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    Default Fi and Moral Nihilism

    Every depiction of Fi as purported by the Mighty Russian Elite and their teammates makes some large emphasis on morality. right vs wrong, good vs bad, etc. And every time I read such a description I must hold back an innate compulsion to shove a sharp pointy thing into something shoveable on my person.

    From other Fi-kin's perspective, what's your take on moral nihilism and the moral nihilist? I've taken to calling myself one as of late, and I don't see such a philosophy conflicting with my Feelers at all.

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    I deem most Fi-typed people as "Moral Moriahs" who annoy me.

    My morals are pretty flexible. I'm okay with it. I prefer logic.

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    I prefer Fi to be about ethics, not morality. I absolutely hate people preaching to me about what's moral and immoral.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

    I find Fi morality to be more of a Delta brand of Fi. Good for their own kind, but not good for Gammas. Adhering to a moral philosophy is much better and more enlightened.

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    By moral nihilist you mean that something isn't innately right/wrong, it just ..is. As in it exists.?

    Random thoughts for now:
    I have often had problems with some of the Fi descriptions. I see Fi as being an object's attraction/repulsion to/from another object. How close do we want to hold it, how far we want to keep it away. As such, it would be a very individualistic element, which might depend on the circumstances surrounding it, who/what was involved, and how it affected those people involved. I realize that my Ne also plays a part in how I view Fi, as I don't feel that I am a necessary component in the field. Iow, just because *I* might like something doesn't mean it is universally likable, nor that I expect others to necessarily like it either.

    I may even completely disagree with an action, personally, but unless it is a strong value of mine, I am not likely to judge someone as necessarily bad because they did the action.

    1D Fi would be the basic experience of attraction/repulsion.
    2D Fi would catch onto basic patterns, norms, rules of those experiences.
    3D Fi recognizes that the rules/norms might differ according to particular situations. (This is where we start to diverge from those descriptions of Fi you mentioned.)
    4D Fi grasps how the basic experience of attraction/repulsion developed(s) in differing situations.
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    I don't know what people consider me as, but I have a problem with thinking in great detail about the people around me. I think about how they react to different things people do around them and how they behave one minute or another. What kinds of things they find funny and what kind of sense of humor they have. How seriously they take themselves and why and how. How they seem to feel about different things that happen to people and how they are when dealing with people individually. I look at whether they seem to get mad and resent more petty things or whether or not they can handle things without freaking out. I look at how they prefer to treat people and what kinds of things bother them and what kinds of things they like. I look at whether or not they will help people when someone needs it and it's not much of a problem for them; I look at whether or not they will do this, even if they don't like the person very much, if they feel compelled on a humanistic level to do something anyway, as if it's a part of their nature they can't get rid of. I look at the demeanor of respect someone has for human beings, in general.

    And honestly, it's a bit confusing because someone can do something really dickish/assholish one minute, but I won't evaluate them on that or hold it against, but instead hold against them on everything else about them that makes me feel a certain way. Most of the time, I feel ambivalence and try to stop thinking about it. But sometimes it's pretty clear how I feel about someone. And it's not really a question of having moral rules or being nihilistic, but in feeling a certain way and being compelled to behave a certain way or act a certain way towards people. And the more ambivalence I have for people, the more nihilistic I probably act, but it doesn't mean I'm acting on nihilistic principles or beliefs, but have a lack of desire to care that makes it meaningless for me to care, a transient subjective nihilism I suppose.

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    Post your face, Tackk.

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    I think it's absolutely terrible.
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    Maybe a moral nihilist is a simply person who has a huge filter for any consideration that there can be inherent right or wrong about things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Name13 View Post
    I think it's absolutely terrible.
    But what is terrible? Things just are not terrible. Not good. Not right. Not wrong. Just are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    But what is terrible? Things just are not terrible. Not good. Not right. Not wrong. Just are.
    In order for life to have purpose, you have to accept your subjective worldview and have faith in what you believe in. You have to stand for something. Of course, life is complicated in many ways, but many things are definitely wrong. Killing someone to take their money, raping someone, abusing your kids, etc. are obviously wrong. I also think nihilism promotes blind acceptance of other ideas and moral viewpoints. It's very intellectually lazy IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    Every depiction of Fi as purported by the Mighty Russian Elite and their teammates makes some large emphasis on morality. right vs wrong, good vs bad, etc. And every time I read such a description I must hold back an innate compulsion to shove a sharp pointy thing into something shoveable on my person....
    Maybe its not what they are saying re: Fi = moralism, but your own subjective view based on your experiences as to what they mean by moralism, based on your own past negative experiences with the subject. If it was wrong/negative/unfair/invalidating/judgemental, then it left a bad taste for you.

