I have to say something in English too, about the word values.
It has entered Norwegian debate more and more, and with meanings which is not always easy to understand or define, and it seems that those who use the word (“verdier”) also does not always really think or speak quite clearly about the concept.
If you look it up in the OED, there is a flock of different meanings, one is “a thing regarded as worth having”, and others that are related to money.
But another one, in plural, values, has a whole lot of meaning alone and contains maybe the whole problem, “The principles or moral standards of a person or a whole group”.
Some problems in the discussions are, you characterise others in a rather simple way and compare it to yourself or what you consider to be “your group”, also rather simply.
One has to separate private moral and ethics in society, and a concrete phenomenon or a more or less total attitude is sometimes confused with a single principle.
Very general concepts like tolerance, freedom, modern, traditional – they say something, they are not without meaning or content, but it is not really easy to put them into a specific context, you have to use a lot more words to get a fairly right description of something that goes on in society or in someone’s mind.
Also, if you move from one culture to another, inside a country or between countries, that type of concepts change places in the culture and play different roles in the minds of people.
The discussions going on are not always completely irrelevant, but when the ideas are unclear, you can easily run into misunderstandings.
People use the term “Norwegian values” sometimes as if our culture had only positive sides or as if the concepts in case are only positive. Also it may seem that everybody belong to exactly the same culture, which has of course never been the case 100%, even if we have had a sense of belonging together, which I also do not want to leave completely even if I acknowledge differences.
But to say that Norwegian culture or ways of life is homogenous is an exaggeration, and a view also seen pretty much from the outside, I feel.
The word “values” should be split up into principles of morality, for our private lives and in society and politics, actions and effects of actions, also in both domains, privately or publicly – attitudes, intentions.
You may feel free to form any other concept which makes sense and is useful, the point is that the word is often used to simply, as a way of almost characterising a whole person or a group of people or oneself. It is not a correct or complete way of describing anyone, and especially if it is done in a coarse way it can easier lead to wars rather than discussion.
This is simply put as well, I don’t have the energy to form it better. Please consider the thought more than the form.
Edited after publishing.