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Thread: Jesus Loves Me!

  1. #61
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think at this stage, what I would hope is true is that I have stepped outside of my worldview far enough (and into other ones) that I essentially "started from scratch." I see that as why the drastic changes have occurred over the last two years... because I essentially tossed it all and started over.
    Perhaps I should use a "what if" to get what I'm trying to convey;

    What if... you had left everything behind, physically, and move to Tibet and asked them for advice.

    What really prompted the questioning - if you continue to think along the same lines, but reject a part, aren't you just reframing your point of reference? If you hold a singular truth in the middle of everything else, but simply "rotate" around it (ie: moving from literalism to figurative), has anything really changed?

    If you built your own construct (literalism) as your "truth", how did you throw the construct away, but not the truth (ie: built a new contstruct as your "truth", except... they end up being the same core truth)... I would say that it is the same structure; the change from literalism to figurative interpretation is the same as refinishing the exterior (and interior) of the home.

    Do you see the giant gap between them?

    (Of course, this has to do with authority of the Bible and I'm linking it only to mindset - there is a big philosophical difference between divine authority and moral authority... but if they are the same book, has anything really changed?)

    As I said above, I think I have been stepping outside of my original worldview a great deal and reevaluating, throwing out the things that do not fit with my experience [which includes the experiences of others with ALTERNATE worldviews and observations of others and the results of their actions] and keeping the other ones.
    Don't take this the wrong way, you are one of the most open people I have ever talked to - that's why I ask these questions to you and not others... I want to know your view because you were willing to change. I could ask so many more what they believe, but you are in that strange area where you don't believe in a thing, but rather a purpose - a meaning to things, truth or not.

    I hope I do not sound dogmatic at all. I have just spent most of my life locked in an intellectual mindset, but there now seems to be more to life than purely what can be intellectualized or justified. Of course, there are tradeoffs that come from approaching the concept of God from a different direction... one being that I cannot as easily "convince" someone else of the rightness of what I believe.
    Believing there is purpose, God and something greater is what faith is about. Believing that God has ordained your purpose is what dogma is about.

    (But of course, you know that I'd respond that the limited capacity of human's to understand does not logically lead to God.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    What really prompted the questioning - if you continue to think along the same lines, but reject a part, aren't you just reframing your point of reference? If you hold a singular truth in the middle of everything else, but simply "rotate" around it (ie: moving from literalism to figurative), has anything really changed?
    I suppose that's true. I'm just simply not sure how far a person can change that initial reference point, without drastic measures.

    One example that came to me was language.

    When I was born into an American environment and learned English, that became my point of reference. Other languages and even other dialects seem like the accents or are secondary, and everything I figure out about them or even my attempt to LEARN other languages still comes through my English-thinking mind.

    Eventually I might learn to think (and dream) in another language such as Spanish, but I'm still not sure if I can ever totally eradicate the fact that I began life speaking English.

    Should I waste that much time and energy trying, or do I accept what I have and go with it, changing as much as I can regardless and not fretting about the inability to start completely fresh?

    If you built your own construct (literalism) as your "truth", how did you throw the construct away, but not the truth (ie: built a new contstruct as your "truth", except... they end up being the same core truth)... I would say that it is the same structure; the change from literalism to figurative interpretation is the same as refinishing the exterior (and interior) of the home.
    I do not know if I agree with that part. There's a large foundational shift between (to borrow a Christian term -- ha, as I cannot avoid it, can I?) "law" and "grace." Enough that both sides can claim the Bible supports them, and yet the attitudes and mentality and way to approach life might as well be VERY different creatures. It really IS like starting over... and imperfectly, because my experience with the "law" attitude still causes guilt, but it doesn't mean I'm not grasping "grace."

    I'm also referring to many of the actual tangible laws from the OT that were to apply to Israel, which some Christians believe should be followed... and other Christians seem them as particular to a time and place. Thus, to "reject the Bible" on those terms as a literal document to be followed now doesn't mean I cannot accept other concepts within the Bible, does it?

