They are attitudes or attributes that are properly human or that are attributed to objects, which oppose the harmonious growth of the personality and, ultimately, of society itself.

The concept of antivalues

Opposed to values , they are understood as harmful human behaviors for others. If the values ​​are in themselves moral and ethical principles of coexistence , which allow a harmonious psychosocial development, the anti-values ​​will subvert the real possibilities of coexistence.

At the global level, there is the letter of declaration of Human Rights, a series of universal values ​​that enjoy international acceptance: justice, solidarity, freedom, tolerance, equality, among others . Values ​​are the principles that constitute the identity of an individual.

Human behavior is based on this series of values. That is, they have a practical purpose in daily life. For example, in the face of injustice, the subject may react purposefully or remain idly.

The importance of values

In any case, values ​​are beliefs that can vary according to culture. This relativism has tended – however – to decrease with the evolution of humanity, finding a series of common values ​​that permeate cultural and ideological barriers .

Indeed, it happens that love, respect and honesty, highly valued qualities, are opposed to hatred, discrimination and immorality, respectively.

Life in society would fail if anti-values ​​prevailed. If disrespect, intolerance, dishonesty, disloyalty, lack of solidarity and empathy dominate , the project of social coexistence, expressed in universal human rights, would not be viable. And it is that antivalues ​​negatively affect all levels of human life.

Characteristics of antivalues

The common denominator then of the antivalues ​​assigned to objects and people is their negative character (bad by definition), unnecessary or undesirable.

Anti- values ​​are the antithesis of moral and ethical values . What is relevant to remember that ethics deals with reason and morality defines the behavior that structures human life. In its etymological, ethical and moral sense they have the same meaning: ” Moral “, has its origin in “mos”; and “ethics,” comes from the Greek word “ethos,” which define habit or custom.

In summary, we can say that anti-values ​​are negative , bad and destabilizing attributes or qualities of community life . Each antivalue is opposed by a value. Anti-values ​​achieve the opposite of what values ​​achieve socially.

Types of anti-securities

The classification of anti-values is given by the area where they are developed, be it social, economic, political, ideological, aesthetic, labor, psychological, religious and cultural. Namely: 

  • For socioeconomic reasons , subjects may discriminate against each other.
  • For ideological and political reasons , citizens are treated negatively, undermining their political rights.
  • For reasons of aesthetic values or physical appearance , those who do not comply with the aesthetic value system recognized or imposed by society are disparaged.
  • In a work or corporate environment, negative behaviors towards others due to their professional skills.
  • On a personal or psychological level, those who manifest emotional or psychological disturbances are looked down upon .
  • In the field of spiritual beliefs , intolerance towards others for their religious manifestations and feelings.
  • In the field of cultural traditions , differentiated and negative treatment of those who belong to another culture. It can be grouped with the previous type.

As can be seen, it happens that the issue of anti-values ​​can be complex . Therefore, it is now time to mention examples to make them clearer.

Examples of antivalues

Regardless of where the subject makes a social life – at the level where he is, be it as a member of a family, a social, economic, labor group, etc. -, it happens that anti-values ​​can manifest themselves and endanger the harmony of life Social.

For example, one of the most cherished human values ​​these days is freedom. Its antithesis is slavery . In a society where slavery is paradoxically an economic means, other anti-values ​​such as injustice stand out negatively. In summary, ten antivalues ​​are mentioned below:

  • The hatred is opposed to the love. It manifests itself in various stages of social life. It is usually a feeling of animosity towards another subject or group and can have different origins.

There is mutual hatred between people, the unidirectional and the diffuse. The latter is the one that manifests itself towards social groups due to their homosexual, religious and political ideology.

  • The injustice goes hand in hand with discrimination. The application of the law in an unbalanced way implies one of the most common acts of injustice in societies where the rule of law is weak or does not exist. Unfair situations are those contrary to the common good. For example, it is unfair that large sectors of a community are left without drinking water, because the official in charge squandered the economic resources, which were for the construction of the aqueduct.
  • Although of less social significance than injustice, arrogance  is considered another anti-value. It is understood as the lack of humility or the exacerbated feeling of superiority and contempt that a person manifests towards their peers.
  • The irresponsibility is unfortunately very widespread antivalue. People do not feel an obligation to fulfill their previously committed tasks.

