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View Poll Results: Ni Dom Users: Which best describes your beliefs about God?

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  • INTJ: I believe there is a God

    8 14.29%
  • INTJ: I am agnostic, but believe there's a >50% chance that some kind of Divinity exists

    1 1.79%
  • INTJ: I am agnostic, but believe there's a 50-50 chance that some kind of Divinity exists

    3 5.36%
  • INTJ: I am agnostic, but believe there's a <50% chance that some kind of Divinity exists

    5 8.93%
  • INTJ: I believe there is no God

    15 26.79%
  • INFJ: I believe there is a God

    9 16.07%
  • INFJ: I am agnostic, but believe there's a >50% chance that some kind of Divinity exists

    2 3.57%
  • INFJ: I am agnostic, but believe there's a 50-50 chance that some kind of Divinity exists

    4 7.14%
  • INFJ: I am agnostic, but believe there's a <50% chance that some kind of Divinity exists

    5 8.93%
  • INFJ: I believe there is no God

    4 7.14%
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  1. #91
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Ragashree, I propose that "development" is a process which occurs over time, something which is, for each of us, quite limited.

    Would you disagree with either of those assertions?

    Edit: You make a valid point. I'm using the term "psychological function" in the Jungian sense, where, for example, "Feeling" would be thought (as a mental activity) with the emotional responses facts elicit as its focus, rather than the facts themselves. All human beings of normal psychological function will experience emotional responses to external situations; what constitutes Thinking in the Jungian sense is focusing our libido (again, in the Jungian sense of free psychological energy) on these facts rather than the emotional responses they elicit.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #92
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Ragashree, I propose that "development" is a process which occurs over time, something which is, for each of us, quite limited.

    Would you disagree with either of those assertions?
    The limit is on the opportunities that arise over the course of a lifetime, and modified by our individual capacity, together with willingness, to make use of those opportunities as they arise. I don't think that implies an absolute finite capability for development in any individual. If we lived three centuries and were not subject to biological degenerative processes, I don't see any reason we could not continue to expand and refine our abilities over that time, though the increments by which we improved would become ever smaller as time went on and skills increased.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  3. #93
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    The limit is on the opportunities that arise over the course of a lifetime, and modified by our individual capacity, together with willingness, to make use of those opportunities as they arise. I don't think that implies an absolute finite capability for development in any individual. If we lived three centuries and were not subject to biological degenerative processes, I don't see any reason we could not continue to expand and refine our abilities over that time, though the increments by which we improved would become ever smaller as time went on and skills increased.
    I agree completely; as I said, I consider it unlikely that any given function could be perfected. To all things, there are two aspects: the objective reality and our subjective experience of it. We focus on one to the exclusion of the other. The dichotomies in Jung's system were arrived at not without reason.

    The degree of adeptness we develop is proportional to the amount of time we dedicated to the development, time being a common limiting factor.

    Jungian functions are distinct from the physiological workings of the brain. We all have sensory organs; this does not mean we're all extraverted sense dominants in the Jungian sense. What would make one, for example, an extraverted sense dominant is the unconscious tendency to devote our psychological energy to the input of the sense organs to the exclusion of any of the other three natural workings (here intentionally avoiding use of the term "functions") of the mind.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  4. #94
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    Mycroft, you're an intelligent guy, and I've thought highly of other posts you've written in the past, and you make some worthwhile points in your reply, but, on the whole, your argument is bunk.

    Kant already dealt with this matter, and there is no improving upon his handling of the issue.

    Some matters can be dealt with empirically and scientifically, others cannot.

    The question of the existence or nature of God is of the latter kind.

    That is just a fact...

    As such, to write off belief in God or the Divine as weak-minded or reflective of a lack of proper rational faculties is ridiculous.

