'Righteousness' is a word that is often heard among those who believe themselves to be so, i.e., morally upstanding. But I would argue that the word is moot and meaningless, and that righteousness is not a value (i.e., a moral value). Here's my argument.
'Rightesousness' is a term designating a predisposition, as well as specific kinds of actions. What kind of predisposition is righteous, and what kind of action is righteous? We could speak of a compassionate predisposition, and compassionate actions. Recently I saw a news-clip of a highway patrol officer protecting a family of geese on the freeway. What that officer did is a fine example of compassionate action; I believe it takes a compassionate predisposition to have done something like that, but let's just focus on actions for the purpose of argument here, because as they say, actions speak louder than words, and good intentions pave the way to hell.
Fine and dandy. Now was that officer's action a righteous action? Perhaps not to some. I don't think anyone who isn't warped would argue that it was not compassionate, but some might say that what he did was unrighteous. Why? Because man is made to dominate nature, not nurture it. Because the officer was wasting taxpayer money by protecting geese instead of human beings, because he could have been catching a DUI speeder instead, or whatever. Because man must not behave in a way that would encourage any kind of "green dragon," liberal bleeding-heart behavior by showing kindness to undomesticated critters, for they are only for trophy-hunting, eating, and exterminating. These three arguments would come from a religio-conservative standpoint of righteousness. So compassion, for example, or kindness, gentleness, and so on, do not necessarily lead to righteousness.
Which brings me to the point I'm making, that people behave the way they do because of righteousness. That is, they believe what they are doing is right. Men commit atrocities because they believe they are righteous, because they're convinced they're doing what is right for their nation, economy, families, and so on. Sociopaths do what they believe is right as they uphold their own survival and pleasure-principle at any cost. No matter what the means, the ends will justify them in terms of some kind of egocentric or utilitarian spin, and that's the nature of righteousness. It's always self-justified. So the fact of the matter is this, that everyone does what they believe to be righteous, for themselves and/or for others, no matter what it is that they do. It's simply a default of human, all-too-human motivation, and thus is not in any way an ethical value.