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Catholic Dictionary




That which makes a thing desirable or considered worthwhile. Value stresses the subjective and relative aspect of the good over the objective and absolute character. It means not so much the inherent excellence of an object as how it stands in one's personal estimation; not so much its built-in perfection as its comparative place in that scale of things called the hierarchy of values. The term value commends itself to subjectivist and relativist moral philosophies, in preference to the common good. Nevertheless, it is also acceptable to Christians provided it includes the notion of an objective moral standard. (Etym. Latin valere, to be worth, be strong.)