    And maybe you threw the baby out with the dirty bathwater! Because I am sure you have some views about what is right that people do/say, what is wrong, some kind of sense of justice of your own.

    I mean, your even having a repulsed reaction to the subject means you think there is something wrong with the subject (or the way some/most people deal with it) meaning you have made a moral judgement about the subject of morality.


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    I think Fi has to do with HUMANISM, with compassion, love, etc. It is a necessary thing for all people, but, for Russians, it probably seems like 'Morals' because they were taken from any religion/spirituality for many decades, so I understand their interpretation of Fi in terms of morals as natural to their communist-nihilist background. Actually Fi is not about morals, it is about the innate human instinct of helping others, of having compassion for others, of feeling love for someone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    Post your face, Tackk.
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    I'm feeling nihilist already.

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    My opinion, since I think I am an Fi:
    Right and wrong can be deduced with reason and logic. It is a truth independent of humanity, independent of society, and independent of gods. Anything else cannot be called ethics. I would call them customs.

    Some people asked about the meaning of moral nihilism. My breakdown is this:

    Cognitivist - moral statements are true or false. Major subcategories are moral realism and moral relativism, but there may be others.
    Moral realism - such propositions are mind-independent
    Moral relativism - such propositions are not mind-independent
    Non-cognitivist - moral statements are not propositions. They are not true or false. Major subcategories are emotivist and prescriptivist, but there may be others.
    Emotivist - "Killing is wrong!" actually means "boo on killing!", just describes how the speaker feels on the subject.
    Prescriptivism - "Killing is wrong!" is actually a command, "don't kill!", the bible speaks like this (Thou shalt not kill, as opposed to killing is wrong)

    Moral nihilists probably fall under some sort of non-cognitivist belief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    Maybe its not what they are saying re: Fi = moralism, but your own subjective view based on your experiences as to what they mean by moralism, based on your own past negative experiences with the subject. If it was wrong/negative/unfair/invalidating/judgemental, then it left a bad taste for you.

    And maybe you threw the baby out with the dirty bathwater! Because I am sure you have some views about what is right that people do/say, what is wrong, some kind of sense of justice of your own.

    I mean, your even having a repulsed reaction to the subject means you think there is something wrong with the subject (or the way some/most people deal with it) meaning you have made a moral judgement about the subject of morality.

    You seem to not understand what moral nihilism is, so let me indulge you in my brain:


    There are way too many meta-ethical schools of thought to cover here, so I'll just cover some of the basics (to the limits of my understanding).

    On the most extreme side we have Moral Absolutism, adherents of which will claim that morality is an perfectly objective standard of morality with definitive existence within the universe. Those who adopt such a meta-ethical philosophy are, from my perspective, usually highly religious and literally interpret whatever scripture they follow as the Absolute truth of humankind. The big glaring issues I have here are three-fold:

    1) Each proponent of a morally absolute doctrine will enforce rules that often differ radically from each other (if morality was objective, wouldn't there be just one law that everybody followed naturally?)

    2) Such rules of law often place too much dependence on authority to set and enforce these rules, which ends up being more morality by force and punishment rather than personal obligation or "greater good"

    3) Different groups or individuals will often interpret these so-called "objective" truths in radically different ways, each one claiming their own subjective interpretation of the precedent as the Truth. Just look at all the sects and denominations of Christianity in the U.S. today, the specific teachings of which all derived from the same one book. This sort of thing starts wars when left unchecked...


