To become or not to become. LO24515

From: Gavin Ritz (
Date: 04/29/00

Replying to LO24488 -- wrote:

> On 27 Apr 00, at 17:03, Gavin Ritz wrote:
> >...Also my values are different from At's and Winfried who both seem to
> > have harmony and entitlement needs so I tested that with certain anchors
> > that include rejection, disapproval, disharmony, as this invokes a
> > particular response. I have more freedom and expression values (more
> > American if I might say so) they are not like Winfried or At's who are in
> > a sense cut from the same clothe. Remember no values are better or worse
> > just different and many disagreements are around this very different
> > points of view.
> Dear ALL,
> The above paragraph claims:
> (i) Individuals have values, which can be found out by some testing.
> (ii) All values are equal, no values are better or worse.
> I would like to reflect on the tension the above two claims produce in me.
> In some situations, I have made use of the ideas contained in the above
> claims. However, I also experience a tension in thinking about them
> because, to the best of my knowledge, the entire practice of science (and
> its origin) negates the first claim and the entire practice of ethics (and
> its origin) negates the second claim.
> Very brief elaboraton:
> In my daily life, I find it convenient to ascribe values to people and
> then use that ascription to decide my future course of interaction with
> them. However, I also realise that this can also be counter- productive.
> My ascriptions might be arbitrary; my actions might be prejudicial; the
> person might come to know of my ascriptions and counter-act in unhelpful
> ways; I might be seen as one who goes around putting people in boxes; etc.
> Often in my daily life I fail to compare values and therefore find it
> convenient to toe the easier line that all values are equal. However, I
> also realise that this can land me in serious confusion. I might be seen
> as a person of no convictions and an extreme relativist; I cannot
> contribute effectively in ethical discussion (because I would always end
> up with 'you are right and I am right' type of statements); I cannot
> criticise corrupt officers, thiefs, and perpetrators of social violence
> (after all they too have their own values!).
> 'Finding out by some testing' is equivalent to 'observing'; and the main
> difficulty with values is that they are not observable in this (classical)
> sense. This 'scientific' problem has been discussed extensively by social
> theorists such as Weber, Parsons, etc. I feel, this is still the most
> fundamental scientific problem in the social sciences (Zeeuw, 1995).
> All cultures have striven to counter the claim that 'all value are equal'.
> This striving is reflected in the entire debate on ethics. Again, the
> debate (i.e., how to differential among values) does not seem to have been
> resolved, but it has been enriched over the years with notions such as
> categorical imperative (Kant), social contract (Locke), natural
> obligations (Rawls), etc. See, e.g.,
> Therefore, although sometimes in my daily life I make use of the ideas
> expressed by Gavin in the paragraph quoted above, I am always circumspect
> about it. In more formal undertaking (e.g., in learning conversations, in
> research, in discharging professional duties, etc.) I make an effort to
> restrain myself from using those ideas. When I cannot do so, I make an
> effort to state the nature of the difficulty* in explicit terms so that
> someone else might address them more effectively than I.
> * The difficulty of observing values and
> the difficulty of comparing values


You make some very good points, and I believe you are correct in your
assumptions, that is the paradoxes I was also taking about.

Good argument.

When I feedback the profiles to people I tell them I cannot pull the
values profile apart the way it has been done. There are almost 60 000
million million combinations of values. (how many boxes?) and if we add
cognitive capability we add a further hundred million, it just goes on.
One cannot really stop measure values as the moment that is done it
changes the values of those people. Remember this is only a model some
models are useful others are not.



Gavin Ritz <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.