Difference Between Value and Virtue

Value vs Virtue

Difference between value and virtue could be rather challenging to comprehend, in the sense that they both have very close meanings. The level of two words being mixed up in a language could depend not only on their seemingly similar visual appearance and sound but also on various associations the two words may relate to. Language, being a part of a particular culture, is extensively shaped by the culture it reflects and belongs to. In this sense, a culture’s intricacy could reflect in the language also. Value and virtue are two such words which are liable to be confused owing to what they associate with. Despite the number of contexts ‘value’ is used, this article attempts to explore what is meant by virtue and value and their differences in terms of personal and cultural associations.

What does Value mean?

Value is a word that denotes many meanings. The connection it shares with virtue is based on cultural terms. A value is something related to a particular culture that is known as a culturally accepted norms. Individual cultures emphasize values their members share extensively. For instance, respecting elders, punctuality, neatness, cleanliness, etc. may be considered as values. Further, values could be personal also. In terms of the personal level, values are things that people recognize important and cherish. For example, a doll from one’s childhood may be a personal value.

What does Virtue mean?

Virtue also associates with culture and personal levels in a more moral sense. People are a part of the culture and the good qualities they have within are called virtues. For example, one’s honesty, generosity, kindness, naivety, etc. would be considered as virtues. Virtues represent good morals of people. It is a positive trait that is considered the foundation of a morally principled person. Thus, virtues can also be referred to as characteristics of people who make up a certain culture or society. However, unlike values, virtues do not define a particular culture. Virtues are often associated with personal traits. Religions have a role shaping people’s virtues; Buddhist’s virtues may be different from that of a Catholic. What people believe in their religions thus have a great impact on determining virtues within them. 

Difference Between Value and Virtue

What is the difference between Value and Virtue?

• Value could be both culturally and personally explained while a virtue could only be explained in a personal sense.

• Values reflect a culture in terms of good norms that the majority of that particular culture share.

• Virtues reflect people’s characteristics or traits that lay the foundation of morally good being.

• Virtues could also be shaped by religions and beliefs of people while values are shaped by the culture or the society people live in.

• Personal values are things that are cherished by people. Ex: a family heirloom.

Thus, it is comprehensible that 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.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Quality and Value
  2. Difference Between Value and Worth