    On the opposite end of the spectrum we have Moral Relativism, which establishes morality as a matter of subjective interpretation based solely on an individual's life circumstances like culture, gender, experiences, etc. For me this works as a more reasonable compromise down from moral absolutism, but this forces me to ask the question: if right and wrong are determined solely on the individual's perspective, then what's the point in trying to classify it? If any moral debate you have between two people ends up in "I think it's right" vs "I think it's wrong, but I understand that morality depends on the individual," then nobody has learned anything. Any attempt at legitimate discussion just turns into a passive, inoffensively feel-good slumber party where the opportunity to learn something new about yourself or the world can't possibly develop.


    Despite the radical and irreconcilable differences between these two meta-ethical standpoints, they both deal with the same issues of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil etc., and both accept that right/wrong, good/bad dichotomies exist in some form or another. So I ask, how does one define "good" or "bad" in the first place? This is, of course, the exact question the entire field of Ethics attempts to solve. But this field, like the greatest majority of religions, lacks something incredibly important about its foundations: measurability. How can you measure a thing's goodness in an objective manner? There exists no moral spectrometer that can give a readout of how many righteousness-waves some bloke emits when he gives a homeless kid a fiver. The only way a person can determine goodness or badness is through some other secondary or tertiary means of interpretation, either by precedent (people say that X is bad, so I won't allow it), authority (my book/priest/markov chain text generator says that Y is good, so I accept it), or through some other personally-devised structure of understanding. None of these methods of understanding deal with the object itself as the focal point, rather the method by which the thing is interpreted.

    At this point, I find myself rather disinterested in debating whether or not something is morally correct because the means by which people attempt to gauge morality depend on what method they use to interpret it rather than the physically observable consequences of the thing itself. The reason for this, I contend, is that right and wrong do not exist in any sense other than linguistic practicality. Any interpretations of right and wrong I automatically translate as "I like" and "I dislike," because to my ear that's all they're saying. Without some sort of physical display of what good or bad looks like, all that can be said about the matter lives in the projections that people create in its place. Basically my understanding of other people's ethical reactions falls mostly under what @Taknamay posted about Emotivism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Trying to think of your life as having a 'purpose' seems like the far bigger copout to me.
    How?? Life doesn't have an inherent purpose but most of us are able to create one for our own lives.
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    Last edited by nigh; 07-08-2014 at 04:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Trying to think of your life as having a 'purpose' seems like the far bigger copout to me.
    It took me a while to recognize that 'mfckr' is ashton. Hi there ashton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legerdemain View Post
    You're quick to jump in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    You seem to not understand what moral nihilism is, so let me indulge you in my brain:


    There are way too many meta-ethical schools of thought to cover here, so I'll just cover some of the basics (to the limits of my understanding).

    On the most extreme side we have Moral Absolutism, adherents of which will claim that morality is an perfectly objective standard of morality with definitive existence within the universe. Those who adopt such a meta-ethical philosophy are, from my perspective, usually highly religious and literally interpret whatever scripture they follow as the Absolute truth of humankind. The big glaring issues I have here are three-fold:

    1) Each proponent of a morally absolute doctrine will enforce rules that often differ radically from each other (if morality was objective, wouldn't there be just one law that everybody followed naturally?)

    2) Such rules of law often place too much dependence on authority to set and enforce these rules, which ends up being more morality by force and punishment rather than personal obligation or "greater good"

    3) Different groups or individuals will often interpret these so-called "objective" truths in radically different ways, each one claiming their own subjective interpretation of the precedent as the Truth. Just look at all the sects and denominations of Christianity in the U.S. today, the specific teachings of which all derived from the same one book. This sort of thing starts wars when left unchecked...


    On the opposite end of the spectrum we have Moral Relativism, which establishes morality as a matter of subjective interpretation based solely on an individual's life circumstances like culture, gender, experiences, etc. For me this works as a more reasonable compromise down from moral absolutism, but this forces me to ask the question: if right and wrong are determined solely on the individual's perspective, then what's the point in trying to classify it? If any moral debate you have between two people ends up in "I think it's right" vs "I think it's wrong, but I understand that morality depends on the individual," then nobody has learned anything. Any attempt at legitimate discussion just turns into a passive, inoffensively feel-good slumber party where the opportunity to learn something new about yourself or the world can't possibly develop.


