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    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Default How does an Fi value system work?

    Ok, I bet there are other threads with this content. But probably not expressed in quite the same way, so here goes. Feel free to link me to relevant information.

    How does an Fi value/ethical/moral system work? Where do the values come from- what part of you? Are they backed up by reason, and if so what kind of reason? Do you feel the need to back them up by reason or does that offend you? Are they purely subjective or purely relativistic? It seems like cultural relativism would be Fe, but universal values and morality seems to be the property of either or both. Are things right only for you or are they right for everyone? Are things wrong only for you or for everyone? What happens when value/ethical systems clash? Do you argue or let them have their own point of view? Does it matter to you if other people agree with you? Do ethical systems have to be logically organized? Do Fi users bother with ethical theory, and if so what would an Fi ethical theory look like?

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    That's a good question, and I think we've had other threads on this, but I won't be arsed to look them up. I didn't always think I was ENFP, my Fi isn't nearly as weighty as other Fi users. As I discovered it, I have a feeling it forms over a lifetime. It's not a reasoning process, it's more like a map to follow. The map does get updated, but it's a long process.

    Cultural relativism is something that I actually mesh with very well, but my values lie strongly in the recognition of the subjective plight of the individual. My Fi reacts badly when others aren't 'recognized' as being deserving of equal, respectful treatment. But my definition of respect may not mesh with yours.

    No, it doesn't matter if people agree with me, but that's also part of my personal values. A lot of what is important to me in the Feeling realm was formed from a reasoning process, but I was in a unique position that I had to reform my values late in life.

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    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    How does an Fi value/ethical/moral system work?
    For me, I think I have a long list of things that matter and things that don't, and they shift and flux around constantly based on new information coming in. It effects my decisions in a way that is hard to describe, always juggling around my idea of what life is like.

    Where do the values come from- what part of you?
    They start from the outside, I believe, but they are integrated in a way that fits closest with previously established systems, so sometimes can come out with something a little off from society or be older views with some new twists.

    Are they backed up by reason, and if so what kind of reason?
    A little bit, it depends on where they start- I think that like a Ti, things have to fit together and make sense. Only, it's not quite as logical because it has to resonate internally, so the logic is based on previously defined logic of myself- if that makes sense. So I had this whole well pieced together worldview or idea or thought that seemed to make sense. So then you put something new in there that doesn't quite fit, you have to twist the new information and shuffle around the old views so that it continues to resonate. So yes, it's logic- it's supposed to make sense- but.... "sense" is defined by "it makes sense with the other subjective stuff that I already decided."

    Do you feel the need to back them up by reason or does that offend you?
    It doesn't offend me at all, it makes me smirk a little bit- I don't think you need logic in everything (a current Fi view of mine) but when I think of it that way, it makes my entire system look a little silly. It's awkward when you realize that your views have no basis in reality.

    Are they purely subjective or purely relativistic?
    Ummm, probably a little bit of both....

    It seems like cultural relativism would be Fe, but universal values and morality seems to be the property of either or both. Are things right only for you or are they right for everyone?

    They have to be right for me. A lot of universal values are something that each person could justify individually which leads an Fi to similar conclusions a lot of the time.

    Are things wrong only for you or for everyone?
    Only wrong for me- though, leading from the last question, my value system isn't simple enough to be totally right and wrong. For people who think in terms of values, seems like a lot of them would have lots of nuances and shades depending on things like circumstances, intentions- it's what could lead and Fi person to make one decision about one situation and another conclusion about a slightly different situation. At the end of the day, again- I think things have to resonate with me, and sometimes I come up with different conclusions, but a lot of times it ends up being the same as the group/Fe people- just took a lot more adding and subtracting to get there.

    What happens when value/ethical systems clash?

    Depends on the value/ethical system, most of the time it just makes things interesting and stretches my own perception- if it's completely different and wrong and convoluted in my mind, it's harder to respect the other person.

    Do you argue or let them have their own point of view?

    Yes, I don't mind discussing these things with people.

    Does it matter to you if other people agree with you?

    I really like to "win" arguments, so it's really nice if I can sway people. But it has to be a genuine sway, and I also like to gain something from the other person and try to see things the other way.


    Do ethical systems have to be logically organized?

    They have to be organized somewhat. However, for me i'd like to add that I'm flexible so even ethical systems within me can clash a little and argue back and forth, but I don't like to be one big wishy washy chaotic mess either. But yes, *some* organization system- sometimes logical. (I guess that's true for anyone.)

    Do Fi users bother with ethical theory, and if so what would an Fi ethical theory look like?

    Fi ethical theory- sometimes.... Though, I'm very wary of that. I try to find blanket solutions for things but learn quickly that it's not that easy. For instance, I like to think of someone who is results oriented- like- if things work out in the end, it doesn't matter what happened before that. Many people are different- they like things to go the right way- and trust that the results will work out in the end. I can see both ways, and while I have a good idea of general ethical principles and principles that clash, I like to think of them as guidelines.

