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  1. #1
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default Personal values?

    Recently, I've had a talk with a friend of whose values I cannot approve. She claimed that we should exclude all of those who are thieves, liars, adulterers..etc..from our company...

    And brought around an example of how she just severed ties with an INFP because she was seeing a married man.

    I asked her, does this show that the INFP would be incompetent as a friend? Because she did this, does this mean she would mistreat you.

    And she answered..this is where my Fe kicks in over Fi...would you be friends with a liar? A thief? An adulterer..?

    I answered something along those lines..you EJs have this 'no brainer' approach to ethics..if someone has this or that quality they have to be treated in that particular fashion. Almost like a rule of thumb.

    That is not really thinking, that is applying the thoughts of others. I, for my part would not look at those pesky labels like 'liar, thief..' and so on..and assess the matter as a thing in itself.

    In the end, she had nothing to say but simply that because of one's status as an adulterer..they are unfit for 'friendship'...

    I dont think that individuals like this particular EJ have any kind of personal values at all. They do not look at the current situation, they merely follow instructions on how to treat them. One size fits all, or one rule applies to all circumstances that are depicted in the statement. Here it gets to the point where it is not about personal values any more, but simply about the rules insisting on putting on an image of adherence to particular values.

    Appears to me that such an attitude is prevalent in our society over that favoring genuine contemplation of personal values (akin to Fi). What I think we need is not a set of rules on how we should feel and what we should do, but an attitude that leads us to concoct values of our own.

    Or in other words, we should not allow any proposition within the realm of our maxims unless we first have thought it through for ourselves and decided for that to be congenial.

    If we do otherwise, can we earnestly say that our principles have substance if they are but a mirror image of the principles our group maintains? Can we really claim those as our *personal* values?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  2. #2
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Recently, I've had a talk with a friend of whose values I cannot approve. She claimed that we should exclude all of those who are thieves, liars, adulterers..etc..from our company...

    And brought around an example of how she just severed ties with an INFP because she was seeing a married man.

    I asked her, does this show that the INFP would be incompetent as a friend? Because she did this, does this mean she would mistreat you.

    And she answered..this is where my Fe kicks in over Fi...would you be friends with a liar? A thief? An adulterer..?

    I answered something along those lines..you EJs have this 'no brainer' approach to ethics..if someone has this or that quality they have to be treated in that particular fashion. Almost like a rule of thumb.

    That is not really thinking, that is applying the thoughts of others. I, for my part would not look at those pesky labels like 'liar, thief..' and so on..and assess the matter as a thing in itself.

    In the end, she had nothing to say but simply that because of one's status as an adulterer..they are unfit for 'friendship'...
    I guess the legitimacy of her response is relative to her evaluation for what constitutes a "friendship".

    From a values perspective, the ideals she's offered seem illogical. Yet, personal values do not necessarily subscribe to an overriding logical language; they are intimate to the user and tend to reflect his/her upbringing against instructive ideals presented by culturally-significant authority figures. To this end, their execution is problematically narrow in external acuity. We see very little, as our ideals obstruct, logically-grounded or not.

    Summarily dismissing someone on the basis of topical observation (as she is guilty of) is a poor measurement of their worth. Yet, if she feels their malfeasance is fundamentally damaging to her impression of them - and would reduce the integrity of their relationship - the question becomes less about her and more about the association she bears with her discarded friend. To this end, I would argue her responsibility lies in the reconciliation of this inequality.

    This shouldn't be viewed as a pardon. Judgmental attitudes can distract from objective analysis and distort the efficacy of one's appreciation towards a situation. A simple remedy is the broad introduction of Philosophy into academic networks, beginning at an early age. Countering faulty thinking is the quickest way to prevent it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    What I think we need is not a set of rules on how we should feel and what we should do, but an attitude that leads us to concoct values of our own.
    Agreed. This is immediately possible with the implementation of Philosophy into pre-collegiate curriculums. Philosophy provides a basis upon which all other positive thought can flourish.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    That attitude was pretty pervasive in the way I was raised. As I got older, it felt artificial to me and I could not sustain it. I am too loyal to drop a close friend for most things like that. If I found they did the things they did because they got pleasure from harming others or they consistently cared about only themselves, I would likely put distance there, but chances are pretty good I'd figure something like that out before I became close friends with them.

    Plus, really, most of us, if we live very long at all, are going to do something that population in general is going to consider immoral on pretty solid grounds. It would stink not to be friends with anybody and have no one to be friends with.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #4
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Bluewing, are you going to reject your friend because of her values?
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    This situation commonly shows up in conservative religious traditions based on some sort of "personal purity" standard, sometimes implemented through the binary paradigm of "clean/unclean."

    Basically, certain behaviors and attitudes and goals make you unclean, from which you need to be cleansed. And to be with people who are unclean and show no interest in being clean will make you unclean as well.