    Don't take this the wrong way, you are one of the most open people I have ever talked to - that's why I ask these questions to you and not others... I want to know your view because you were willing to change. I could ask so many more what they believe, but you are in that strange area where you don't believe in a thing, but rather a purpose - a meaning to things, truth or not.
    Thank you, that was quite a compliment.

    I don't know if I'm totally locking into what you are asking, so feel free to keep trying if I've missed it again.

    Believing there is purpose, God and something greater is what faith is about. Believing that God has ordained your purpose is what dogma is about.
    The former is good -- it's not as if I want to be President or anything.

    I'd respond that the limited capacity of humans to understand does not logically lead to God.
    I know. And I don't have an argument, especially not one from ignorance (i.e., "I can't understand, so it MUST be God.") That sort of argument annoys me greatly.

    This is simply an acknowledgment that for whatever reason, I can't "not believe" at some level... so I'm choosing to accept that rather than trying to justify it to others.

    I suppose it's rather like the gender thing. I cannot explain to anyone else why I feel the way I do (although i can try, and make SOME level of connection with them, perhaps, if I am fortunate); I just do.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #63
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I suppose that's true. I'm just simply not sure how far a person can change that initial reference point, without drastic measures.
    (...)

    Should I waste that much time and energy trying, or do I accept what I have and go with it, changing as much as I can regardless and not fretting about the inability to start completely fresh?
    A good question... and a tough one. I think it's only for you to decide.

    Although, I must point out the irony of the "effort" bit coming from someone who wants to change their gender Different people have different priorities on "effort".

    Thus, to "reject the Bible" on those terms as a literal document to be followed now doesn't mean I cannot accept other concepts within the Bible, does it?
    No, of course not. The underlying point is that you seem to give the same authority to it - it all has to do with frame of reference. What is the difference between using language literally and figuratively? It would seem to me that using a figurative approach would allow one to self design the outcome of inexact phrases. One could pick up, say, LOTR and it's (probably more extensive history!) and do the exact same thing.

    Unless you are saying that you have become a deist and the Bible is simply the best guide to live your life... some of it... sometimes... and that's all you agree with. But I don't believe that is the case.

    This is simply an acknowledgment that for whatever reason, I can't "not believe" at some level... so I'm choosing to accept that rather than trying to justify it to others.

    I suppose it's rather like the gender thing. I cannot explain to anyone else why I feel the way I do (although i can try, and make SOME level of connection with them, perhaps, if I am fortunate); I just do.
    Funny, because I feel that is a very errant analogy - in order to understand the Gender thing, I went to find out causes, implications, stories, etc. How you feel, what causes it, etc can all be found and understood.

    Unless you are saying that religion is just a manifestation of social conditioning and biology, which I wouldn't disagree with, but would be... surprised... if you believed it (as in, it is no longer a "truth", merely perception).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Although, I must point out the irony of the "effort" bit coming from someone who wants to change their gender Different people have different priorities on "effort".
    I do sort of set these jokes up on purpose for you -- you do realize that, don't you? (I'm a humor whore; I don't care who gets the laugh, as long as we are all laughing. )

    No, of course not. The underlying point is that you seem to give the same authority to it - it all has to do with frame of reference. What is the difference between using language literally and figuratively? It would seem to me that using a figurative approach would allow one to self-design the outcome of inexact phrases. One could pick up, say, LOTR and it's (probably more extensive history!) and do the exact same thing.
    After all, Saruman really wasn't a bad sort of fellow. He was just misunderstood, but he meant well.

    Well, there are many ways to approach a text. When I read the Bible from a literature pov, I don't know how you happen to see it; but many of the characterizations seem realistic to me. Many people are seen "with their clothes off" so to speak, aside from the stories with more mythic qualities... which makes the stories believable.