    Despite the radical and irreconcilable differences between these two meta-ethical standpoints, they both deal with the same issues of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil etc., and both accept that right/wrong, good/bad dichotomies exist in some form or another. So I ask, how does one define "good" or "bad" in the first place? This is, of course, the exact question the entire field of Ethics attempts to solve. But this field, like the greatest majority of religions, lacks something incredibly important about its foundations: measurability. How can you measure a thing's goodness in an objective manner? There exists no moral spectrometer that can give a readout of how many righteousness-waves some bloke emits when he gives a homeless kid a fiver. The only way a person can determine goodness or badness is through some other secondary or tertiary means of interpretation, either by precedent (people say that X is bad, so I won't allow it), authority (my book/priest/markov chain text generator says that Y is good, so I accept it), or through some other personally-devised structure of understanding. None of these methods of understanding deal with the object itself as the focal point, rather the method by which the thing is interpreted.

    At this point, I find myself rather disinterested in debating whether or not something is morally correct because the means by which people attempt to gauge morality depend on what method they use to interpret it rather than the physically observable consequences of the thing itself. The reason for this, I contend, is that right and wrong do not exist in any sense other than linguistic practicality. Any interpretations of right and wrong I automatically translate as "I like" and "I dislike," because to my ear that's all they're saying. Without some sort of physical display of what good or bad looks like, all that can be said about the matter lives in the projections that people create in its place. Basically my understanding of other people's ethical reactions falls mostly under what @Taknamay posted about Emotivism.

    I have my own view on what i perceive as right/wrong good/bad etc, this i deciphered myself from the information I have absorbed throughout my life and usually through the lens of my environment, my views are not so in line with societies views in general but there is a large cross over.

    An interesting way of looking at it on a more cosmic level is that of positive v negative creation v destruction repelling v attracting. These do not tackle such issues of morality as they are in such a macrocosm it's only once you zoom in do you find people squabbling over the details yet the balance of opposition is necessary.

    Now this is a story all about how, my type got changed, turned upside down. Just wait for a minute and watch chatbox right there, & I'll tell how Gem became the moderator with blue hair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Depends how it's done. I think if one proceeds on the basis of acknowledging life's meaning as inherently arbitrary and accepts oneself as responsible for however they've chosen to define it, that's probably fine. But if they choose to regard life's meaning as coming from something external to them—e.g. God, Destiny, Nation, Family, etc.—then they're probably in err and liable to contribute much harm.
    Yeah I thought that must've been what you meant, with which I agree. Although I'm not entirely sure if that's what Name13 was saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    You seem to not understand what moral nihilism is, so let me indulge you in my brain:


    There are way too many meta-ethical schools of thought to cover here, so I'll just cover some of the basics (to the limits of my understanding).

    On the most extreme side we have Moral Absolutism, adherents of which will claim that morality is an perfectly objective standard of morality with definitive existence within the universe. Those who adopt such a meta-ethical philosophy are, from my perspective, usually highly religious and literally interpret whatever scripture they follow as the Absolute truth of humankind. The big glaring issues I have here are three-fold:

    1) Each proponent of a morally absolute doctrine will enforce rules that often differ radically from each other (if morality was objective, wouldn't there be just one law that everybody followed naturally?)

    2) Such rules of law often place too much dependence on authority to set and enforce these rules, which ends up being more morality by force and punishment rather than personal obligation or "greater good"

    3) Different groups or individuals will often interpret these so-called "objective" truths in radically different ways, each one claiming their own subjective interpretation of the precedent as the Truth. Just look at all the sects and denominations of Christianity in the U.S. today, the specific teachings of which all derived from the same one book. This sort of thing starts wars when left unchecked...


    On the opposite end of the spectrum we have Moral Relativism, which establishes morality as a matter of subjective interpretation based solely on an individual's life circumstances like culture, gender, experiences, etc. For me this works as a more reasonable compromise down from moral absolutism, but this forces me to ask the question: if right and wrong are determined solely on the individual's perspective, then what's the point in trying to classify it? If any moral debate you have between two people ends up in "I think it's right" vs "I think it's wrong, but I understand that morality depends on the individual," then nobody has learned anything. Any attempt at legitimate discussion just turns into a passive, inoffensively feel-good slumber party where the opportunity to learn something new about yourself or the world can't possibly develop.


