I always thought that good and bad values are relative concepts but I never came to a strong rationale or understanding of how to reason and explain the relativity between the two.
But yesterday after watching some documentaries on the Crusades, I could draw some inferences.The framework to understand value conflicts was not so complicated after all, and it largely depended on the era you lived on this planet and the type of society you lived in and most importantly, the type of people you are surrounded with.
Your peace , happiness and state of mind depends on how your values align to the mean of values of people around you. And if your values can peacefully co-exist along with other diverse set of values in the group of people at a workplace , a family or a society for that matter then you will lead a fulfilling and happier life.
But hear this, it doesn’t matter if you have values shunned by the present society or majority of people who live around you. It only means that you have to find a group or society where your values and beliefs can sustain. For instance, if dishonesty is one of your core values and if you are only surrounded by dishonest people, then there is hardly anything you can complain about.
A society for that matter cannot sustain with a very diverse set of values and beliefs. To grow and prosper everyone has to align with the beliefs and values which can co-exist in harmony. So if you notice, honesty, hardworking, compassion, respect, empathy, camaraderie, inclusivity are the values which can co-exist. They are not good or bad values , they just collectively happen to build an environment conducive for peace to prevail and society to grow. These values signal sustainability and by that I mean any system which improves longevity and well being of an mankind is a system which everybody wants.
Religion has a played a major role in cultivating these values into billions of people. Long before religion , civilizations have also sustained and prospered with totally different set of values. There are many examples of barbaric tribes who have prospered through loot, brutality, dishonesty, destruction. Are these bad values? really not.Maybe, it was just a choice. Maybe the belief was if barbarism unites tribes for a greater cause so be it. If sharing women strengthened bonds between hunters, then it hold good for everyone. If chopping off a human head brought good monsoons and better yield then it was justified for the greater good.
A rapist, a thief and a murderer would also have a different set of values and beliefs. And if you put them together in a cell , they are sure to justify their deeds in their own way. But at the same time and to some degree they will also judge each other on basis of their own value and belief systems. But ,through the lense of morality and ethics all the three in some capacity are unwanted anomalies which need to be isolated for the good of the society. Maybe the prison staff would also isolate the three from each other in the cell simply because their individual values and beliefs starkly differ from each other and can create a ruckus at the drop of the hat.