    (Even the way the disciples are painted in the NT. One would expect a fake text to gloss over their stupidities and human qualities, but the Gospels do not. The stories treat them as fully human, with many weaknesses.)

    So coming from that angle, things ring "true" in many respects. But I can't know this for sure. I don't have proof these things actually happened, and some of the miracles obviously stretch some people to incredulity. So where am I left? Perhaps I was including that sort of thing in terms of "literal vs relative."

    And yes, it's possible to twist anything once you make it "relative" -- but does that mean the literal sense is still correct? No, not at all. Either you choose rigidity, which could be wrong; or you choose the reading that to you seems sensible, which could still be wrong. I've done the first and never been happy with it; and the second is the mistake I am willing to live with.

    Unless you are saying that you have become a deist and the Bible is simply the best guide to live your life... some of it... sometimes... and that's all you agree with. But I don't believe that is the case.
    If you have not figured it out by now, I don't quite know what I'm saying at all.

    Funny, because I feel that is a very errant analogy - in order to understand the Gender thing, I went to find out causes, implications, stories, etc. How you feel, what causes it, etc can all be found and understood.
    It can? You should write that up and have it published. So far, people are speculating on possible causes but no one still knows for sure.

    Unless you are saying that religion is just a manifestation of social conditioning and biology, which I wouldn't disagree with, but would be... surprised... if you believed it (as in, it is no longer a "truth", merely perception).
    I don't know what I believe specifically, to be honest. For once in my life, I feel very unable to articulate it. Because it's almost like I hold competing viewpoints in my head at once... and yet I am not bothered by it.

    (Have you ever read "The Thomas Covenant" series by Stephen R. Donaldson? Rather like that, I think. That story has had a profound impact on me over the years. I do not believe. But I believe. I can believe and doubt at once.)

    Perhaps this is mere laziness of intellect on my part, or perhaps I'm finally reaching some profound insight. Bugger, but the two are very hard to tell apart, you know...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    After all, Saruman really wasn't a bad sort of fellow. He was just misunderstood, but he meant well.
    Well, perhaps it'd be better to head back to Morgoth to build up the equivalent stories...

    Well, there are many ways to approach a text. When I read the Bible from a literature pov, I don't know how you happen to see it; but many of the characterizations seem realistic to me. Many people are seen "with their clothes off" so to speak, aside from the stories with more mythic qualities... which makes the stories believable.
    I've read a lot of different authors... Some create believable characters, some don't... but I don't think that influences how much I believe I should act based on what they say or what their outcome was.

    And yes, it's possible to twist anything once you make it "relative" -- but does that mean the literal sense is still correct? No, not at all. Either you choose rigidity, which could be wrong; or you choose the reading that to you seems sensible, which could still be wrong. I've done the first and never been happy with it; and the second is the mistake I am willing to live with.
    I understand where you are coming from, although I still disagree. See, the problem is that I could read the sentance "The sky is Red" and disagree, while the literalist would say "God said the sky is red, so it is"... but the figurative interpretation could be anything. "Well, God's eyes must work differently". "Color is an illusion". "Color is a human condition". "It must of been sunset".

    What I feel is that the accurate description ("The sky was really red") doesn't really influence the nature of the statements or how it can be... uhhh... figuratively understood.

    It can? You should write that up and have it published. So far, people are speculating on possible causes but no one still knows for sure.
    There is no single reason, I'm sure - hopefully one day we will understand it better. The analogy was meant to point out that while you can say "I can't explain why I feel like this", it is possible to explain. I can attempt to reach out for an understanding. Of course, I could do that with religion too. I can point out social conditioning, blah blah... but that'd be solely based outside of the religious view which doesn't fit this conversation.

    Now, if you said that you can't explain why God made you feel that way, I'd just shrug... I can't respond to that because it is unknowable. IOW, you assign one belief to God (the belief in) simply because acknowledging that if you believe only for naturalistic reasons, it would negate the concept of God's touch (or at least, the Christian concept of God). I assume that's what you believe.

