Values vs. Laws
I was recently traveling along a road through one of our communities. I saw a sign that read "Plainfield, a community of values." At first that sounded good, but after awhile that statement caused me to think and ask a question. Who's values? Everyone has values. Values are not necessarily moral or immoral, nor do values have to be lawful or unlawful. Actually, once you state that a value is right or wrong, it ceases to be a value and becomes a moral.
If we stop to think about it, everyone has values, for example, Mother Teresa had values, so did Ted Kaczynski, the uni-bomber. The terrorists that flew planes into the towers in New York had values, as did the firefighters who rushed in to save those that were put in danger by the values of the terrorists. The question I still find myself asking is this: who's values are they talking about? It would be irrational to think that everyone in the community has the same values.
I know that the word "values" is used because it is accepted as politically correct, and is inoffensive because values are deemed important no matter who's they are. The truth is that values have no substance except in the mind of those who happen to hold those values.
Another question. Are values to be protected? It would be impossible to protect everyone's values because there are so many that obviously contradict each other. The question then would be: who's values are we to protect, and who's are we to condemn?
Here is a statement that might attract new businesses, customers, individuals, and families. "We are a community of laws." It might also discourage those we don't want in our community."A community of values." is a non-intelligible, non-descript, inoffensive, and safe statement to make. But after all we are interested in what sounds good no matter how ridiculous it is.