Values and morals as standards of judgement Recent blog posts

Values and morals as standards of judgement

Values are perceived as epistemological standards of judgement by many approaches to action and practitioner research within the action researcher's knowledge of his/her practice being perceived as the account's unit of appraisal based on Polanyi's tacit knowledge.


This is a big problem for the methodological approach and epistemology that needs to be discussed and problematised

Amidst the mess in the Middle East I saw a sign the other day held and facebooked by one of those extremists – It said “Hating a Arabs is not racism – it is a value”  - “Hurting Arabs is a Value”


There is a tendency among educational action researchers and practitioner research to validate their account of their practice by using values as standards of judgement and a unit of appraisal that is based on  Polanyi’s embodied tacit knowledge and showing how their account of their practices and lives, including how they improve them, as practitioners and human beings follow their values and constructs and rationalizes and validates the account.


So the writer of these signs will produce an account of how he burns Arabs’ cars, places of worship, and most recently 16 years old  Arab youth in the name of the values of the biblical order of destroying Amalech as revenge for what it did during the stay in the desert, the “right of the chosen people over their Biblical  promised land” “an eye for an eye”, “Arabs as inferior to the chosen people of God, the Jewish people”


Accordingly, he is becoming a better Jew by hurting Arabs


He goes to his Yeshiva where he sits with his rabbis and peers and conduct peer validation with them when they are deciding that the account is an excellent and highly valuable and ethical account of a Jewish and Yeshiva boys and how all the accounts of  “liberal Jews” of their practices of working to contribute to peace and a dignifying co-existence in the region are immoral and of no value. 


They pick the “right” extracts from the Talmud and the Bible and HAZAL, the "wise Jews", Maimodic writings, Rashi, and some selected rabbis's arguments and books to show and validate their points, arguments and values and the validated/tested account.


The  same methodological, ontological and methodological questions, critiques and criticisms go


1. Why is this account of less value as my account of liberal and democratic practices in the same region?

2. What right do I have to dismiss this account and put their values as “values”?

3. Why am I not the “traitor” who according to the values and doctrine/ideology of the above account producer  deserves to die (by stoning or burning), like Rabin, for selling the assets and moral rights of the Jewish people?

4. Why are my values of a participative democracy of and for all in dignity, humanity, equality, wellbeing, empowerment and growth better and superior to the ones that guide the account above?

5. Who decides? According to what criteria?

6. Is it just a question of cliques – Nationalist Yeshivas vs. liberal humanists, democracy vs. national orthodox

7. Who is the extremist?

8. Who is right?

9. Who is wrong?

10. Who is moral?

11.Why?> according to what?


The issue of History and moral progress –the bible is a text written thousands of years ago when child sacrifice was popular and legitimate (as the story of Isaac and Abraham tells us) – it was ethical THEN. 


Who interprets the scripture? Why are Rousseau, Voltaire, Dewey, Marx, Camus moral and valuable than Kahana, Goldstein, the biblical author, etc.


Posted by Alon Serper on 11 July 2014 09:36:45

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