    Despite the radical and irreconcilable differences between these two meta-ethical standpoints, they both deal with the same issues of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil etc., and both accept that right/wrong, good/bad dichotomies exist in some form or another. So I ask, how does one define "good" or "bad" in the first place? This is, of course, the exact question the entire field of Ethics attempts to solve. But this field, like the greatest majority of religions, lacks something incredibly important about its foundations: measurability. How can you measure a thing's goodness in an objective manner? There exists no moral spectrometer that can give a readout of how many righteousness-waves some bloke emits when he gives a homeless kid a fiver. The only way a person can determine goodness or badness is through some other secondary or tertiary means of interpretation, either by precedent (people say that X is bad, so I won't allow it), authority (my book/priest/markov chain text generator says that Y is good, so I accept it), or through some other personally-devised structure of understanding. None of these methods of understanding deal with the object itself as the focal point, rather the method by which the thing is interpreted.

    At this point, I find myself rather disinterested in debating whether or not something is morally correct because the means by which people attempt to gauge morality depend on what method they use to interpret it rather than the physically observable consequences of the thing itself. The reason for this, I contend, is that right and wrong do not exist in any sense other than linguistic practicality. Any interpretations of right and wrong I automatically translate as "I like" and "I dislike," because to my ear that's all they're saying. Without some sort of physical display of what good or bad looks like, all that can be said about the matter lives in the projections that people create in its place. Basically my understanding of other people's ethical reactions falls mostly under what @Taknamay posted about Emotivism.
    How do you personally approach values in your own life, then?
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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Thanks, @Galen for the excellent clarification. I totally agree with the problems you have with Moral Relativisim, such things have always made Relativism seem riduclous, like some sort of denial of reality. Perhaps it is a denial - a denial of Moral Absolutism.

    Of the two ends of the spectrum there is no question for me I m closer to Abosultism than Relativism. Relativism seems to pose greater problems. But the Moral Absolutism definition does not resonate with me either. I cannot relate to it personally, something is off. I also like what @Taknamay wrote, particularly his point that The Ten Commandments - which are a solid moral compass for me - he points out that the Commandment says "Thou shall not kill", not, "Killing is wrong".

    Yes, so the Moral Absolutism definition does not describe my beliefs, nor what I have come to know my Catholic faith to teach, which I have been learning about ten years now and will continue to learn and understand for the rest of my life. Catholics obviously are not moral relativists, but when I converted I was often struck by the "relativism" in moral matters, as compared to the Christian faith tradition I had converted from (basically non-denon Evangelical - a category of broad spectrum). I kept being surprised when learning the Church's true stance on a matter, or in confession - matters that were clear before weren't always so clear, because of circumstance and context. For example, before I thought lying was just wrong: always a sin. Now I understood that my Church teaches that in some cases its NOT a sin to lie. For example, Nazi's come to the door and and ask you if you know the whereabouts of a certain Jew, whom you have in fact hid under your floor boards. You say no, I have no clue, which is an unquestionable lie so you would think its a sin, but the Church teaches its not a sin because the greater good must be taken into account. And it is not necessary to confess it. Or what is considered a mortal sin may instead in some circumstances be a venial sin. When you learn the reasonungs, it all seems just and true.

    You could spend your whole life studying the topic of moral absolutes and every generation has a legion of theologians doing just that. Many spend their entire scholarly lives in pursuit of understanding the works of just one moral theologian, for example, St.Thomas Aquinas. Here is an long article by a scholar weighing in on the works of other Aquinas scholars concerning conflicting views on whether or not Aquinas believed in the existence of moral absolutes: http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/FR92202.htm

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    maybe moral nihilism makes sense from an intellectual standpoint and i can't say i have perfectly logical justifications for all of my viewpoints but torturing kittens and raping babies is wrong, period, and i can't let go of that enough to get behind it in anything but a completely philisophical sort of way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    Every depiction of Fi as purported by the Mighty Russian Elite and their teammates makes some large emphasis on morality. right vs wrong, good vs bad, etc. And every time I read such a description I must hold back an innate compulsion to shove a sharp pointy thing into something shoveable on my person.

