“Sharing Values, Deepens Values” ….Sathya Sai
As you may know Rosemary Marron MBA MSc (MBRM), Director of The Institute of Sathya Sai Education Ireland gave a wonderful presentation called “Sharing Values, Deepens Values” at BISSE’s Annual National Day 2009 on October 3rd 2009 at Abbey Primary School Leicester.
We attempt to share with you the presentation over the next few eNewsletter issues…. We will begin as she began and follow her flow…
“Sharing Values, Deepens Values”
Presented by Rosemary Marron MBA MSc (MBRM)
At the Living Values Conference organised by
The British Institute of Sathya Sai Education
3rd October 2009 at Abbey Primary School Leicester.
In this presentation, I am positioning Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) and its philosophy of Educare in the broad discourse on Human Values, and therefore I am drawing on a variety of disciplines from the field of human sciences to support my findings. Consequently I propose to touch on the following areas:
1. The history /origin of human values
2. The nature of human values
3. The role of human values in our lives
4. The measurement of human values
5. The implications to stakeholders in the educational system
6. Sathya Sai Education in Human Values & its philosophy of Educare
• I am taking the position that Human Values are positive
• When the Greek philosophers spoke about the ‘good’ in their doctrines, the translation therein refers to ‘intrinsic human value’ – Plato.
What is the History / Origin of Human Values?
First of all, I would like to take you on a journey back in time to ancient Greece, back 26 centuries, to a time when philosophers started questioning the nature of the external world and out of this began the birth of Western Philosophy as we know it.
Very soon thereafter, the world of the ‘ideal or essences’ was discovered by the Pythagoreans, Socrates and Plato. While the theory of knowledge started in the 17th century, value theory or axiology was formulated in the 19th century. Axiological values usually concern states of affairs, such as happiness, honour, equality, but also types of behaviour such as honesty, and formal relations, such as coherence and harmony.
However it is only since the last century, the 20th century that justice, goodness, beauty and other values were studied. This brought about a new genre called value(s).
This marked a significant turning point in our understanding as philosophers were now distinguishing being from value. A further distinction was made between values and value objects. Value objects are valuable things, whereas human values do not possess substantiveness.
What is the Nature of Human Values?
“Value” is a widely used term with a number of meanings. As Charles Morris has commented, it is one of the Great Words of our language, its meanings multiple and complex.
For in every moment of our lives we are in a values relationship, whether this is with ourselves, our families, colleagues, or the environment in which we live. However most of the time we are not specifically aware of this interaction.
Every value is related to other values. A hierarchy of values comes about when values are ‘preferred or deferred’ to other available values. Plato claimed that value depends on the ‘amount of trueness’.
Max Scheler a German philosopher claims that values are revealed through emotional intuition and that the experience of values is independent of the experience of things.
However when we look at the demands that society places on our instincts, it relates predominately to the materialistic, with very little demand being made of the higher or finer aspects of the self. In contrast Aristotle was concerned with the greatest possible fulfilment of man and considered the factor of intrinsic good to be happiness.
Maslow identified in his hierarchy of needs a number of physiological, psychological, aesthetic and spiritual needs that an individual has across the lifespan.
Table 1: Maslow Hierarchy of Needs
In the developed worlds where basic physiological needs have been met, sociologists claim that we are in the post-materialistic age and therefore the urgent need of today is addressing the higher levels on Maslow’s Theory of Needs.
The outcome from emphasising the materialistic and external has induced a poverty of spirit. Victor Fankl (1962) in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, has theorised that all of us must find meaning in life, else a depressing emptiness will be there. Socrates stated that an unexamined life is not worth living. While Mahatma Gandhi stated that ‘Man is not at peace with himself until he has attained self-realisation’.
Table 2: Values can be classified according to types of benefit at issue
Category of value
- Material and physical
- Religious (spiritual)
health, comfort, physical security
economic security, productiveness
piety, clearness of conscience
professional recognition and success
We end here and begin again with “What is the role of Human Values in our Lives?” in the February issue….