Anti-Values ​​Definition

lilen gomez
Professor in Philosophy

Anti-values ​​or counter-values ​​are called a series of social values ​​that are generally considered negative. We understand by values ​​the qualities that are estimated about something or someone, for example, having courage, telling the truth, committing to others, etc.

Although all individuals estimate certain values, these are not always shared by all of them, but may vary from one person to another, from one social group to another, or from one culture to another. In this sense, what in a given context is considered a positive value, in another context can be taken as a negative value.

Polarity and classification of values

The possibility that certain values ​​come into contradiction is given by the quality of polarity that characterizes their constitution. According to this quality, all values ​​are manifested in the form of a positive value with its corresponding anti-value. For example, —following the axiological classification of J. Muñoz in Materials for a Citizen Ethics (1998)—, within religious values, the holy is opposed to the profane; of the spiritual, falsehood is opposed to truth (logical), unfair to fair (ethical) and ugly to beautiful (aesthetic); from the virtual, the weak to the strong; and, finally, within the useful values, the unpleasant is opposed to the pleasant, the inadequate to the adequate, and the inconvenient to the convenient.

Another possible classification, according to the different dimensions of the human being, proposes as categories:

(I) bodily values, against which anti-values ​​are those that threaten physical integrity, namely hunger, illness, exhaustion.

(II) intellectual values, which are opposed as anti-values ​​by those that hinder cognitive development, such as illiteracy, ignorance or dogmatism.

(III) individual values, whose anti-values ​​deny the autonomy and freedom of people, for example, in obedience.

(IV) moral values, related to good and duty, in the face of which lies, injustice or violence are considered anti-values.

(V) the aesthetic values, with respect to which what is disagreeable or ugly constitutes an anti-value; social values, linked to the individual’s interactions in society, so its anti-values ​​are those that put interpersonal ties in tension, such as individualism or selfishness; (vi) ecological values, dedicated to caring for the environment, the opposite of which is its destruction.

(VII) economic values, linked to the fair distribution of material resources, against which excessive accumulation and lack, as well as consumerism and misery, are opposed as anti-values.

(VIII) religious values, with which atheism confronts.

Values ​​and society

Each human group, society or culture produces and reproduces certain values, considered as positive. Whereas values ​​consist of characters that are considered desirable, so they are aspired to; for their part, anti-values ​​are rejected, since they are detrimental. However, the lack of a value does not necessarily imply the presence of its corresponding anti-value; rather, values ​​and anti-values ​​can be given independently.

The current era has been characterized, from different theories, as a moment of “crisis of values”, typical of modern societies. Another possible reading in this regard indicates that it would not be a crisis of valuation, but a manifestation of the values ​​on which society rests under the terms of the capitalist mode of production. In this sense, to the extent that society is dominated by the accumulation of capital, it does not admit other values, since such accumulation imposes as a condition the deepening of inequalities between individuals.

Therefore, it would not be possible to speak of societies without values, since every society is always regulated by a symbolic order in which a must-be is normatively articulated; Said expression, strictly speaking, would refer to the reversal of some values ​​by others.