the society and regulates the society/ organization. Motivates a person towards righteous path.

 While ethics are consistently applied over the period, and remain same for all the human beings, Values have an individualistic approach, i.e. it varies from person to person but remains stable, relatively unchanging, but they can be changed over time due to a significant emotional event.