Ravi Zacharias has pointed out, and it is interesting to note, that it was Friedrich Nietzsche, the avowed Atheist and God-hater, who is responsible for the cultural shift in using the term “Values” instead of “Morals.” We hear about about “Family Values” or “Voter Values.” Really though, a “Value” is simply something that is important to us…what we “value.” Values are personal and subjective (like what flavor of ice cream we prefer).
A moral, on the other hand, implies a Moral Law, and that implies a Moral Law-Giver (i.e. God). Morals are transcendent and timeless. They are truths that are true for all people, in all place, at all times. They impose themselves on others. Thus it is vogue to speak of “Values,” but not of “Morals,” in our day and age.
To understand how Neitzsche and other important atheists were able to cause a shift in our vocabulary, and our view of God, ethics and politics, get a copy of Ravi’s excellent book, The Real Face of Atheism.
Photo Credit: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882; One of five photographies by photographer Gustav Schultze, Naumburg, taken early September 1882. Public domain due to age of photography. Scan processed by Anton (2005)