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Protected Values

Protected values or other very similar notions, such as sacred values, taboo values, and moral mandates, are values people preclude from tradeoffs with other values, particularly secular values. Protected values refer to any concrete or abstract entity (e.g., human beings, animals, dignity, health, love, honor, honesty, human rights) an individual or a community considers as infinitely significant, not substitutable and inviolable, and therefore as nontradable and noncompensatory. For instance, many people think that it is morally wrong to sacrifice human or animal lives in return for monetary benefits or to have a free market of transplant organs. Trading them off would offend deeply held beliefs and undercut people's self-image as moral beings or threaten a way of life.

An important foundation for research on this issue ...

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