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Thread: NFs and truth

  1. #11
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think I said in your other thread that I believe in truth, but lack confidence in the ability of humans to arrive at it, IOW, I don't we are capable of objectivity or of seeing truth in its entirety. For that reason, I'm ambivalent about the idea. We can make observations and collect data, but in the end, we are just coming up with a (hopefully) more accurate best guess.
    I agree with this. I consider myself to be a truth-seeker, but I believe there are many aspects to truth and many pitfalls.

    Rationality is only one aspect of truth. In the logical arena, I suppose many NTs excel. I've been over at INFPgc for about a year and I seem to be more obsessed with debating ideas than most INFPs there. So, my experience is probably far from representative. I'm fairly argumentative for someone who prefers to avoid most conflict. For whatever reason, intellectual conflict inspires me. Then again, INFPs can deeply value anything including rationality.

    The problem with people interested in 'truth' are issues of intellectual honesty and humility. Most NFs I've met are fairly honest and humble about what they don't know. If anything, many NFs are by definition less interested in objective truth because Feeling gives a subjective slant to their thinking. And so the weakness of NFs would be the dismissal of objective rationality. Even so, I supsect NFs are better than NTs at thinking about thinking(ie seeing the subjective motivations and underpinnings of supposed 'rational' thought). In this sense, I think its no accident that it was an INFP that worked out a fairly complex system such as the MBTI.

    NTs are more interested in the structure of thought.
    NFs are more interested in the substance of thought.

    I idealize truth in all of its forms. I appreciate the clarity of thought that many NTs bring to the table, but many NTs are too self-assured in their thinking sometimes to the point of self-righteousness(not to say other types can't also fall prey to this). This annoys me, but not only because it shows a lack of social graces. Too much self-assuredness in rational thought can lead to rationalization and a blindness to other aspects of thought. I've had discussions with a number of NTs where they seemed utterly clueless about the emotional undertow to their own thinking. There is a thin line between rationality being feuled by unconscious motivations and unconscious motivations being rationalized.

    Sometimes, the data and the logic don't speak for themselves. NFs are the masters of meaning which is what gives to ideas a larger and deeper context. NTs too often argue for the sake of arguing, and especially with INTPs this can seem to go nowhere. I've never been fond of intellectual pissing contests.

    Both NFs and NTs are less connected to the realities of Sensation data. The abstractions of rational thought aren't necessarily any more realistic than the abstracting tendencies of NFs. All types see reality partially. NFs only have some advantage in the sense that they're hyper-aware of this paritality(subjective bias).

    NTs are better at finding the distinctions between ideas.
    NFs are better at finding the relationships between ideas.

    NTs are better at analyzing and systematizing mental constructs.
    NFs are better at seeing the context inherent to multiple perspectives.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Littlelostnf's Avatar
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    Sorry to throw a wrench into the works but I totally need to discover "the truth" I don't just believe something because I want to. I admit I'd like to do that but I know how unrealistic that is.
    So even if I do something or believe something you will never hear me say I did it or believed it because I was just ignoring the truth or I believed what I did is because it IS the truth I want. I would be honest and say I'm doing it or I think something because I WANT to.
    for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

  3. #13
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    I used to think that NT's value more truth than NF's. However, my own experience aswell as existing scientific evidence point towards the opposite.

    In my experience, NF's only seem to make small lies to spare people's feelings. However, I wouldn't really consider it lying but more politeness. For example, they might get a gift and if they do not like it, say politely "thank you". In important situations, they are much more likely to speak the truth when they feel the situation is unjust than NT's. I have seen NF's stand up against the status quo and speak the truth to defend someone unfairly treated. As far as scientific evidence goes, "F" correlates with Agreeableness in the Big Five. One of the subfactors of Agreeableness is "Morality", the fact that the person tends to deal straightforwardly with people instead of using manipulation.

    On the other hand, NT's seem to avoid the small lies to spare people's feelings. They might seem more honest at first. My own experience tells me that they are much more likely to cover up the truth if it is in favor of their interests. They may manipulate opinion by arguing in a seemingly logical but invalid way. "T" correlates negatively with Agreeableness, and we can expect T's to score low on "Morality" which means that they have no qualms about distorting the truth to manipulate people. The low Agreeableness might make them seem more honest though because they more readily criticize others.

    These elements bring me to conclude that in appearance NT's value truth more than NF's but when it gets down to the crux it's really the NF's that will be able to speak about the truth even if it is unfavorable to them. NT's may think that they are above their emotions and are faithful to the facts but do not always realize what a role their feelings play and how they can be influenced by them into distorting a situation. For having experience in working in an environment full of NT's, believe me that they are no more honest and straightforward than other people. In fact, they are less so and are very strategic and pragmatic about it. After all, for NT's, the facts are only the facts and reality is malleable. The ones that I have seen speaking the truth that no one dares to mention were the NF's. An INFJ and ENFJ come to mind and these people's way of relating to the external world is through "Extraverted Feeling" - ironically a function that supposedly covers the truth up for other people. In reality, it doesn't.

  4. #14
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Why, Darth Maverick. You're being so even-handed, space-time has ripped and my clock is running backward. BACKWARD. lol

    Your NF brethren may be inspired to commit squishy PDAs on you now.
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  5. #15
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    I should point out that I later changed from truth to reality. More specifically, reality as humans are capable of perceiving it.