    From other Fi-kin's perspective, what's your take on moral nihilism and the moral nihilist? I've taken to calling myself one as of late, and I don't see such a philosophy conflicting with my Feelers at all.
    Morality is associated with Fi as the basis of morality can be viewed as sympathy/antipathy. Polarity of relations. Your innate compulsion to stab pointy things is more or less a moral reaction. You react in a way that implies a cognitive revulsion and experience of "bad, bad, bad" which you want to act on to rid of the "bad, bad, bad". This is essentially what is viewed in many ways as the basis of morality. Taking it further you might want to say that "Associating good/bad morality with is bad". There you've made a moral rule, which is personal to you, and based on your experience of "bad bad bad" towards this phenomenon of reality.

    Every individual has and how one deals with is based on the position of the function within the psyche. There are big differences between something like Creative vs Polr vs Accepting . In general Ego types experience their sympathies and antipathies in a way that is meaningful to them from a identity differentiating standpoint. Super-ego experience it from a social pressure stand point.

    It's entirely possible one could choose to call themselves a moral nihilist while being creative or any type at all, but it's important to dissect what this label means.

    Take creatives and polrs for example. Both creatives and polr have as a producing, cautious function, but they might arrive at moral nihilism, nihilism, and amoral-ism from very different cognitive basis. For creatives, as a strong part of their identity, they view their personal good/evil, right/wrong views as either acceptable or better, and don't necessarily want to be intruded on by other people's , this is a generative strength of creatives. However, polrs don't experience the same way, it is a punishment and a point of vulnerability to them. They have to construct a frame work from to protect themselves from criticism and punishment. This is a avoidant position in contrast to a constructive, generative position.

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    when you see the booty Galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryene Astraelis View Post
    How do you personally approach values in your own life, then?
    I'm still in the midst of solidifying what my whole take on value is, but I do know that one can still have personal values without attributing "right" or "wrong" to them. It's sort of a hedonistic viewpoint where Good and Bad are substituted with Like and Dislike, "conducive to my goals and desires" vs otherwise. It's an attempt to reconcile both human capacities for rational analysis and emotional desire, as I've come to conclude that both are equally as valid and must be taken into consideration for personal decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lungs View Post
    maybe moral nihilism makes sense from an intellectual standpoint and i can't say i have perfectly logical justifications for all of my viewpoints but torturing kittens and raping babies is wrong, period, and i can't let go of that enough to get behind it in anything but a completely philisophical sort of way.
    Maybe instead of thinking about the matter as a Right and Wrong argument, consider all the consequences of killing a kitten:

    1) You've needlessly asserted authority by way of torture over something that posed no threat to you, thus wasting energy and resources (this is probably the coldest way of thinking about the situation, which doesn't really do much for me and is probably the least concern of anybody who even considers going through with it)
    2) People will find out that you've killed a kitten, and either you'll:
    2a) Suffer the consequences of the law, or
    2b) Completely and perhaps irreversibly ruin the beneficial relationships you have with other people
    3) You'll feel like shit for doing it, because most humans have the capacity for sympathy and empathy.

    Any one of these reasons would be enough to not go ahead and do the thing, and none of them necessitate that some notion of right or wrong be allocated to the action itself. I guess you could say I'm rather a consequentialist in this sense, with emotional ramifications being a very important consequence to take into account.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    I'm still in the midst of solidifying what my whole take on value is, but I do know that one can still have personal values without attributing "right" or "wrong" to them. It's sort of a hedonistic viewpoint where Good and Bad are substituted with Like and Dislike, "conducive to my goals and desires" vs otherwise. It's an attempt to reconcile both human capacities for rational analysis and emotional desire, as I've come to conclude that both are equally as valid and must be taken into consideration for personal decisions.


    Maybe instead of thinking about the matter as a Right and Wrong argument, consider all the consequences of killing a kitten:

    1) You've needlessly asserted authority by way of torture over something that posed no threat to you, thus wasting energy and resources (this is probably the coldest way of thinking about the situation, which doesn't really do much for me and is probably the least concern of anybody who even considers going through with it)
    2) People will find out that you've killed a kitten, and either you'll:
    2a) Suffer the consequences of the law, or
    2b) Completely and perhaps irreversibly ruin the beneficial relationships you have with other people
    3) You'll feel like shit for doing it, because most humans have the capacity for sympathy and empathy.