    I suppose you could balance the "I must believe because of natural reasons" with "I don't have to resist my training"...

    I'm assuming your reaction to your belief is not to assume the naturalistic stance and start looking into how belief is formed, however. Doing so is outside the bounds of someone who believes (although I would find it a curious situation when someone asks "why do you believe in God" and you can answer it in a naturalistic way, with the conclusion you really had no option but to believe, and so you do. Paradox, wheee.) Still, the question "Does god exist" would be reduced to only deistic views under those conditions.

    (Have you ever read "The Thomas Covenant" series by Stephen R. Donaldson? Rather like that, I think. That story has had a profound impact on me over the years. I do not believe. But I believe. I can believe and doubt at once.)
    I haven't. The storyline seems interesting, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Well, perhaps it'd be better to head back to Morgoth to build up the equivalent stories...
    There you go -- needing to head straight for a "Satan" figure at the beginning. (And you tell me I'M Christianized. Actually, it's more Zoroastrian, but no biggie.)

    I've read a lot of different authors... Some create believable characters, some don't... but I don't think that influences how much I believe I should act based on what they say or what their outcome was.
    Well, right there, I was simply describing "story credibility" -- such as when you hear someone relay an anecdote of some sort, and you automatically weigh how valid it must be by its internal consistency and realism.

    As far as me behaving a certain way because a book said so? I guess I don't do it because of that. I do it because I've decided it's the best and most beneficial way to live, and it happens to align with much of what I discern in Christianity.

    Can I deduce that God is real because of that? No, I guess I can't. The two thoughts are unconnected. I guess I really am reduced to any belief I have in God being inexplicable.

    I understand where you are coming from, although I still disagree. See, the problem is that I could read the sentence "The sky is Red" and disagree, while the literalist would say "God said the sky is red, so it is"... but the figurative interpretation could be anything. "Well, God's eyes must work differently". "Color is an illusion". "Color is a human condition". "It must of been sunset".

    What I feel is that the accurate description ("The sky was really red") doesn't really influence the nature of the statements or how it can be... uhhh... figuratively understood.
    Well... I think the example is faulty, isn't it? I mean, if the sky is red, the sky is red. I'm at least in part describing "rules for behavior" that might be contextual, not universal, in nature. The literalist says, "Thou shalt not..." applies to all people, all the time, in any circumstance. The figurativist says, "When we look at the context of the situation, it seems that the rule was meant to prohibit [this]" (i.e., the rule was really a "sign" to some underlying truth, not the truth in itself), so the rule is not universal and does not have to apply in this situation.

    I suppose either stance only matters if the Bible is assumed to contain behavior guidelines; otherwise, it could simply be ignored with no explanation given.

    Now, if you said that you can't explain why God made you feel that way, I'd just shrug... I can't respond to that because it is unknowable. IOW, you assign one belief to God (the belief in) simply because acknowledging that if you believe only for naturalistic reasons, it would negate the concept of God's touch (or at least, the Christian concept of God). I assume that's what you believe.
    I don't know. I simply don't have a problem with believing at the moment. I can't explain why. So it's hard to dialogue about it; I have no way to explain it or create the same feeling/belief within you. I don't care if anyone else believes or not; the discordance is simply not there at the moment.

    I'm assuming your reaction to your belief is not to assume the naturalistic stance and start looking into how belief is formed, however. Doing so is outside the bounds of someone who believes (although I would find it a curious situation when someone asks "why do you believe in God" and you can answer it in a naturalistic way, with the conclusion you really had no option but to believe, and so you do. Paradox, wheee.) Still, the question "Does god exist" would be reduced to only deistic views under those conditions.
    Well, I am still struggling with "who God is." At the moment, that ranges from Deism to a personal God. I don't particularly feel God at the moment.