    I hope this was coherent enough
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    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    That's a good question, and I think we've had other threads on this, but I won't be arsed to look them up. I didn't always think I was ENFP, my Fi isn't nearly as weighty as other Fi users. As I discovered it, I have a feeling it forms over a lifetime. It's not a reasoning process, it's more like a map to follow. The map does get updated, but it's a long process.

    Cultural relativism is something that I actually mesh with very well, but my values lie strongly in the recognition of the subjective plight of the individual. My Fi reacts badly when others aren't 'recognized' as being deserving of equal, respectful treatment. But my definition of respect may not mesh with yours.

    No, it doesn't matter if people agree with me, but that's also part of my personal values. A lot of what is important to me in the Feeling realm was formed from a reasoning process, but I was in a unique position that I had to reform my values late in life.
    Interesting. I've reformed and modified my ethics over time, but not my values; they've pretty much been the same all my life. (?) I wonder if this is typical of anything. I mean, I guess different things are more or less important at different times, right? Or is it just a question of focus? Like, you can't focus on everything all at once- it's demonstrably impossible. And focusing on too many things diminishes the effect. Am I missing the point?

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Interesting. I've reformed and modified my ethics over time, but not my values; they've pretty much been the same all my life. (?) I wonder if this is typical of anything. I mean, I guess different things are more or less important at different times, right? Or is it just a question of focus? Like, you can't focus on everything all at once- it's demonstrably impossible. And focusing on too many things diminishes the effect. Am I missing the point?
    You may be asking the wrong person, it may be a Fi/Fe difference, or just a personal difference. I don't really understand your question. But ethics to me don't seem to be even important enough to for me to develop a system for, for me they're more like 'suggestions'. This, of course, may not be a good thing, but it's true.

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    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    @shortnsweet: Thanks for the in depth response! Food for thought.

    I can't decide if I understand things now more or less. I'm kind of in a state of confusion right now, because I'm over-thinking the meanings of words and concepts to the point where they have become essentially meaningless. Which is not a bad state of being- I'm sure it will lead to greater understanding. I'm taking an ethical theory class, which is what has provoked all this. I don't like so many of the implications of the words right and wrong, and all the judgment involved (and I don't see the value in a belief that can't be coherently explained and recommended as a principle). But I have values and ethics and feelings and all that. So I'm trying to figure out how Fi fits into what I know, because it's a bit troublesome for someone who analyzes things to death. Do INFP's ever do this, or is it overactive Ti trying to make order out of chaos and failing?

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    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    You may be asking the wrong person, it may be a Fi/Fe difference, or just a personal difference. I don't really understand your question. But ethics to me don't seem to be even important enough to for me to develop a system for, for me they're more like 'suggestions'. This, of course, may not be a good thing, but it's true.
    Well that's fair enough, because my question wasn't clear. So...what you're saying is that values are more important than ethics...that is, that your personal understanding is more important than how people behave? See I thought Fi was very concerned with how people behave, because they feel so strongly about what is right and wrong. But then you get confused with Fe...

    I guess my question was how and why values might change.

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    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    @shortnsweet: Thanks for the in depth response! Food for thought.

    I can't decide if I understand things now more or less. I'm kind of in a state of confusion right now, because I'm over-thinking the meanings of words and concepts to the point where they have become essentially meaningless. Which is not a bad state of being- I'm sure it will lead to greater understanding. I'm taking an ethical theory class, which is what has provoked all this. I don't like so many of the implications of the words right and wrong, and all the judgment involved (and I don't see the value in a belief that can't be coherently explained and recommended as a principle). But I have values and ethics and feelings and all that. So I'm trying to figure out how Fi fits into what I know, because it's a bit troublesome for someone who analyzes things to death. Do INFP's ever do this, or is it overactive Ti trying to make order out of chaos and failing?
    I'm not sure, Fi is a really difficult thing to try to describe... I think Fi people are also very analytical, but from the words you are using to describe all this, it sounds like Ti analysis. I think that we're more comfortable using values and ethics as a premise unto themselves- I understand why people would want logical explanations for everything. I'm not really sure why I'm so comfortable with values and changing subjective belief systems myself- it doesn't even make sense to me- it's fuzzy logic that just comes naturally- see- this post is actually an example of the way that I analyze things- in fuzzy layers of confusing things defined in my own head. I didn't actually realize this was strange to some people until I joined typec and started to try explaining it. (Yea, and common complaint for people thinking about Fi I think- things are so vague they become meaningless.)

    So yea, Fi analysis and Ti analysis-it seems like you're looking for something cold and solid to help everything make objective sense... Ethics classes and FP's may drive you nuts on these topics because we're coming from a completely different direction. Logic is an afterthought. It will also be difficult to come to set agreements.

    (how's that for purpley, @LunaLuminosity?)
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  9. #9
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Well that's fair enough, because my question wasn't clear. So...what you're saying is that values are more important than ethics...that is, that your personal understanding is more important than how people behave? See I thought Fi was very concerned with how people behave, because they feel so strongly about what is right and wrong. But then you get confused with Fe...

    I guess my question was how and why values might change.
    Yeah, exactly, my personal understand is way more important. I recognize the value of ethics, but to me it's more like language. It matters less that you put the apostrophe in the wrong place, it matters more on what you're trying to say. It's also important like dancing, it doesn't matter so much at all where people put their feet, just as long they don't step on each other.

