#191 | Steve Myles | Principles are Better than Values

Submission 191
Steve Myles
UU Congregation of Fairfax (Oakton, VA) 8122

What is your suggestion or idea?

Principles are better than Values for Expressing the Foundation of UU

Principles are broad statements that encompass many different values. That is what makes them attractive to more people.
Holding values like honesty, compassion, integrity, and courage, can support principles like ““the inherent worth and dignity of all persons”” or the ““free and responsible search for truth and meaning.””
Limiting the definition of UU to six values, severely narrows our appeal as a religion.
How many people will easily understand values like transcendence or pluralism? And requiring three times as many words to describe those values makes it even harder to understand what we stand for.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Switching from Principles to Values narrows our appeal as a religion. Principles encompass many different values.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?



Absolutely. Principles are stronger than values. Thank you for posting


Could not have been better expressed, You could add that I have discussed this thought to many groups within my congregation and regional cluster group. I will continue to voice my concern outside of my congregation within the Southern California region.


Strongly agree with you, Steve. The only substantive criticism of the principles for which I have had some sympathy is that they may be a bit unexceptional, anodyne, or general. But the new proposed values are actually more so – except that they are vaguer and more ambiguous!


That is an excellent articulation of the problem I think many of us are experiencing with the Article II Commission’s downgrade of our Principles into Values. Thank you, Steve Myles.


I am definitely in agreement with this.

Yes Steve, I thoroughly agree with you that Principles are better expression of our UU philosophy and theology than a set of Values, many of which are implied in our very Principles.