    I haven't. The storyline seems interesting, however.
    It might be a little too wordy and fantastical for you (I'm not sure). Donaldson was the son of Christian missionaries in India, who dealt with lepers. (Donaldson does not talk about his beliefs. He seems very spiritual, but I don't think he is a Christian per se. He comes across as very INFJ to me, and seems like some of the INFJs we have here who were brought up in the church but went through some disillusionment and their religious beliefs still include God but are not as specific or allow for a number of orientations.)

    The main character is a leper who has been outcast and abandoned by everyone. Because he is a leper, he will die unless he treats his life realistically and takes care of himself. (Basically, he's forced into a very SJ mode of existence.) But then he gets knocked out and finds himself summoned as the "hero" by the Creator for his Land, as a counterpart to the Satan figure of that world.

    Thomas Covenant is interesting because he is an anti-hero. All he knows is his disease, and if he believes the healing power of the land over his leprosy, he sees that as suicide. So he doesn't believe in what he eventually comes to be fighting for. (At the end of each book, he wakes back up in the "real world" and everything that happened in the Land could have easily been a delusion -- he has no proof his experience was real.)

    Along with Elric (and the sword Stormbringer), he is one of the quintessential popularized first big "anti-heroes" in the modern fantasy; his disbelief leads him to do some rather awful things at first, as a way of shoving back at the Land and its inhabitants. His ability to both believe and doubt, to fight to save something he doesn't even necessarily think is real, is what makes him the perfect champion of the Land.

    The second series in particular embodies the themes of Christianity. Jesus and the capacity for self-sacrifice and submission, instead of the use of power, is embodied by Covenant. Donaldson's a great writer in the sense that often what looks like victory is defeat, and what looks like defeat is victory; and to walk through the eye of the paradox is the only solution that works.

    His website is at StephenRDonaldson.com, if you ever care to find out more about him. I'm reading his "Gap" sci-fi series right now.
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  7. #67
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There you go -- needing to head straight for a "Satan" figure at the beginning. (And you tell me I'M Christianized. Actually, it's more Zoroastrian, but no biggie.)
    Ah, how figurative of you I just meant as the concept of great singular evil... you could use his entire history, language, everything. I find it pretty internally consistent. (If scientology is feasible... egad).

    Besides, the concept of singular evil fluctuates depending on the time period that you measure Christian or Zoroastrian (although I suppose they are on the same timeline anyway, so it really does depend when you measure the concept of "Satan".)

    Well, right there, I was simply describing "story credibility" -- such as when you hear someone relay an anecdote of some sort, and you automatically weigh how valid it must be by its internal consistency and realism.
    Yah... That's the first lesson in learning how to lie

    And it's not like human perspective is warped... consistently, measurably in all sorts of ways... No selective bias... or confirmation bias...

    Well... I think the example is faulty, isn't it? I mean, if the sky is red, the sky is red. I'm at least in part describing "rules for behavior" that might be contextual, not universal, in nature. The literalist says, "Thou shalt not..." applies to all people, all the time, in any circumstance. The figurativist says, "When we look at the context of the situation, it seems that the rule was meant to prohibit [this]" (i.e., the rule was really a "sign" to some underlying truth, not the truth in itself), so the rule is not universal and does not have to apply in this situation.
    It's a pretty bad argument, I'll give you that. Very S of you to pick up on the details rather than the overall meaning

    Seriously though - are you saying that when you don't know the "truth" (ie: situational or relative), you then depend on a rule that doesn't apply exactly, which you then interpret in order how to act? *confused* If so, back to the question... why do you need the rulebook in the first place? Isn't it just a collection of generalities (if not taken literally)? Isn't if you figuring out each situation, then applying what you know for the outcome you wish to happen based on your interpretation? Kinda avoiding the whole "guidebook" thing? How constrained do you feel?

    To go back to the sex before marriage, would you accept that the rule is no longer valid because birth control is no longer an issue? That the issue should be addressed according to the various naturalistic ramifications...? Just what would make you reconsider these kinds of stances? If you interpret it figuratively, there must be such a situation where you think the rule no longer applies?