    Hence, cut everyone out of your life that breaks taboo or the "cleanliness" factor. (Another phrase normally associated with the mentality is the "garbage in / garbage out" paradigm; if you hang with people who do and think garbage, you will invariably become as full of garbage as they are.)

    As with any paradigm, there is enough circumstantial truth to convince those who already believe; but when taken too seriously, the paradigm ends up causing more trouble, usually, than not. Eventually the individual who tries to preserve their own moral cleanliness by disassociating from everyone who differs will end up in a very small, very compacted world where their own distortion of thought now goes unchallenged because everyone who might have challenged it has been excluded.

    The major flaw in the thinking (well, one of them) is that people can be perfect, and that you can only learn and grow in relationships where the other person is perfect. No one else will probably meet our standard.

    And relationship and social bonds are considered a second-class goal compared to maintaining one's own sense of personal purity.

    I really struggled with this growing up. I was very sensitive to other people's behavior and attitudes, internally very critical of everyone (including myself, even moreso). It's what I was taught, and it is what I naturally fell into with Ti running all the time... but it never sat right.

    There was a page in Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wind in the Door" that really stuck in my head a long time because I did not know what to make of it. The kids were all paired up with non-human beings in order to thwart the plans of the ecthroi, and Calvin was paired with a farandolae named Sporos. They were both responsible for each other.

    Sporos was supposed to Deepen; instead, he refused to put down roots and joined the Wild Dance, which was destroying the mitochondria/world around them (and, inevitably, the human life the mitochondria resided in).

    And after some argument, when Sporos insisted on remaining "free" by not Deepening and continued in the Wild Dance, Calvin said he was coming with him. And Sporos said something to the effect of, "To dance with me?" and Calvin says, "NO, to BE with you."

    It took me a very long time to grasp that. Sporos was doing something wrong, but Calvin was not going to abandon him (i.e., "keep himself pure") like others might have advised him... and it was that choice in part that allowed Sporos to eventually choose to Deepen.

    So none of us is perfect, we are all a mixed bag, and eventually if our aim is always to cut away those who have obvious flaws, we will eventually end up alone. Can we truly be good and can we truly know who we are, out of context with any other real human being? There is an interesting question.

    Another one is "How do we actually differentiate between someone whose values happen to mirror social values and those who actually are just mimicking social values but have no real values of their own?"
    "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

  6. #6
    Oberon
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    I am myself such a mess ethically that I could not sever ties with a friend simply based on their misapplication (or lack) of ethics, or I would have to quit being friends with myself... and this dynamic plays out in my relationships every day.

    I have been known to sever ties with people out of self-defense (see my thread under Relationships titled "Breaking off Relationships"), but that's not the same thing.

    This isn't the same thing as being non-judgmental, either. I judge my own and others' conduct every day, and every day I find some of it lacking in some respect. If I gave up the capacity to judge conduct, then I would be well and truly #!*'d.

    The important thing is how one follows up on the judgment.

  7. #7
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Sporos was supposed to Deepen; instead, he refused to put down roots and joined the Wild Dance, which was destroying the mitochondria/world around them (and, inevitably, the human life the mitochondria resided in).

    And after some argument, when Sporos insisted on remaining "free" by not Deepening and continued in the Wild Dance, Calvin said he was coming with him. And Sporos said something to the effect of, "To dance with me?" and Calvin says, "NO, to BE with you."

    It took me a very long time to grasp that. Sporos was doing something wrong, but Calvin was not going to abandon him (i.e., "keep himself pure") like others might have advised him... and it was that choice in part that allowed Sporos to eventually choose to Deepen.
    It seemed to me that, prior to Deepening, Sporos thought of Deepening not just as a loss of freedom, but as a loss of identity. The "shrimp-thing" Sporos had to stop existing, through a process akin to death.

    My son Calvin is currently reading through these books (he's in the middle of A Swiftly Tilting Planet). Funny you should bring it up now... it's very topical stuff for me right now.

  8. #8
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post

    My son Calvin is currently reading through these books (he's in the middle of A Swiftly Tilting Planet). Funny you should bring it up now... it's very topical stuff for me right now.
    Off-topic, yet I just wanted to comment that I really like the name "Calvin" - seems dignified, yet attentive.

  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Off-topic, yet I just wanted to comment that I really like the name "Calvin" - seems dignified, yet attentive.
    I always think of it as "crafty" and "rambunctious" but you can blame Bill Watterson for that.
    "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

  10. #10
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I always think of it as "crafty" and "rambunctious" but you can blame Bill Watterson for that.
    My son Calvin, on the other hand, is the one who at the age of eight came downstairs one evening to inform his mother and I:

    "Don't worry--nothing burned down."

    Which as you might imagine had exactly the opposite of the intended effect.

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