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Thread: Fe and morality

  1. #11
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    What always confuses me about these threads about Fe is that it's always emphasized how Fe is "conventional/societal morality" and how Fi is different because it's concerned with being true to one's own conscience. I agree that Fe-users are aware of the external dynamics of things in morality and generally have an automatic awareness of how others will feel (to their best knowledge) based on what they do (although what each person chooses to do with this inclination is up to them, whether out of good motives or bad). And yet . . . I have internal baselines inside myself that I can only describe as "values." And these are not concerned with whether everyone around me is doing the same thing or whether I would be accepted or extoled by other people for acting on them. Yes, I would take into consideration the external dynamics (I can't not), but these internal values are separate from all that. And there are times when I will speak up in favor of unpopular stances, or work to try to change the way things are normally done, if I feel that it is important enough to do so. It's important to note that Fe-users are not solely "users of Fe" (they also use Ni, Si, Ti, etc), so of course not everything that Fe-users think or do will be based on Fe (and plus people just do things that are outside of being explained by MBTI), so I could be thinking of another cognitive function when I'm thinking of these "values," but . . . I don't think so, although I could be wrong.

    Also, these descriptions of Fe being about "conventional values" (I'm not singling out any poster in particular; many people say this) just don't ring true to me. It sounds as if Fe-users, when trying to figure out the right thing to do in a situation, just think to themselves, "What does everyone in my community do?" and that's the end of it. Fe is far more complex than this. Fe-users on this site have said many times that this is an inaccurate description, and yet many Fi-users still use these descriptions for Fe. Does this mean that this is simply how Fe appears to the Fi-users who see this externally, and from their perspective, this may be a way of describing it for themselves in comparison to Fi? Does this mean that Fi-users are looking at Fe with incomplete information and so form an incomplete concept of Fe? I don't know. I'm not saying that Fe has nothing to do with the external . . . but it's really not the "enforcing social norms police" (see above paragraph).






    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I believe Fe types, being Js, are exponentially more aware of cause-and-effect in the external world, and account for real-world consequences in their moral computation, whereas Fi types are more likely to zone in on themselves and account for their personal emtions in moral computation while being somewhat blind to the "real" consequences of their behavior. Like Ti types, I think Fi types seek a more "purified" set of ethics, with all principles in internal harmony, while Fe users are more willing to modify ethics to fit the situation because they seek consistency in external results. To Te and Fe, there's little point in so much idealistic refinement when the constantly-changing parameters of the external world have morphed to create a new situation long before you've finally computed the ideal response to the first. Better to create a best-fit response with the resources at hand and jump on enacting that, so that the problem is actually adressed, instead of lingering to perfect a solution that will be essentially useless by the time it's formed...
    This is a really interesting description
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

  2. #12
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Reconsider your question.

    How does Ni morality form as opposed to Si morality?
    How does Ti morality form as opposed to Ne morality?
    How does morality form?

    To understand better where I'm coming from, note that I believe most people overestimate the role of their tertiary/inferior, so you can't just split the population into Fe vs Fi and start discussing morality.
    This is touching on a question that I had in my previous post. Do other functions beside Fe/Fi influence morality? It sounds like you're saying that since many people don't have Fe/Fi in their dominant or auxiliary functions, and yet they have morals, that morality can come from non-Feeling functions. This is something I'm curious about, with whether the morality of non-Feelers comes from their tertiary/inferior Feeling function or actually forms from their N/S/T dom/aux functions. (Of course personal morality is more complex than just breaking it into cognitive functions--I think "influences" might be a better word than "comes from/forms" on second thought.) Do you have any thoughts of how morality would be influenced by non-Feeling functions? Or is this a question that you're still exploring yourself?
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

  3. #13
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    Fe, as I understand it, is about contexts.

    What is "good"? What is "bad"? It minimizes what the individual thinks is good or bad and instead focuses on what can be said to be good/bad always. Not outside of that individul, but inside all individuals...including (and sometimes excluding) themselves in the process.

    A way of doing this would be to take everyone's opinion of what is good/bad and look for an underlying trait. Obviously, this is impossible so Fe will then start trying to limit either the group of people or the scope of the underlying trait so that it can come to a conclusion that it true, even if in just one context.

    An Fi user would find it hard to say "behaviour x is bad, but for them it's good, though I still think it's bad. Regardless, in the situation that I'm in it is percieved as good, so I might as well make peace with it...maybe even experience it, even though I think it's bad".