    Essentially, is there no spiritual guidance? Aren't you simply deciding what is "right" according to you? Sure, there are some constraints... but those that you are already acting on...? If it isn't based upon authority, it must be based on your own standards anyway, no?

    His website is at StephenRDonaldson.com, if you ever care to find out more about him. I'm reading his "Gap" sci-fi series right now.
    Thanks for that. I'll add it to my "to read list", which hasn't gotten any smaller... but I'll get around to it Someday. (Like in four years, after school's out.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    (If scientology is feasible... egad).
    Oh, you fight dirty...! I did not think you had it in you.


    Yah... That's the first lesson in learning how to lie
    Well, you need to accept that our training and personalities are a bit different. You are better at statistical analysis than I am, and you also demand more specific datasets than I do, so that you can calculate the whole from it. I tend to work backwards -- I look at the whole and judge potential veracity in part based on its internal consistency. My method is more of an approximation, yours is more exact; both have flaws.

    And it's not like human perspective is warped... consistently, measurably in all sorts of ways... No selective bias... or confirmation bias...
    Nope. Never. I'm perfectly objective... like every other human being on the face of the planet.

    Your point is noted that bias exists and can throw off data; but it's not an "either/or" thing, it's not the same level of bias. One can still be biased and make good approximations, depending on training and self-awareness. Blind spots exist, but are larger in some people than others. (Now, of course, we can argue about where I fall on that continuum... but that is a different argument.)

    It's a pretty bad argument, I'll give you that. Very S of you to pick up on the details rather than the overall meaning
    I worked very very hard to make you feel comfortable and at home!

    Seriously though - are you saying that when you don't know the "truth" (ie: situational or relative), you then depend on a rule that doesn't apply exactly, which you then interpret in order how to act? *confused*
    Oh fudge, me too. I don't remember what the original question was anymore. I'll have to look it up again and get back to you.

    If so, back to the question... why do you need the rulebook in the first place? Isn't it just a collection of generalities (if not taken literally)? Isn't if you figuring out each situation, then applying what you know for the outcome you wish to happen based on your interpretation? Kinda avoiding the whole "guidebook" thing? How constrained do you feel?
    I'm not really looking at it as a rulebook anymore. I look at it more as a collection of anecdotes, which include some people I find admirable and who I would want to emulate. And other people who made glaring errors and whose behavior I would like to avoid.

    To go back to the sex before marriage, would you accept that the rule is no longer valid because birth control is no longer an issue? That the issue should be addressed according to the various naturalistic ramifications...? Just what would make you reconsider these kinds of stances? If you interpret it figuratively, there must be such a situation where you think the rule no longer applies?
    Birth control can be factored out of the equation now (since unexpected pregnancies to unwed mothers never happens anymore... ha).

    But there are other aspects to be concerned about. For example, often sex before marriage occurs when the two people do not have a commitment to each other, but human beings either tend to form strong attachments after they've had sex (regardless of their intentions)... or they become numb to the attachments so that later when they WANT to use sex in a long-term relationship to form an attachment, they have trouble doing so.

    Often the two people having sex before marriage are also too young emotionally, they're immature. And the sex consumes the focus of the relationship, taking the place of true intimacy, dooming the relationship to failure.

    Focus can shift to someone's sexual attractiveness rather than their attractive personality qualities, and people can become promiscuous.

    And so on.

    Considering the "dangers" involved beside undesired pregnancy, sex before marriage still seems to be a bad idea overall, although there is a gray spot in the area of monogamous committed couples who simply have not yet tied the knot officially.

    I will probably be castigated for not applying the standard "Christian position" of "no sex, no if's, and's, or but's," but I personally am less interested in enforcing a rule and more interested in nudging people along a path of growing maturity.

