Digest of terms

value judgements

assessments made regarding the worth of objects or persons and anything expressed or performed by them. They are based on different frames of reference. Comment on the beauty or otherwise of music, dance and painting, involves aesthetic value judgement. Comment on the correctness of some arithmetical calculation involves mathematical value judgement. That someone did nor did not break the law, is a legal value judgement. That someone has behaved rightly and wrongly is a moral value judgement. That they have been guilty or otherwise of sin is a religious moral judgement.

Although people are involved in making judgements from their childhood years, the extent to which they differentiate between these several value frames and elaborate on their respective criteria is quite varied. A special challenge for moral education is developing the capacity to identify what count as moral criteria and to understand when and why they should appropriately be applied. That judgement may most rightly be expressed in relation to decisions made, actions performed and words expressed. How far the moral judgement should be applied to the individuals themselves so that they are labelled as immoral persons is debatable.

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