    Any one of these reasons would be enough to not go ahead and do the thing, and none of them necessitate that some notion of right or wrong be allocated to the action itself. I guess you could say I'm rather a consequentialist in this sense, with emotional ramifications being a very important consequence to take into account.
    This makes a lot of sense to me. I definitely have a sense of "right" and "wrong" (somewhat based on religion, somewhat based on my own personal leanings), but I also strongly focus on the consequences of a given behavior, particularly if my inclinations conflict with a moral or legal rule. Do you think this is enneagram-related for you? We are both E6.
    Johari/Nohari

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    I'm still in the midst of solidifying what my whole take on value is, but I do know that one can still have personal values without attributing "right" or "wrong" to them. It's sort of a hedonistic viewpoint where Good and Bad are substituted with Like and Dislike, "conducive to my goals and desires" vs otherwise. It's an attempt to reconcile both human capacities for rational analysis and emotional desire, as I've come to conclude that both are equally as valid and must be taken into consideration for personal decisions.


    Maybe instead of thinking about the matter as a Right and Wrong argument, consider all the consequences of killing a kitten:

    1) You've needlessly asserted authority by way of torture over something that posed no threat to you, thus wasting energy and resources (this is probably the coldest way of thinking about the situation, which doesn't really do much for me and is probably the least concern of anybody who even considers going through with it)
    2) People will find out that you've killed a kitten, and either you'll:
    2a) Suffer the consequences of the law, or
    2b) Completely and perhaps irreversibly ruin the beneficial relationships you have with other people
    3) You'll feel like shit for doing it, because most humans have the capacity for sympathy and empathy.

    Any one of these reasons would be enough to not go ahead and do the thing, and none of them necessitate that some notion of right or wrong be allocated to the action itself. I guess you could say I'm rather a consequentialist in this sense, with emotional ramifications being a very important consequence to take into account.
    I feel like 3) is as cold as 1) because it seems to deny that the kitten is a real being and makes the persons reaction to the event more important than the life, well being and integrity of the other.

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    when you see the booty Galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zola View Post
    I feel like 3) is as cold as 1) because it seems to deny that the kitten is a real being and makes the persons reaction to the event more important than the life, well being and integrity of the other.
    I wouldn't think that people could be sympathetic towards things they didn't consider "real beings," whatever that even means in the first place.

    But you are right, it is a very self-oriented philosophy. I don't necessarily see this as a detrimental mindset though, it still allows for compassion and altruism and all the other nice humaney things that humans do to make the world an easier place to be. It just filters it all through a very personally subjective, contextually driven, and mildly utilitarian perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryene Astraelis View Post
    This makes a lot of sense to me. I definitely have a sense of "right" and "wrong" (somewhat based on religion, somewhat based on my own personal leanings), but I also strongly focus on the consequences of a given behavior, particularly if my inclinations conflict with a moral or legal rule. Do you think this is enneagram-related for you? We are both E6.
    That crossed my mind a bit, yeah. Consequentialism is very much a thing, you should check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    Maybe instead of thinking about the matter as a Right and Wrong argument, consider all the consequences of killing a kitten:

    1) You've needlessly asserted authority by way of torture over something that posed no threat to you, thus wasting energy and resources (this is probably the coldest way of thinking about the situation, which doesn't really do much for me and is probably the least concern of anybody who even considers going through with it)
    2) People will find out that you've killed a kitten, and either you'll:
    2a) Suffer the consequences of the law, or
    2b) Completely and perhaps irreversibly ruin the beneficial relationships you have with other people
    3) You'll feel like shit for doing it, because most humans have the capacity for sympathy and empathy.

    Any one of these reasons would be enough to not go ahead and do the thing, and none of them necessitate that some notion of right or wrong be allocated to the action itself. I guess you could say I'm rather a consequentialist in this sense, with emotional ramifications being a very important consequence to take into account.
    I honestly cannot even get myself to rationalize it like that. The thought of killing a cat (or a person for that matter) for the sake of killing it just feels too wrong to even want to take it into a rational realm. Consequences don't matter either. It is just wrong because I have no right to inflict harm on other creatures for my own personal enjoyment. Some of my personal rights and wrongs are purely emotional I guess.