    Essentially, is there no spiritual guidance? Aren't you simply deciding what is "right" according to you? Sure, there are some constraints... but those that you are already acting on...? If it isn't based upon authority, it must be based on your own standards anyway, no?
    Based on the above, I suppose it is. And in this case, I suppose I am trusting Ti+Ne as my authority. I derive my truth from how I think the world works.

    But as you say, I do have a foundational bias. Christianity happened to be my foundational worldview, my original orientation, so perhaps my values still derive in part from it. My idea of what an "actualized human" looks like comes from it... although it happens to match up very well also with supposed secular psychologists (Fromm and Eriksson and the others).

    I don't know. I think you're right in the weaknesses you point out; I just don't see other approaches as much better. It's simply a matter of accepting the weaknesses, knowing my blind spots, being open to change, and moving on.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Oh, you fight dirty...! I did not think you had it in you.
    Yah right

    Well, you need to accept that our training and personalities are a bit different. You are better at statistical analysis than I am, and you also demand more specific datasets than I do, so that you can calculate the whole from it. I tend to work backwards -- I look at the whole and judge potential veracity in part based on its internal consistency. My method is more of an approximation, yours is more exact; both have flaws.
    Fair enough, although I think that sidesteps the issue. A coherent story is a very bad measurement of truth. And a coherent story that is a thousand+ years isn't exactly my idea of a good foundation in morality.

    I accept that in the present, we all need some level of "imperfect" information. We pull it from our environment, we have grown from this environment. I know that my environment biases me so I do attempt (too much, perhaps) to put it in context and gather more data rather than conclude too much from it.

    I do, however, see this as different than "coherent" being an argument for the truth of something. (It is, however, very INTP )


    I'm not really looking at it as a rulebook anymore. I look at it more as a collection of anecdotes, which include some people I find admirable and who I would want to emulate. And other people who made glaring errors and whose behavior I would like to avoid.
    That's fair enough That's the same for stories, people in our lives, fiction and non-fiction, research and just about anything we observe.

    (Although, I would say something about generalising from any one category... )

    I will probably be castigated for not applying the standard "Christian position" of "no sex, no if's, and's, or but's," but I personally am less interested in enforcing a rule and more interested in nudging people along a path of growing maturity.
    Interesting... however, you didn't answer what it would take for you to change your mind on this stance... You came up with a lot of reasons why you believe something... but are they infinite? Would I have to show that getting married early is a bad idea, but sex early is healthy for the body? Would I have to say that it is a value judgment to say that sleeping around is inherently bad? Would I have to show that pair bonding does not require sex and that previous sex does not impact on future pair bonding?

    I guess I'm asking - how much of these arguments have you really thought about and how much is, if you will, the "Ne" creating the argument for you? I've seen what happens with Ne in these situations - the arguments are infinite. It's not the world that defines it for you, it's you who defines the world from your own internal logic.

    It is almost impossible to answer the question "What would change your mind" if that is the case, whereas I strive to always be able to answer that question. Without that, the stance is based upon abstractions... In a sense, it's the same argument as "coherent" arguments. Just because something is coherent doesn't mean it is true, grounded or relevent. If anything, a perfectly coherent theory is the most likely the be flawed; it means a complete lack of challenges... it means perfect understanding from an imperfect person.

    I realise it's a difference in how we approach the world... but ignoring all that, what would change your mind about SAM/SBM? Would you reduce it to being a personal choice?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Fair enough, although I think that sidesteps the issue. A coherent story is a very bad measurement of truth.
    I disagree... mostly due to the strength of your adjective ("very bad"? Oh my.)

    It's very difficult to put together a lie with solid internal consistency, especially the more complicated it gets. That's why interrogations are used in law enforcement, and why circumstantial cases can be built against people, and so forth.

    Now, I would say that the argument is incomplete, because internal consistency doesn't connect the ideas to concrete data... which is why we have forensics and others sciences to examine and dredge up hard evidence, so that everything hangs together. I see them both as complementary processes.

