Skip to main content

Values War--Virtues vs. Values: "It was not until the present century that morality became..subjectified that virtues ceased to be virtues & became “values”..opinions..prejudices, even idiosyncrasies”


Therapeutic thinkers believe there is no sin, only selves needing to reach the fullness of themselves. This denial of original sin and personal sin is, in large ...

Professor Allan Bloom, a philosopher who wrote The Closing of the American Mind, thought that Friedrich Nietzsche was the father of modern America. He said, "Words such as 'charisma,' 'lifestyle,' 'commitment,' 'identity,' and many others, all of which can easily be traced to Nietzsche ... are now practically American slang."


But the most important Nietzschean slang word is "values."

"Values" are the death of Christian morality because values simply mean opinions. If opinion is how things are decided, then might makes right.

One must remember that whenever someone talks about values in modern America family values or religious values or place-the-blank-in-front-of values they are saying there is no real or objective right or wrong only opinions of the self and its will to power.

Nietzsche's philosophy is summed up by Bloom as:

Commitment values the values and makes them valuable. Not love of truth but intellectual honesty characterizes the proper state of mind. Since there is no truth in the values, and what truth there is about life is not lovable, the hallmark of the authentic will is consulting one's oracle while facing up to what one is and what one experiences. Decisions, not deliberations, are the movers of deeds. One cannot know or plan the future. One must will it.

As a philologist, Nietzsche believed there was no original text and transferred this belief to reality, which he thought was only pure chaos. He proposed will to power in which one imposes or "posits" one's values on a meaningless world.

Previous to Freud's psychoanalysis, Nietzsche's writings spoke of the unconscious and destructive side of the self. In fact, Freud wrote that Nietzsche "had a more penetrating knowledge of himself than any other man who ever lived or was likely to live."

Max Weber and Sigmund Freud are the two writers most responsible for Nietzschean language in America. Few know that Freud was "profoundly influenced by Nietzsche," according to Bloom. Freud, much more than Weber, profoundly changed America from a Christian culture to a therapeutic or self-centered culture. []

The Values War

Dear Dan,

Thanks again for the email. I don’t think there is a secret meaning to the word values.

Professor Allan Bloom, translator and editor of Plato’s Republic and author of Shakespeare’s Politics said, “ The term “value, “ meaning the radical subjectivity of all belief about good and evil...was announced by Nietzsche just over a century ago when he said, “God is dead.” Good and evil now for the first time appeared as values, of which there have been a thousand and one, none rationally or objectively preferable to any other.”
Historian Gertrude Himmelfarb said,” It was not until the present century that morality became so thoroughly relativized and subjectified that virtues ceased to be virtues and became “values”...Values as we understand that word, do not have to be virtues; they can be beliefs, opinions, attitudes, feelings, habits, conventions, preferences, prejudices, even idiosyncrasies.”
Professor Cameron Lee at Fuller Seminary said, “ ‘family value’ itself seems infinitely plastic...the language of family values frequently betrays the very extent to which we are inextricably immersed in the thought-forms of our culture.”

That some people use words with meanings they don’t intend is common place. The question we must ask ourselves is to what extent are “we are inextricably immersed in the thought-forms of our culture” so that we feel compelled to use its language and words without studying the history of those words?

Dan, I would be interested to see if you can find any scholars who define values as “enduring non-subjective moral truth.” Thank you for some interesting insights.

I don't think the problem admits of so easy a solution.

Words are conventional signs. What happens if most of the people speaking the language adopt a new convention? Do we begin a heroic but doomed battle to reclaim such words as gay and nice, or do we do what thinking people have always had to do: distinguish, make clear in what sense a word is used?

I believe in advocating without stridency what can be defended as better usage, but what is achieved by attributing to people's statements secret meanings that they don't actually intend?

In fact, in the very example you give, all the rhetorical force of Burkes' choice of title comes from the fact that most people who speak of family values mean fidelity, hard work, sacrifice, monogamy, heterosexuality, etc. Burkes uses the title precisely because for her readers and the reading public this is what the term means. She means to be provocative by stealing the title. By your argument, we would have to abandon "virtue" if she decides to name her next book that. We will be busy digging up traditional terms which haven't been at one time or another co-opted by evil rhetoricians.

I don't think you can find any word for good that hasn't had paltry and subjective usage. As Josef Pieper points out in his book on love, there is a good reason for this. It is with the same will that we choose our highest and ultimate end and all the little and insignificant means to the end. That's why we love God and baseball.

The terminology of will and goodness has never been easy. Aristotle and Aquinas define the good as "what all seek." It seems replete with subjectivity unless we recognize that with respect to our final good, we don't have a choice. What traditional wisdom means by good or valuable is what is conducive to our final absolute God-determined good. That's where I would prefer to make the distinction: By good or valuable or virtuous or whatever word you choose, you either mean conducive to achieving the end for which you were created, or you mean what you want without reference to any end outside of your act of will.

Well, I hope you enjoy talking about such things as much as I do. Thanks for writing back.


Dear Fred:

Thanks for your interesting article. I agreed with just about everything except the major point of departure. Not to be patronizing, but I'm not even sure you mean exactly what you say in the article.
I agree that there is much confusion in language discussing moral questions, but I don't think it's true that everyone who uses these confused terms agrees with the Nietzsche, Adler, Jung, Maslow, Rogers, etc.Many people use "value" precisely to mean enduring non-subjective moral truth.

Part of what makes our task so daunting is the necessity of doing basic education, i.e. the right signification of words, the rules of logic, etc., before we can discuss more difficult topics like "what is good".