  5. #95
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    A psychological preoccupation with emotional responses to the exclusion of the development of one's rational faculties results in a disheveled mind and a lack of a comprehensive and accurate model of reality. Admitting to oneself a disheveled mind and a lack of a comprehensive and accurate model of reality is uncongenial; we all fancy ourselves well-rounded. It's more pleasing to label the resultant psychological miasma that accompanies poorly developed rational faculties as "spirituality" and to label the mystery that reality appears to be as a result of a lack of a comprehensive and accurate model of reality "that which man cannot, in his miserableness and limitation, possibly comprehend" and be done with it.
    You do realize this is all subjective opinion, right? Note that you discount the possibility of developing both rational and irrational faculties, and to come up with something coherent - perhaps because you have thus far failed to do so?

    One of the powers of human reasoning is to describe and "sort of understand" things that intrinsically are beyond our understanding. In a quantitative respect, thermodynamics is a very accurate way of describing a system, while actually not keeping track of everything. On a qualitative level, religion/spirituality/morality/whatever is a way of describing subjective topics that defy logical rationalization.

    Logical, objective reasoning is a reliable tool suitable for very many purposes, but in those cases for which it fails, to dismiss such cases as a "mystery" is a cop-out, when we are able to comprehend much of it via other "psychological miasma."

  6. #96
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    I must say, Mycroft, that, in light of your reasoning in this thread, I find it interesting to read this in your blog:

    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft
    Pursuing a passion is irrational. When an INTP can learn to forgive himself the irrationality of passion, that is, I believe, when fulfillment will come to be within grasp.

  7. #97
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    Good blog, btw.

    You should write more...

  8. #98
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Zarathustra: First of all, the "separate providences" argument is a cop-out. Spiritualists and the rational both begin with the same premise, on the basis of observable fact: there is a reality, as opposed to nothing, which came into being somehow. The rational among mankind have proceeded to gather what evidence can be gathered, to make sense of this evidence on the basis of logically consistent theories, and to build upon this to arrive at increasingly accurate and encompassing explanations of observed phenomenon. The spiritualists, meanwhile, are perfectly content to point to their deity of preference, only giving in when theories have been demonstrated so conclusively that it would be lunacy to deny them, allowing their preferred god an ever-shrinking gap to inhabit.

    Again, the point is that unless you are genuinely prepared to support the proposition that "I feel A is true, therefore A is true" is a valid, rational argument, we must concede that rational thought is our only means of arriving at real information about the reality we inhabit. A psychological preoccupation with subjective emotional responses to objective events and phenomenon is, quite simply, to the exclusion of attentiveness to the objective events and phenomenon. Albeit largely unconsciously, we choose one focus to the exclusion of the other.

    Now, does some degree of attentiveness to one's emotional needs lead to a state we experience as greater satisfaction? Undoubtedly. Does attentiveness to emotional needs tell us anything about objective reality? No, it does not. The result of more than just a healthy attentiveness to but a preoccupation with emotional responses is a disheveled mind and a lack of familiarity with and acceptance of the workings of reality.

    Secondly, from a philosophical standpoint, Schopenhauer, building upon Kant's philosophy, demonstrated quite clearly that reality in and of itself, at its highest level, must be unindividuated, infinite in all respects, thereby precluding the existence of a God in the sense as the idea is understood in Abrahamic religions, i.e. a deity which created reality yet is somehow also separate from it. In simple terms (and as I've stated repeatedly), any existent, a deity included, must adhere within reality; saying that this deity then in turn created reality results in the problem of infinite regress.

    (As for your quote, even a cursory glance of the posts I've written over time will reveal that I've refined and even changed my stances. I'm not going to delete old posts; let them stand as a time capsule, of sorts.)

    Uumlau: I'm not sure I understand what you intend to say; it sounds as though you're using "emotion" and "intuition" interchangeably. Although in terms of yielding reliable data, intuition is inferior to rational thought, it is, indeed, the tool of choice where the data is limited, although, in the end, these intuitive leaps must be supported by evidence and eventually fleshed out into proper theories.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Zarathustra: First of all, the "separate providences" argument is a cop-out.
    "Cop-out", eh?