Driving a vehicle and at the same time sending text messages is considered an act of irresponsibility, because it could compromise not only your own life, but that of others

  • The envy is a very common antivalue between groups of various kinds. It is a feeling that is close to hatred; in fact, hatred can originate from envy.

Many people are upset by the success of others, even family and friends. Envy is accompanied by a lack of altruism and empathy.

  • The dishonesty is linked to the moral and ethical shortcomings. Thieves and scammers are dishonest by nature. Any conduct that harms a similar is considered dishonest. Honesty is a value of the most appreciated by contemporary societies.
  • In a special section, inequality appears due to the negative weight it has in today’s society.

Precisely, the global statute seeks to subvert inequality at all levels. For example, gender inequality is one of the anti-values ​​that is still being eliminated today.

  • One of the most exacerbated anti-values ​​in today’s world is selfishness . People govern their lives based on their “navel.” That is, they show excessive love for themselves and base personal relationships based on what is good for them or not, without thinking about the other person. Selfish behavior is very common in large metropolises, where people tend to close in on themselves, often as a self-defense mechanism.
  • One of the most common negative qualities among young people is disrespect . If we understand it as a social phenomenon, it is a manifestation of intolerance between individuals.

The ” bullying ” is an extreme manifestation of disrespect among schoolchildren. Although unjustifiable, disrespect stems from intolerance and lack of empathy towards other people.

  • The slavery modern exists, although it might be a contradiction in a globalized world and rights. In itself all lack of freedom implies a condition of slavery.

We are all equal before the laws. The slavery is another form of discrimination , in which the subject does not have the same rights as others. For example, the Mexican day laborer who works from sunrise to sunset, without a labor contract and social rights, is subjected to a form of slavery.

As can be seen, in order to fully understand what anti-values ​​mean, it is essential to know the values. Values ​​are all those positive attitudes and actions that have been considered ethically correct by society, in its broad sense.

Acceptance of values ​​and anti-values

How values ​​are validated, recognized and applied by a certain social group, will depend, for better or for worse, its future. Moral and ethical values ​​systematize and regularize human behaviors that take place in society. They are the antinomies of antivalues.

Without human values, without their deep exercise, positive coexistence between people would be impossible. Values ​​allow human coexistence in the same environment, although individuals do not think alike.

There are value and anti-value systems

Value systems are rooted in the various manifestations of philosophical, ideological, and religious thought. For example, there are obvious links between the ten commandments of the Catholic religion and universally accepted human values.

The Catholic Church promotes the majority of human values ​​in the Western world, finding its faithful even stronger pedagogical support. In a framework of intolerance, at times increasingly accentuated by political and religious ideals, the role of its leaders is fundamental.

The danger of the rise of anti-values

Anti-values ​​can be manifestly self-destructive . The human being, carried away by drugs, can cause his own death. Another of the most damaging antivalues ​​is that of inequality. Social injustice, expressed in unequal rights, leads to the breakdown of the structures that maintain social coexistence.

In the socio-economic fabric of the great post-industrial metropolises, individualism is widely recognized. Professional competence, the search for individual well-being in any field and at any cost are, paradoxically, anti-values ​​that find a positive evaluation.

Although also individualism and competition between capital and entrepreneurs, has led to altruism among millionaires, as a way of compensation.

Anti-values ​​are also destructive on a planetary scale. The destruction of the environment is a phenomenon that has been occurring gradually, to the extent that humans have required more and better sources of energy for their subsistence.

Today’s debate is ethical and moral – the very survival of the human being is at stake – regarding the urgent need to reduce environmental pollution and, consequently, the greenhouse effect. There are many economic interests that move here; But, irresponsibility has so far won out.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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