    Also, I didn't mean this as an attack on NFs. I never said that truth and reality were better. All I said was that you guys have the ability to ignore it or just can't decipher which of the (possibly) many views which is exactly the real one. Especially since your energy is focused in an interpersonal direction rather than scientific/object and understanding the cosmos as it is and will in the future be.

    I think most of what I posted was taken the wrong way. I don't mean to say you NFs can't figure out what's true or that you can't accept anything that is true, nor was I attacking personality. My best friend is an NF. I have several other NFs in my close circle of friends. I like you guys. However, it's difficult sometimes when trying to figure something out, because a lot of the time, I'm in the middle of explaining something (often for my own sake, but not exclusively) I'm interrupted because I've either said something offensive or rude or whatever. Then I started wondering why it bothered them so much, and this is what I came up with.
    we fukin won boys

  6. #16
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    FWIW, I'm not equating honesty with truth. I believe in and value honest and think we ought to be as honest as we can with others (though not to the point of malice) and especially with ourselves. But just because we are being honest to the best of our ability does not mean that we say or think or believe is truth. I do believe that honesty helps us get the clearest picture of the truth, though.
    “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

  7. #17
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    I should point out that I later changed from truth to reality. More specifically, reality as humans are capable of perceiving it.

    Also, I didn't mean this as an attack on NFs. I never said that truth and reality were better. All I said was that you guys have the ability to ignore it or just can't decipher which of the (possibly) many views which is exactly the real one. Especially since your energy is focused in an interpersonal direction rather than scientific/object and understanding the cosmos as it is and will in the future be.

    I think most of what I posted was taken the wrong way. I don't mean to say you NFs can't figure out what's true or that you can't accept anything that is true, nor was I attacking personality. My best friend is an NF. I have several other NFs in my close circle of friends. I like you guys. However, it's difficult sometimes when trying to figure something out, because a lot of the time, I'm in the middle of explaining something (often for my own sake, but not exclusively) I'm interrupted because I've either said something offensive or rude or whatever. Then I started wondering why it bothered them so much, and this is what I came up with.
    You're still assuming that feeling=further from reality than thinking. That isn't true. I don't understand how 'interpersonal' is less realistic.

  8. #18
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    However, it's difficult sometimes when trying to figure something out, because a lot of the time, I'm in the middle of explaining something (often for my own sake, but not exclusively) I'm interrupted because I've either said something offensive or rude or whatever. Then I started wondering why it bothered them so much, and this is what I came up with.
    What kind of things are you usually explaining when you get that kind of reaction?
    “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

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    Why, Darth Maverick. You're being so even-handed, space-time has ripped and my clock is running backward. BACKWARD. lol

    Your NF brethren may be inspired to commit squishy PDAs on you now.
    I bow down to an eloquent dithyramb and will reciprocate any PDA's.


  10. #20
    Senior Member Littlelostnf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    I used to think that NT's value more truth than NF's. However, my own experience aswell as existing scientific evidence point towards the opposite.

    In my experience, NF's only seem to make small lies to spare people's feelings. However, I wouldn't really consider it lying but more politeness. For example, they might get a gift and if they do not like it, say politely "thank you". In important situations, they are much more likely to speak the truth when they feel the situation is unjust than NT's. I have seen NF's stand up against the status quo and speak the truth to defend someone unfairly treated. As far as scientific evidence goes, "F" correlates with Agreeableness in the Big Five. One of the subfactors of Agreeableness is "Morality", the fact that the person tends to deal straightforwardly with people instead of using manipulation.

    On the other hand, NT's seem to avoid the small lies to spare people's feelings. They might seem more honest at first. My own experience tells me that they are much more likely to cover up the truth if it is in favor of their interests. They may manipulate opinion by arguing in a seemingly logical but invalid way. "T" correlates negatively with Agreeableness, and we can expect T's to score low on "Morality" which means that they have no qualms about distorting the truth to manipulate people. The low Agreeableness might make them seem more honest though because they more readily criticize others.

    These elements bring me to conclude that in appearance NT's value truth more than NF's but when it gets down to the crux it's really the NF's that will be able to speak about the truth even if it is unfavorable to them. NT's may think that they are above their emotions and are faithful to the facts but do not always realize what a role their feelings play and how they can be influenced by them into distorting a situation. For having experience in working in an environment full of NT's, believe me that they are no more honest and straightforward than other people. In fact, they are less so and are very strategic and pragmatic about it. After all, for NT's, the facts are only the facts and reality is malleable. The ones that I have seen speaking the truth that no one dares to mention were the NF's. An INFJ and ENFJ come to mind and these people's way of relating to the external world is through "Extraverted Feeling" - ironically a function that supposedly covers the truth up for other people. In reality, it doesn't.
    I agree with the above. I'm wondering if it's not more an N trait than an NF trait. The NF's that I've noticed who are more likely to make the truth their "own" truth are NP's. Not having experience with ALL NT's (especially the ENTP (I have one friend...a woman who is an ENTP) but the INTP's I know, and I know several, are more likely to do this. Hmmm wonder what that means.
    for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

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