    An Fi user would simply stick to "it's bad, because I think so, and that alone will dictate my behaviour."

    It's like going to a strange place and observing people eating something you are unfamiliar with and think disgusting.

    An Fe user will be like "eww...I should try some".
    An Fi user will be like "eww...not even if I were paid to do so".

    Except the disgusting food is behaviour (how people interact with one another)

  4. #14
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    This is touching on a question that I had in my previous post. Do other functions beside Fe/Fi influence morality? It sounds like you're saying that since many people don't have Fe/Fi in their dominant or auxiliary functions, and yet they have morals, that morality can come from non-Feeling functions. This is something I'm curious about, with whether the morality of non-Feelers comes from their tertiary/inferior Feeling function or actually forms from their N/S/T dom/aux functions. (Of course personal morality is more complex than just breaking it into cognitive functions--I think "influences" might be a better word than "comes from/forms" on second thought.) Do you have any thoughts of how morality would be influenced by non-Feeling functions? Or is this a question that you're still exploring yourself?
    Some things that comes to mind - how do you experience your feeling? How do you experience your thinking? When the you within yourself and the you outside of yourself communicate with one another, how does the interaction go?

  5. #15
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    This is touching on a question that I had in my previous post. Do other functions beside Fe/Fi influence morality? It sounds like you're saying that since many people don't have Fe/Fi in their dominant or auxiliary functions, and yet they have morals, that morality can come from non-Feeling functions. This is something I'm curious about, with whether the morality of non-Feelers comes from their tertiary/inferior Feeling function or actually forms from their N/S/T dom/aux functions. (Of course personal morality is more complex than just breaking it into cognitive functions--I think "influences" might be a better word than "comes from/forms" on second thought.) Do you have any thoughts of how morality would be influenced by non-Feeling functions? Or is this a question that you're still exploring yourself?
    Si and Ni strongly influence morality in their own ways. Si is actually fairly sensitive to societal standards: not that it slavishly follows society, but if you don't have a better idea and the societal standard isn't particularly repulsive, then the societal standard is good enough, mostly because most everyone agrees that it's a decent enough standard. Ni is the opposite: societal standards either work or not, and the ones that don't should be dumped in favor of ones that do.

    Te and Ti also have their standards. Things that are ineffective and wasteful offend Te sensibilities. Things that are inconsistent or illogical, especially if they're "forced" on Ti, are offensive to Ti.

    In short, the functions really don't directly affect one's standards. Rather, they predict where you will look to figure out what moral standards there ought to be. Fe and Fi start from different points, but eventually converge on more or less the same "good" (controversial issues notwithstanding, of course).

    In the end, it is you, your ego which lies outside the Jungian functions, that decides where your moral standards lie.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  6. #16
    That's my name biotch! JoSunshine's Avatar
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    I can't speak to Fe vs Fi - by I can speak to my Fe...

    My thought process goes something like this:

    My highest moral principal is - Be true and be kind. I hold myself as well as others to this "standard". If I do something and recognize it as not being true (lying, ego-based reactions which is both lying to myself AND others, avoiding) I find it unacceptable aka amoral. The same goes for others whether the person they are being untrue or unkind to is me or someone else.

    Our society often encourages behavior that is IMO unkind and (especially) untrue. I feel there is often an utter lack of awareness about all of it. So needless to say, my morals often don't align with norms within my community and are often look at as "weird". Just try having non-religious, Buddhist leaning beliefs in the Bible belt and you will see what I mean! I don't hit people with a sledge hammer or expect people to change their values, but I have no problem voicing my own opinion or accepting criticism for my opinions. I guess my values are kind of Fe-ish though lol
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    "She has the morals of a pirate, but would do anything for her friends" = Fe
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I believe Fe types, being Js, are exponentially more aware of cause-and-effect in the external world, and account for real-world consequences in their moral computation, whereas Fi types are more likely to zone in on themselves and account for their personal emtions in moral computation while being somewhat blind to the "real" consequences of their behavior. Like Ti types, I think Fi types seek a more "purified" set of ethics, with all principles in internal harmony, while Fe users are more willing to modify ethics to fit the situation because they seek consistency in external results. To Te and Fe, there's little point in so much idealistic refinement when the constantly-changing parameters of the external world have morphed to create a new situation long before you've finally computed the ideal response to the first. Better to create a best-fit response with the resources at hand and jump on enacting that, so that the problem is actually adressed, instead of lingering to perfect a solution that will be essentially useless by the time it's formed...
    Agreed, and I think this is what make me clash with Fe users sometimes.

