January 8th Question

In the Forum back on Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:12 pm you answered the question, in part: “The idea underlying the book (Gravity Dreams) was my thought about the difference in societies, i.e., how some societies evolve out of tribal and geographic identities while others are value-driven.” When I read your reply I tried to find history of a society which had evolved on a value-driven basis. I became somewhat confused by the more common evolution of a group based on ideological beliefs but none that I would call value-driven. Indeed, leaders with Core-values, i.e. fixed beliefs, which sounded to me like ideology. I thus have the question: would you please indicate one or two societies which evolved because they were value-driven? I suspect one might be the United States; another might be Ashoka the third Mauryan Emperor of Magadha in the Indian subcontinent who devoted himself to the propagation of “dhamma” or righteous conduct after (260 BCE),when conquered Kalinga after a brutal war.

The United States is indeed an example of a society founded on values, rather than having its values evolve from geography, tribalism, or religious beliefs. But so far as I can determine, all societies reflect values. I have to admit I’m at a loss for another example of another society consciously founded on a set of secular values, although my statement back in 2004 assumed that there must be others.

1 thought on “January 8th Question”

  1. Tom says:

    I may be confusing the overlapping definitions of society and culture because it appears that sociologists use the word ‘value’ mainly in describing culture: e.g. https://helpfulprofessor.com/culture-vs-society/
    Thus value-driven maybe an element for evolution of a culture and not a social group.

    Yet; the European settlers of North America were primarily religious groups driven out of Europe so they might be considered value-driven when cutting the last political connection with Europe reflected in the words of the United States Constitution.

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