If this education had really been attended to in the past 100 years, rather than being thought babyish and uninteresting, I don't think charlatans like Maslow and Rogers would have gotten to square one.

I certainly agree that the scandals so much noted today were largely hatched in the free thinking era of the sixties when all this pseudo-psychology became so popular with the clergy and religious.


Dear Dan,

Thanks for the email. I agree with you that “many people use 'value' precisely to mean enduring non-subjective moral truth.”

The problem is words must have an objective meaning as CS Lewis said or they become meaningless. For example, the title of Phyllis Burkes’ lesbian book is “Family Values.” If the word doesn’t mean opinion then how can you and your friends use the same word as Burkes.

I suggest the word virtues be used instead of values.

If you want a little chronicle of the word read historian Gertrude Himmelfarb. She said,” It was not until the present century that morality became so thoroughly relativized and subjectified that virtues ceased to be virtues and became “values”...Values as we understand that word, do not have to be virtues; they can be beliefs, opinions, attitudes, feelings, habits, conventions, preferences, prejudices, even idiosyncrasies.”


Note:The article "Nietzschean Psychoanalysis and the Catholic Scandal" is the first draft of one of the chapters in my book Hidden Axis. If you want to read click the archives below.

Click here for Credit Card and Amazon Order of Fred Martinez's book "Hidden Axis":

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church.

Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis’s Amoris Laetitia. 

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost – Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.

Francis Notes:

– Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:

“[T]he Pope… WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See.”
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)

Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said “the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church.”

– “If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?”:

– “Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?”:

– If Francis betrays Benedict XVI & the”Roman Rite Communities” like he betrayed the Chinese Catholics we must respond like St. Athanasius, the Saintly English Bishop Robert Grosseteste & “Eminent Canonists and Theologians” by “Resist[ing]” him: 

 –  LifeSiteNews, “Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers,” December 4, 2017:

The AAS guidelines explicitly allows “sexually active adulterous couples facing ‘complex circumstances’ to ‘access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'”

–  On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:

“The AAS statement… establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense.”

– On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:

“Francis’ heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents.”

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.

Election Notes: 

– Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: “212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted…Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden” []

– Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times “Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003”:

– Tucker Carlson’s Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written” according to Rush:

– A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020:

What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties? and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: “Anitfa ‘Agent Provocateurs‘”:

Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God’s Will and to do it.


Popular posts from this blog

Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: "212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted...Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden"

  William Binney Binney at the Congress on Privacy & Surveillance (2013) of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Born William Edward Binney September 1943 (age 77) Pennsylvania , U.S. Education Pennsylvania State University (B.S., 1970) Occupation Cryptanalyst-mathematician Employer National Security Agency (NSA) Known for Cryptography , SIGINT analysis, whistleblowing Awards Meritorious Civilian Service Award Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage (2012) [1] Sam Adams Award (2015) [2] Signature [ ] Former intelligence official with the National Security Agency (NSA) and whistleblower , William Edward Binney, whose occupation is cryptanalyst-mathematician explained that Joe Biden's "win" was impossible because "Biden Claims 13 MILLION More Votes Than There Were Eligible Voters Who Voted in 2020 Election" according to Gateway Pundit. Binney revealed "With 212Mil

"I love Cardinal Burke, but I've run out of patience": A Vatican expert who has met Francis & wishes to remain anonymous gave The Catholic Monitor an impassioned statement for Cardinal Burke & the faithful bishops: End the Bergoglio Borgata

Catholic Conclave @cathconclave @Pontifex thanks journalists for practicing omertà. The mind boggles at the scale of the possible coverups that this has enabled. How does he think a use victims feel when hearing this statement Quote Damian Thompson @holysmoke · Jan 22 Incredible! Pope Francis lets the cat out of the bag, thanking Vatican correspondents for their "silence" and therefore helping him conceal the scandals of his pontificate. Take a bow, guys! 8:23 AM · Jan 22, 2024 · 345 Views The moral crisis and "doctrinal anarchy" as Vatican expert Edward Pentin and others have written about in the Church caused by Francis has reached the breaking point where all faithful Catholics must pray for and demand that Cardinal Raymond Burke and the faithful bishops issue the correction and investigate if Francis is a n invalidly elected anti-pope . That is the purpose of this post. A Vatican expert who has met Francis and wishes to remain anonymous gave The Catholic Monit

Fr. Chad Ripperger's Breastplate of St. Patrick (Modified) & Binding Prayer ("In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, and by the power of the Most Holy Catholic Church of Jesus, I render all spirits impotent...")

    Deliverance Prayers II  The Minor Exorcisms and Deliverance Prayers compiled by Fr Chad Ripperger: Breastplate of St. Patrick (Modified) I bind (myself, or N.) today to a strong virtue, an invocation of the Trinity. I believe in a Threeness, with a confession of an Oneness in the Creator of the Universe. I bind (myself, or N.) today to the virtue of Christ’s birth with his baptism, to the virtue of his crucifixion with his burial, to the virtue of his resurrection with his ascension, to the virtue of his coming to the Judgment of Doom. I bind (myself, or N.) today to the virtue of ranks of Cherubim, in obedience of Angels, in service of Archangels, in hope of resurrection for reward, in prayers of Patriarchs, in preaching of Apostles, in faiths of confessors, in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men. I bind (myself, or N.) today to the virtue of Heaven, in light of Sun, in brightness of Snow, in splendor of Fire, in speed of lightning, in