    I'm more concerned about people's intentions. I don't know if that works the same for other Fi users.

    As far as why they change, mine changed when the world no longer made sense to me. My case was extreme. I wonder also how Fi values develop normally.

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    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Jeez, you ask some complex questions.

    I'll do my best to answer them but this is getting into a difficult territory. It's hard to define these things, even for my own sake.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    How does an Fi value/ethical/moral system work?
    I get a instinctual sense of what is right or wrong on a case by case basis. That's how it starts anyway, because over a life time I've started to piece together (with Ne-Si) those impressions together and they've shaped into some sort of consistent picture. I've tried to find some sort of rational for that instinct and tried to fit it within objective reasoning because it's important that it have a universal quality (and Te consistency) to it. It's rare to have a pure, wholly original Fi instinctual value come to me now because almost everything is part of a web of the ethical theories I've developed over time. In other words, the reasoning and the (value) instincts are now almost inextricably interwoven.

    Where do the values come from- what part of you?
    Outer space? I don't know. Jung used the term "primordial images" to describe the nature of their origin, which I like very much. They spring up from a gut instinct without really needing experience to create them. They just exist. It's like they were already wired into my brain before I was born, or that they exist inherently, separate to human conciousness and I merely tap into them - like the laws of mathematics or physics.

    Are they backed up by reason, and if so what kind of reason?
    The reasoning is important but it's a secondary aspect. It's like looking at a complex maths problem and knowing the answer without having any idea why. For your own sake and because society demands it, you sit there and try and go through the working. You try to discover and outline the steps and rationale that explain why the answer is right. You also need to check that you can accurately replicate the same method in other situations - if you can't, you have to reconsider the mathematical theory.

    Do you feel the need to back them up by reason or does that offend you?
    Yes, I do feel the need. Without the reasoning, I would have to rely on a case-by-case reaction in the moment. I would prefer to be able to predict what I would feel in other situation and more importantly to create stability and external consistency in something so subjective. I don't want to sound like the crazy person that says the answer to that maths problem and have everyone dismiss it as nonsense. I want to make sense and for them to be able to see what I see too. However, it can be hard to define that reasoning in the moment; I may need some time to work it through in my head. I sometimes need a bit of leeway in this regard because it doesn't come naturally to me. In other words, I might know what the answer is but I'm not sure why yet.

    Are they purely subjective or purely relativistic? It seems like cultural relativism would be Fe, but universal values and morality seems to be the property of either or both. Are things right only for you or are they right for everyone? Are things wrong only for you or for everyone?
    It's kind of a mix between relativism and universalism. I know this sounds contradictory but it doesn't entirely feel that way. I would say it's fundamentally a search for universal values but at the same time I recognise the complexities that throw a spanner in the works. There are different levels of values: some are broad in nature and therefore apply to all; some are smaller in scale and more specific, and therefore only apply to a few, in certain circumstances (and perhaps only if they want them to). I have values that aren't a big deal in the scheme of things that I expect myself to follow but will not expect others to adhere to them. But I won't make a rule for others and not expect myself to follow it. Basically, I will hold myself to an equal or higher standard to others.

    On the other hand I am wary of cultural relativism - totally adhering to that theory requires excusing a lot of things I find morally repugnant. I suppose I allow for some cultural/individual differences - some nuances in how to approach everyday life - as long as they don't violate the crucial universal values.

    What happens when value/ethical systems clash? Do you argue or let them have their own point of view? Does it matter to you if other people agree with you?
    It's tough when they clash. It's important to recognise the reasoning behind others' values, rather than just dismiss it entirely. It's not always as straight forward as people would have it be. However, there are limits. There are universal human ethics even if individuals don't recognise them. It's like the Geneva Convention; sometimes it exists in opposition to a certain group's ideology but they are wrong, not the convention. Often it comes down to the harm a value causes - is it more harmful for it to exist or for it to be violated. With a lot of small things, it doesn't matter to me if people disagree because I accept a lot of minor values are merely opinion based - however, if it is a universal value, it bothers me because I think they're wrong.

    Do ethical systems have to be logically organized? Do Fi users bother with ethical theory, and if so what would an Fi ethical theory look like?
    I think it's better that they be. It doesn't have to be written out like a personal manifest but it should at least attempt to make sense and have some consistency (even a little internal consistency would be a plus).

    I studied philosophy and ethics at Uni and found it very interesting. I took generalised courses that taught a whole range of theories and approaches. Learning about them was very stimulating but they all seemed flawed to me - I didn't find any that really matched my way of thinking. I liked Kant's moral philosophy at first but when I saw that it had no room for exceptions and the alarming implications it had, I couldn't go along with it. I like Aristotelian Virtue Ethics but was disappointed by the sheer subjectivity of it and the lack of direction it offered. In many ways I wish I could marry Kant and Aristotle's theories together into a sort of Fi-Te wonder-ethics. Unfortunately, there isn't a straight-forward way to do that. In fact, it may be impossible to lay out my ethical system with complete clarity and consistency without it violating my own values - perhaps life is too complicated for that to be achievable.
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