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The Classification and Hierarchy of Values Essay

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The Classification and Hierarchy of Values


ABSTRACT: I attempt to look into the issue of the ranks of values comprehensively and progressively. Anti-values can be classified into the following six categories by ascending order: (1) the act of destroying the earth-of annihilating humankind and all other living organisms; (2) the act of mass killing of people by initiating a war or committing treason; (3) the act of murdering or causing death to a human being; (4) the act of damaging the body of a human being; (5) the act of greatly harming society; (6) all other crimes not covered by the above. Higher values can be classified into the following five categories in descending rank: (1) absolute values such as absolute truth, absolute goodness, absolute beauty and absolute holiness; (2) the act of contributing to the development and happiness of humankind; (3) the act of contributing to the nation or the state; (4) the act of contributing to the regional society; (5) the act of cultivating oneself and managing one's family well. Generally, people tend to pursue happiness more eagerly than goodness, but because goodness is the higher value than happiness, we ought to pursue goodness more eagerly. In helping people to get the right sense of values and to internalize it, education and enlightenment of citizens based on the guidance of conscience rather than compulsion will be highly effective.

1. Classification of Values

I will discuss what kinds of values exist, before talking about their hierarchy. Walter Goodnow Everett classified values into the following eight categories; (1) economic values, (2) bodily values, (3) value of recreation, (4) value of association, (5) character values, (6) aesthetic values, (7) intellectual...


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...other crimes not covered by the above. Then, the higher values can be classified into the following five categories by the ranks from the highest one ; (1) absolute values such as absolute truth, absolute goodness, absolute beauty, and absolute holiness, (2) the act of contributing to the development and happiness of the mankind, (3) the act of contributing to the nation or the state, (4) the act of contributing to the regional society, (5) the act of cultivating oneself and managing the family well. Generally speaking, people tend to pursue happiness more eagerly than goodness, but because goodness is the higher value than happiness, we ought to pursue goodness more eagerly. In helping people to get the right sense of values and internalize it, education and enlightenment of citizens based on the guidance of conscience rather than compulsion will be highly effective.


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