    So, yes, I feel similarly as @lungs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    I honestly cannot even get myself to rationalize it like that. The thought of killing a cat (or a person for that matter) for the sake of killing it just feels too wrong to even want to take it into a rational realm. Consequences don't matter either. It is just wrong because I have no right to inflict harm on other creatures for my own personal enjoyment. Some of my personal rights and wrongs are purely emotional I guess.
    Except you wouldn't enjoy it. You would feel terrible for having done such a thing because you are an intellectually advanced being capable of sympathetic emotional reactions. That's really the big part I was trying to drive home, hence the boldface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    Except you wouldn't enjoy it. You would feel terrible for having done such a thing because you are an intellectually advanced being capable of sympathetic emotional reactions.
    What type of scenario are we talking about then? I think I have a hard time thinking about right and wrong without specific contexts.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    What type of scenario are we talking about then? I think I have a hard time thinking about right and wrong without specific contexts.
    I assumed we were still on "torturing a kitten."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    What type of scenario are we talking about then? I think I have a hard time thinking about right and wrong without specific contexts.
    I think it is wrong (and despicable) to torture a kitten. I don't care about consequences, really. It is just a disgusting thing to do. Most things I consider morally and ethically wrong are things that cause needless harm. It is wrong to inflict needless emotional and physical pain on someone, for example. And I have no clue if I am participating productively in this thread with this.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
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    when you see the booty Galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    I think it is wrong (and despicable) to torture a kitten. I don't care about consequences, really. It is just a disgusting thing to do. Most things I consider morally and ethically wrong are things that cause needless harm. It is wrong to inflict needless emotional and physical pain on someone, for example.
    Ah, so it's "wrong" because it disgusts you. This says much more about your attitude towards the subject than the subject itself though, no?

    I could say "that episode of The Simpsons was disgusting," but without any knowledge of what was actually happening you'd be totally in the dark as to why. Did someone kill a dog? Did they show a fully uncensored act of copulation? Did someone say a naughty word? Or do you just have an irrational fear of broccoli, the mere sight of which causes you to gag uncontrollably? By merely calling something "disgusting" you convey absolutely nothing about the content in question, only your own reaction to the thing. There's ultimately no way to adequately explain why something is wrong or disgusting, or the inverse, without relating the event back to the experience of the self.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    And I have no clue if I am participating productively in this thread with this.
    You're contributing counterarguments, which is productive for me at least in helping shape my own argument har har

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    Ah, so it's "wrong" because it disgusts you. This says much more about your attitude towards the subject than the subject itself though, no?

    I could say "that episode of The Simpsons was disgusting," but without any knowledge of what was actually happening you'd be totally in the dark as to why. Did someone kill a dog? Did they show a fully uncensored act of copulation? Did someone say a naughty word? Or do you just have an irrational fear of broccoli, the mere sight of which causes you to gag uncontrollably? By merely calling something "disgusting" you convey absolutely nothing about the content in question, only your own reaction to the thing. There's ultimately no way to adequately explain why something is wrong or disgusting, or the inverse, without relating the event back to the experience of the self.


    You're contributing counterarguments, which is productive for me at least in helping shape my own argument har har
    If I were to see someone torturing a kitty, I would be disgusted and revolted, yes. My immediate concern would be with the kitten to keep if from harm. Then I would want to know why it was done.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    If I were to see someone torturing a kitty, I would be disgusted and revolted, yes. My immediate concern would be with the kitten to keep if from harm. Then I would want to know why it was done.
    These are all perfectly natural reactions that I and most everybody else would follow through with (except for Bystander Effect, Milgram experiments etc., both of which are outside the scope of this discussion). None of this means that the kitten being harmed is an objectively wrong act that can be demonstrated through scientific means with hard evidence and strict testing guidelines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galen View Post
    These are all perfectly natural reactions that I and most everybody else would follow through with (except for Bystander Effect, Milgram experiments etc., both of which are outside the scope of this discussion). None of this means that the kitten being harmed is an objectively wrong act that can be demonstrated through scientific means with hard evidence and strict testing guidelines.
    I see your point and I am not trying to argue, really. I am just telling you how I feel about right and wrong, personally. To me it is just wrong to inflict harm and when it comes to this type of violent act against a creature, I can't get past my emotional reaction. It is just wrong and needs to be prevented (which also means it needs to be understood).
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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