  9. #19
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I believe Fe types, being Js, are exponentially more aware of cause-and-effect in the external world, and account for real-world consequences in their moral computation, whereas Fi types are more likely to zone in on themselves and account for their personal emtions in moral computation while being somewhat blind to the "real" consequences of their behavior. Like Ti types, I think Fi types seek a more "purified" set of ethics, with all principles in internal harmony, while Fe users are more willing to modify ethics to fit the situation because they seek consistency in external results. To Te and Fe, there's little point in so much idealistic refinement when the constantly-changing parameters of the external world have morphed to create a new situation long before you've finally computed the ideal response to the first. Better to create a best-fit response with the resources at hand and jump on enacting that, so that the problem is actually adressed, instead of lingering to perfect a solution that will be essentially useless by the time it's formed...
    great observation!
    so basically you're saying Fe is deductive morality and Fi is inductive morality? makes sense. similarly, I think Fe morality tends to come much more for the superego while Fi morality is more visceral (Fe often seems to have a bias of "it worked in the past, therefore it's right")

    Fe types will often say things like "I was raised to believe...." or "it's difficult reprogramming what my parents taught me was right" (@The Great One and I have talked about this at length). for strong Fi users on the other hand, values are just "there" and we're often left thinking "your parents created your values for you? ". for me, even as early as 5, I had my own ideas of right and wrong and, apart from a short period of time in which I tried to change them and failed miserably, they really have not changed much. I can honestly say that my values would be the same if I grew up in the slums of India, on the Communist Block, in an African tribe or in the courts of the Victorian aristocracy.
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  10. #20
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    great observation!
    so basically you're saying Fe is deductive morality and Fi is inductive morality? makes sense. similarly, I think Fe morality tends to come much more for the superego while Fi morality is more visceral (Fe often seems to have a bias of "it worked in the past, therefore it's right")

    Fe types will often say things like "I was raised to believe...." or "it's difficult reprogramming what my parents taught me was right" (@The Great One and I have talked about this at length). for strong Fi users on the other hand, values are just "there" and we're often left thinking "your parents created your values for you? ". for me, even as early as 5, I had my own ideas of right and wrong and, apart from a short period of time in which I tried to change them and failed miserably, they really have not changed much. I can honestly say that my values would be the same if I grew up in the slums of India, on the Communist Block, in an African tribe or in the courts of the Victorian aristocracy.
    Thanks

    I think that's an interesting idea, with inductive and deductive. I've never been able to keep those two straight, and I've never thought of the difference that way, but I can see what you mean.

    I would be interested to hear if Fe dom/aux think the superego/id difference is accurate. For me, with Fi, I agree that it's a very visceral, deep-seated thing - if we're using freudian divisions, I'd definitely say id. I think if there is that sense of this worked before in Fe (probably more common in SFJs than NFJs), it stems from, again, being more focused on real-world results.

    I have to point out, though, that you're not really a very strongly superego-driven person at all, and I think that carries over more into your personality than is necessarily the domain of Fi alone. Personally, I am quite strongly superego-driven, and it's often very hard for me to separate my own values from my parents' values - perhaps it was just a good match-up, or perhaps their influence on me has been profound - though the truth is both, I'm sure. Whereas my ENFJ best friend is fairly balanced between ego and superego drive, and she is essentially the same - on a couple points, she, like me, is clearly split from them (our welcoming versus their hesitance to accept a rainbow of sexualities is probably the most notable example), but she also melds with them in many cases. I think enneagram plays a big role in this, too. You, being Fi and 7, are doubly removed from the influence of the outside world on your values, but my 6 balances my Fi and her 3 balances her Fe. I suspect my values would differ somewhat were I privy to different information than that with which I was raised.

    I think it's important for us to recognize that adopting values from outside influences isn't simply a mindless absorption... I think it's easy for Fi to feel like it is, but that process recognizes that there is a type of wisdom that resides in the spaces between people which is inaccessible to the self as an island. Fi is good for developing our own personal values and is very live-and-let-live, but when it comes to instituting values in a shared setting - a university, for example - Fe has a better idea of how we can get along together, optimizing the differences between people and minimizing conflict.

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