    Incidentally, we still use that process regularly on a daily basis -- internal consistency. It is usually our first "screening" technique when we interact with others. If someone appears to us to be saying things that are inconsistent with themselves, we flag it and explore further. Again, it's a very good tool in the toolbox.

    And a coherent story that is a thousand+ years isn't exactly my idea of a good foundation in morality.
    No, I suppose ultimately I derive my morality from what I see intuitively as working the best, based on my experiences and observations.

    I do, however, see this as different than "coherent" being an argument for the truth of something. (It is, however, very INTP )
    I know. Screw data points -- my beautiful theory balances so perfectly in my head, so it has to be RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT!!!!!


    Interesting... however, you didn't answer what it would take for you to change your mind on this stance... You came up with a lot of reasons why you believe something... but are they infinite? Would I have to show that getting married early is a bad idea, but sex early is healthy for the body? Would I have to say that it is a value judgment to say that sleeping around is inherently bad? Would I have to show that pair bonding does not require sex and that previous sex does not impact on future pair bonding?
    Well, like any other person, I start with what arguments I observe... or the ones that seem the most valuable to me. If you were to then bring up additional points that seemed weightier, I would have to revise my stance.

    And I suppose this is why literalist Christianity does not sit well with me. It tries to dictate to me what all of the truth is from the start, and does not permit revision. But I am a constant reviser. So it has always bothered me, because I simply cannot be a defender of an assumed truth, I'm always compelled to revise. (sigh.)

    I guess I'm asking - how much of these arguments have you really thought about and how much is, if you will, the "Ne" creating the argument for you? I've seen what happens with Ne in these situations - the arguments are infinite. It's not the world that defines it for you, it's you who defines the world from your own internal logic.
    I probably have developed a picture just to get closure in my head, with Ne filling in the missing pieces. I don't think you should devalue Ne -- the more data one has, the more that can be reasonably projected from the data, and the more accurate the picture is. Interpolation can be very accurate, it just automatically permits error to increase because despite being an educated guess, it is still a guess.

    Your process promises more conformance with established data points but seems too timid to project into the unknown, which means you are constantly working only with a subset of reality and have to move at a slower speed.

    I suppose context would determine which approach is more effective.

    It is almost impossible to answer the question "What would change your mind" if that is the case, whereas I strive to always be able to answer that question.
    Basically, you're right -- I cannot predefine what would change my mind. But I can tell you that I clearly am open to it, as soon as I run across something that seems to carry weight. I am constantly projecting and revising.

    Without that, the stance is based upon abstractions... In a sense, it's the same argument as "coherent" arguments. Just because something is coherent doesn't mean it is true, grounded or relevant. If anything, a perfectly coherent theory is the most likely to be flawed; it means a complete lack of challenges... it means perfect understanding from an imperfect person.
    Meh. I think you don't really yet understand the mentality, or you see only one facet of it. I can spin this on its head and say that your process is the most likely to be incomplete. I take a risk by projection the rest of the missing picture; you take a risk by refusing to take educated guesses, opting instead for the solidity of known data.

    I realise it's a difference in how we approach the world... but ignoring all that, what would change your mind about SAM/SBM? Would you reduce it to being a personal choice?
    I think at some level it IS a personal choice.

    Basically, the points I offered in my prior reasoning do not necessarily apply to everyone, they are just the tendencies (i.e., on the bell curve, many people fall into that bracket more or less).

    So there is room for deviation from the norm; some particular couplings might be able to handle SBM without a hitch. But can I predict who they would be ahead of time? Not with a great deal of accuracy.

    Since my generalizations cannot be extrapolated back upon every single instance (i.e., no predictable and perfect solution), the only solution left is to allow people autonomy to make their own decisions. That is the fairest and most accurate thing to do, using my way of thinking.

    And as far as SBM goes, if you gave me arguments/data that outrode my prior concerns, then I would average it out and see that it would be more beneficial to adopt your argument and make the change. Which, of course, would be open to being changed later, with even more data.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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