11 junio, 2024

Infrahuman values: concept, characteristics and examples

What are subhuman values?

The subhuman values or inframoral values ​​are principles of behavior that, although they are present in all human beings, can also exist in creatures that do not belong to humanity. For example, subhuman values ​​can also refer to a value possessed by an animal.

The word «subhuman» refers to a concept that is «below» a human; something that is not fully human. Subhuman value refers specifically to a value that is not unique to human beings. It includes carnal elements such as pleasure, but they present differences with other concepts that cover moral issues.

Non-human moral values ​​are similar, but different: they are called submoral values ​​and are considered a kind of subhuman value. The term is used mainly in the religious field to name any value apart from the teachings of Christ. In religion, a subhuman value is an antonym of a spiritual or moral value.

Characteristics of subhuman values


The main characteristic of a subhuman value is that it can be applied to any living creature capable of sentience. Therefore, they are values ​​that enrich the human being in one way or another, but that also enrich other animals.

Unlike submoral values, human values ​​are not only below human morality, but also below human essence.

subhuman essence

Infrahumanization is a concept that arises when a person (or a group of people) sees something as «less human» than them. That is, when it is considered that something has a different human essence from that of the person who judges it.

According to this concept, it is possible for a human to «infrahumanize» another person, but that the values ​​of both remain the same.

In the case of animals, it is easier to make a judgment of infrahumanism, since it is difficult to confuse an animal value with a human one.

However, the subhuman essence of this term encompasses all the values ​​that humans share with other species, but excludes those that only animals have.

That is, these values ​​are shared by humans and animals; Under no circumstances does subhuman value refer to a value that only animals have, or that only humans have.

Examples of subhuman values


The physical strength of a person is considered a subhuman value. This refers to the ability of a person to exert physical power over an object.

As it is a subhuman value, it does not refer in this case to the mental strength that an individual may have, since this last value is not present in an animal.

He also refers to this value as physical power or simply as energy. The holding power of an object is also not considered a subhuman value; it is simply the quality or state of being strong.

This value is usually linked to the size of each human or animal, although it is possible to appreciate it in all living beings.


Health is a value that all living beings on the planet have. As a medical concept, health is the ability of every organic and biological system to convert, distribute and use energy in the most efficient way possible. Therefore, this is affected by the quality with which a person, animal or plant lives.

The value of health has a somewhat different concept when talking about humans; For humans, health also refers to a person’s mental well-being. Someone who makes the most of her health is considered a person to the best of his social, mental, and physical capabilities.

Animals and plants are also affected by health. The lack of nutrients (in the case of vegetables) or poor care (in the case of animals) impair the value of health for these living beings.


Pleasure refers to the ability of a living being to feel happiness. Therefore, the value of pleasure can be expressed in various ways. For humans, the ability to feel pleasure or not can be decided rationally, while animals naturally seek pleasure.

The value of pleasure encompasses a large number of mental states that allow a living being to feel comfortable. Among these feelings is happiness, entertainment and enjoyment.

For most living beings, pleasure is a subjective value. Each person and animal can feel pleasure in different ways, but the value of pleasure is present in every living being. It simply changes the way in which it is expressed from one being to another.

For example, some dogs may feel pleasure when the back of one of their ears is stroked, while others may feel greater pleasure when their stomach is stroked.


Intelligence is the ability of a living being to perceive and interpret information received externally. Although it is a value that is commonly associated with humans, intelligence in many forms is also present in animals and other types of living creatures.

For humans, the value of intelligence refers to a series of capacities that the human mind has to assimilate stimuli logically, understand and be aware of what happens around each person.

In all living beings, intelligence is the ability to remember the results of previous actions to apply it to future experiences and not make the same mistake twice.

When a dog or any pet is trained, it learns through its intellectual capacities. Some animals have a better memory capacity than others, but in general every living being is capable of interpreting knowledge. Therefore, every living being has the value of intelligence.

This value is not entirely linked to intellectual capacity, because no matter how intelligent a person or living being is, they will always have this value with them.

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