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  1. #1
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Default Religion and Fe/Fi

    I wasn't sure whether to post this in the MBTI and other personality matrices or in Religion and Spirituality, but I went with this one because I want it to be more functions-focused.

    So I've been thinking about religion/faith a bit recently and also trying to get a little better grasp on these cognitive functions.

    In the category of religion, we have communal and individual aspects, group worship and service (like in the "helping others" sense) and then things like personal devotion and prayer. On some level, the communal aspects of religion appear to be very Fe-oriented, while the individual aspects tend to be more Fi-oriented. Religion vs. spirituality, perhaps?

    However, there are a lot of Fi users who participate actively in organized religion, and there are a lot of Fe users who are disenchanted with it.

    It has been my observation that a lot of Fi users become disenchanted with religion (particular religions or religions in general) because they perceive it as the Fe "man" trying to get them to live by its rules sort of thing. Totally valid, this makes a lot of sense to me. At the same time, Fi users who ARE religious seem to find that religion, even the communal aspects, enhances their Fi spirituality (whether or not they even know/use the term Fi).

    Fe users... I do not know exactly what makes them disenchanted with religion or how they feel about the individual aspects. I don't have a lot of data points except for on here and people from real life who have identified with a particular type (since I'm not amazing at distinguishing on my own yet). My dear ENFJ friend has been recently dissecting her religious views, because for a large portion of her life, duty and devotion were the same to her. She felt a sense of spirituality when she was performing religious duties, even in her private live. She wants to continue to be spiritual - and relgious to the extent possible (within a religion that isn't necessarily accepting of her sexuality) - but I can see that it has been very very painful and almost violent for her to let go of these expectations on herself, and I know that she will feel it sharply when she brings these things up with her family.

    People who find fulfillment in relgion, it seems, are able to significantly reconcile the communal aspects and the individual aspects with their own F values. But I suspect there will always be tensions there for Fi and Fe users... maybe not. Maybe some people are religious without tension.


    Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I'd be really interested in feedback. I didn't even get into the Te dimension for the Fi users and the Ti dimension for Fe users, but I'm sure that has a lot to do with it, particularly for the T-dom people. The above is certainly F-biased.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    actually one of the things that pisses me off the most about organized religions may be Fe based... I see them as doing more harm in the world in a lot of cases than they do good... it's incredibly rare that I see any religious group actually DOING good works and helping their fellow human beings... the religion may be based on the principle of being kind and good to others, but I keep getting a creepy feeling that telling people that they're headed to hell, smiting non-beleivers and televangilism aren't exactly things that go along with those principles
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    The Fe thing is a dual-edged weapon, just like the Japanese concept of "face."

    It can be liberating to be in an environment that is more communal, as well as in one where all the expectations are laid out so that you know what to do, what your place is, what behavior is acceptable and what is not, etc. I don't actually see that as inherently bad.

    However, it can easily be used as a control mechanism and used to overwrite individuality and opposing voices. There's some sort of balance that needs to be found there. I think religion can naturally drown out dissenting voices if it is a religion based on revelational truth that cannot be questioned within the religious framework.

    When I left church a few years ago, it was not because I didn't have people there I loved, nor did I want to stop ministering to others, nor did I necessarily change my views... It was because I was so hurt, frustrated, tired, and angry of feeling like there was a lot of groupthough, always seeing to pressure and conform me to its image, and leaving me feeling judged and invalidated if I happened to hold a different opinion or even an ambiguity on the topic; and I was also tired of having to wear a fake face to avoid conflict (if I didn't want to engage) or reprisal (if I chose to engage). It was just too stressful for me.
    "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

  4. #4
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    From my experience with my wife(ENFJ) she is a huge helper and because of Se(I am guessing) they are huge doers. They are pretty much one in the same because of this. It spans outside of religion, to life in general.

    I have been trying to help my wife just let go of this duty/devotion and it is a huge struggle. One thing I have noticed and that has also been verified is that hurt, etc is a sign of weakness.

    I have never seen religion as Fe, but I see things different. To me, the whole, makes up religion so I see it as very Fi because thats what it brings out. This is from an outsiders point of view. An insider might not see this Fi because they are apart of it, but they do feel it. The part about religion that I am not fond of is the Fe portion and I have a struggle inside of me between the good and the bad within religion. This is aside from God, its not "rules", but it is the way things are handled. Basically when the Fe goes overboard and the Fi users will emit feelings, but will continue to go along until enough can get together and decide to fight it as a group.

    Just my quick 2 cents.
    Im out, its been fun

  5. #5
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I had a pretty strong conversion experience when I was 17 to Christianity (I've since...broadened somewhat), but even then, as interested as I was, I found the idea of church strange. My friend's mom was always trying to get me to go, using the argument that I needed to share or have fellowship. It didn't really spark any sense of conviction in me....

    I did start finally exploring churches though, only to not get into the groove of what everyone was doing (like singing for example)... Eventually, I stopped going..so... I guess there was a lot of "Fi" going on, even when I was at a stage in my life to be strongly influenced and persuaded by things related to Christianity.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by poki View Post
    Basically when the Fe goes overboard and the Fi users will emit feelings, but will continue to go along until enough can get together and decide to fight it as a group.
    Interesting... and this is sort of off-topic, but that seems to be how new religions are born. I think it's how Christianity was born, how Islam was born, how all the different permutations of each were born. All those Fi users though typically need somebody around whom to... rally, though, someone to articulate the vision. I wonder if religious founders tend to be Fi or Fe users.


    More later...!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    i was gonna add that i didn't exactly make fans in these churches either. not that i set out to do that, but some people made a big deal out of things. that same church i went with my friend and his mom had a preacher who "wanted to admonish" me (his words) about my dyed hair. like it was inappropriate for his church or something.

    also, at that time, i was pretty stoked about reading the bible, and the bible study teacher didnt like me asking questions in class - and uh, one time, i asked him a (i guess) really challenging question and he literally whispered to me "don't back me in a corner, boy". this is totally Fi vs Fe or something. i was breaking some kind of social rule in his mind. in my mind, i was wondering why he was teaching things that didnt line up with what i was reading.

    on the flipside, he took me to shoney's to make a "truce" (i didnt know there was a conflict to begin with, but hey....free breakfast)

  8. #8
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    Those are some amazing stories KDude.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    and to add to mine... what pisses me off the most about religion is that the churches aren't nice enough... they're too closed off from the world in their own happy little insular space :steam:
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    and to add to mine... what pisses me off the most about religion is that the churches aren't nice enough... they're too closed off from the world in their own happy little insular space :steam:
    For a group that is not supposed to be judgemental they can come across as very judgemental as they stand behind someone elses words.
    Im out, its been fun

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