    Is that technical terminology?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Spiritualists and the rational both begin with the same premise, on the basis of observable fact: there is a reality, as opposed to nothing, which came into being somehow. The rational among mankind have proceeded to gather what evidence can be gathered, to make sense of this evidence on the basis of logically consistent theories, and to build upon this to arrive at increasingly accurate and encompassing explanations of observed phenomenon. The spiritualists, meanwhile, are perfectly content to point to their deity of preference, only giving in when theories have been demonstrated so conclusively that it would be lunacy to deny them, allowing their preferred god an ever-shrinking gap to inhabit.
    Your common meme seems only to work against straw men, I see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Again, the point is that unless you are genuinely prepared to support the proposition that "I feel A is true, therefore A is true" is a valid, rational argument, we must concede that rational thought is our only means of arriving at real information about the reality we inhabit.
    Hmmm, well, let's see:

    "I feel hungry, therefore it is true that I am hungry."

    Yep, that seems to work...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    A psychological preoccupation with subjective emotional responses to objective events and phenomenon is, quite simply, to the exclusion of attentiveness to the objective events and phenomenon. Albeit largely unconsciously, we choose one focus to the exclusion of the other.
    Are you sure you're not just trying to justify your own lack of balance with regards to T and F?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Now, does some degree of attentiveness to one's emotional needs lead to a state we experience as greater satisfaction? Undoubtedly. Does attentiveness to emotional needs tell us anything about objective reality? No, it does not. The result of more than just a healthy attentiveness to but a preoccupation with emotional responses is a disheveled mind and a lack of familiarity with and acceptance of the workings of reality.
    Your problem, once again, is your assumption that an openness to the idea of the Divine is caused by a "preoccupation with emotional responses".

    As I said before, that notion is ridiculous.

    My openness is actually bred by reason, and my reason's own understanding of the limits of reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Secondly, from a philosophical standpoint, Schopenhauer, building upon Kant's philosophy, demonstrated quite clearly that reality in and of itself, at its highest level, must be unindividuated, infinite in all respects, thereby precluding the existence of a God in the sense as the idea is understood in Abrahamic religions, i.e. a deity which created reality yet is somehow also separate from it. In simple terms (and as I've stated repeatedly), any existent, a deity included, must adhere within reality; saying that this deity then in turn created reality results in the problem of infinite regress.
    You don't like paradoxes much, do you?

    Either way, read the ebook in that link that I provided earlier today. It offers one possible answer to the issue Schopenhauer was addressing.

    And there could certainly be more...

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    The limit is on the opportunities that arise over the course of a lifetime, and modified by our individual capacity, together with willingness, to make use of those opportunities as they arise. I don't think that implies an absolute finite capability for development in any individual. If we lived three centuries and were not subject to biological degenerative processes, I don't see any reason we could not continue to expand and refine our abilities over that time, though the increments by which we improved would become ever smaller as time went on and skills increased.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    The degree of adeptness we develop is proportional to the amount of time we dedicated to the development, time being a common limiting factor.
    Regarding the bolded and Mycroft's entire line of argumentation:

    One of the things that these lines of argumentation always seem to be devoid of (I've seen Kalach make a similar line of argumentation in favor of not developing functional balance [even i/e]) is an appreciation of diminishing marginal returns.

    Ragashree: I believe you were pointing to this idea.

    Mycroft: you seem to be missing out on it.

    It would seem to me that, at some point, one's ability to ratiocinate starts leveling off, and energy could be more productively be put to use by developing one's other functions (I have to say, this whole discussion is making me start to ponder the importance of something BabylonCandle put on my wall the other day about looking at functions as worldviews vs. skill sets vs. gear shifting something-or-others).

    This can be seen, for example, in an NT learning to more aptly use his tertiary function.

    Which leads me to a question I've been wondering since the beginning of this discussion: how well developed would you say your tertiary function is, Mycroft?

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