Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Discuss the differences and similarities between values and virtues.

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Discuss the differences and similarities between values and virtues. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the differences and similarities between values and virtues.


Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:


Start by defining what you understand by values and virtues.


Values are the principles and fundamental convictions which act as general guides to behavior, the standards by which particular actions are judged as good or desirable. A value is something related to a particular culture that is known as culturally accepted norms.

Individual cultures emphasize values their members share extensively. Public values are defined as those values that provide normative consensus about:

(1)  The rights, benefits, and prerogatives to which citizens should (and should not) be entitled;

(2) The obligations of citizens to society, the state, and one another; and

 (3) The principles upon which governments and policies must be based.

Explain in detail how each of them is shaped by a variety of factors that influence them.


Conclude that thus values and virtues are distinctly different in terms of what they reflect: values reflect what is accepted by cultures while virtues reflect characteristics of a human being in terms of his/her morals.