Principles, thoughts, ... | INFJ Forum

Principles, thoughts, ...

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by The Jester, Aug 22, 2009.

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  1. The Jester

    Okay, this is something I often think about. Are your values and principles really yours?
    Is that what you believe is good and what is bad, really what you think of it, or are you just influenced by society?
    And even this: are your thoughts yours? Are the implanted in your head by society, who controls the way you think?

    My opinion on this is: I find it hard to believe that people their values and principles are really theirs, because they just give in to trends, etc to be accepted in society.
    They're controlled by what society says is good and what isn't.
    Now I hear you say: 'But Sven, what about those who reject those trends and don't follow them?'
    True, but then you have to ask yourself this question: are they rejecting the trend because they don't like it, or because they want to be different and don't want to belong to the mainstream group?
    Then they belong to the group of the ones who reject the trends, thus their behaviour is controlled by the beliefs of that group.

    And it's not only group behaviour that influences what we think and feel, it's also influenced by

    1) Our background / history: what we have been through changes the way we think
    2) Our genetics
    3) Our nurture: our environment has learnt us what values are important to us

    I think the mix of these 3 is important.

    People speak of individualism, but we are still belonging to groups, maybe it's even stronger because there are more subgroups now and they get fueled by the media and of course, the internet.

    And if your values are controlled by these things, your thoughts are controlled by it because your values influence your thoughts.

    Sorry if this didn't make any sense at all. It's 1.30 after midnight here. And I like crazy-brainwashing-conspiracy theories.
    /Selfhandicapping
     
    #1 The Jester, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2009
  2. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    No matter what we try and say, we (humans) are a product of our environment. I believe that a lot of what we say, do, and think is influenced by the society we live in but only to an extent.

    We are largely free to pick and choose how we act, but I think society acts as a guideline. It shows what is acceptable and what isn't and we choose how to behave by our understanding of it.

    I do think that our thoughts are uniquely and individually our own. They maybe be influenced but are not a product of society.
     
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  3. OP
    The Jester

    Indeed, I was a bit too extreme with saying that our thoughts are fully controlled by society. But they sure are influenced a lot.
    And I think that how much it's influenced varies from person to person.
     
  4. slant

    slant Ruboobie

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    Society sucks big hairy balls.

    That's my conclusion.

    I'll come up with a serious answer later.
     
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    #4 slant, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  5. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    I follow the values that make more sense. I may hold something to a pedestal until someone comes and gives me evidence that this new view on a value I used to model is flawed. If that is the case, I will construct a new framework of my own understanding and thus a new value is constructed. However, there are some issues such as abortion, death penalty that are really hard for me to change my views on, in fact, they have remain intact since I first made my stand on that point.

    The media is an evil source for you to construct your views and thoughts of life. There's so many biases and bs on issues that are so delicate but the media makes it seem as if it was no big deal. For example, the sex industry is making teens horny at a very young age by showing commercials such as condom brands and are labeling it as " Sex is cool, if you're not doing it, there's something wrong with you", or at least that's my view on it.
     
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  6. sassafras

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    You would love sociology. That's what the whole discipline is dedicated to exploring.


    You are not individuals. You are sociological constructs.
     
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    #6 sassafras, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  7. OP
    The Jester

    I think that too. In highschool, I had the courses behavioural science and cultural science.

    Now I'm going to do Criminology at uni, it still has to do something with sociology.
     
  8. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Same questions I'm asking.

    I am not my thoughts or beliefs or the values and principals I hold. I am something else. These things have been pasted onto me (by whom? or what?) like a collage of posters and advertisements on a brick wall. I've adopted them in an absurd world in order to cope and feel anchored.

    I would like to say that the things that are important to me are the things I deem to be reasonable, like Last Dawn said. However, with new information perceptions change (as he acknowledged). So there's not much of an anchor, there.

    We are all social constructs. We are the sum of what is demanded of us to keep our society running efficiently. Those who rebel against it, or the iconoclasts are the same as the rest.

    Our beliefs and values, all of that is just a coping mechanism of living in a system that grows off of ignorance and dishonesty. Nothing I believe is true. There is no objective morality.
     
  9. sassafras

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    Yup. It has very much to do with sociology; its the branch of sociology solely dedicated to deviant behaviour. I wish my uni offered it as a full degree. We only get criminology courses in the upper years after successfully completing sociology prerequisites.

    Looking back now, I would've definitely taken sociology instead of history and British literature if I had the chance. Would've come much more in handy in law school.
     
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  10. IndigoSensor

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    I acknowlage that this is mostly true, I don't like it at all.

    I am so much an individualistic person, that the idea that my ideas thoughts and feelings were not created by me legitimately scares me. When someone tries to tell me who I am, and that ideas I had came from a social group think or something along those lines, I will fight them tooth and nail to prove otherwise. I am very very protective of my individuality.
     
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  11. slant

    slant Ruboobie

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    Alright, I'm finding it hard to add anything because the intial post has it all down. Right/wrong, aka 'morals' are established by a society. That is originally where the idea comes from that you need right or wrong, as it isn't natural tendency for wild animals to suddenly develop what we call 'a conscience'.

    So if you think about it, the reason why right and wrong were originally implicated were for advacing the human species. Back in the primitive ages, I'd imagine it would be unspoken rights or wrongs: be loyal to your tribe, help defend your land, etc. Although I'm sure it would have varied from region to region, as some tribes might have wanted everyone to contribute to hunting in order to eat it and others could have had a 'fend for yourself' mentality.

    In this modern age, I say that a lot of right or wrong is influenced by society, being through religion and government. Overall, I say that these two factors are what cause individual beliefs to establish. Like was previously mentioned, because of the established norms you will get people who rebel against it, but it's curious as to if they are rebelling not for moral reasons but only to rebel--- which in effect only strengthens the current right/wrong.

    It seems apparent that if a group is 'against' something that the mainstream public doesn't seem to care much about or supports, the negative media coverage and point of view only better establishes and confirms that this is 'right'.

    I don't think there is a solution to this other then breaking down every moral and understand that since there is no universal right or wrong, every right or wrong is opinion and is influenced by the varied factors above. You could even leap and say that morals aren't valid if there isn't a univeral, all-applicable one, and that's it's all just talk that can't be taken seriously.
     
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  12. sassafras

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    No doubt that fierce individuality of yours was probably a result of your environment and social circumstances too. A sociologist like Merton might posit that you weren't socialized properly to think as a conformist, and therefore identified with a sub-culture of individuals who were essentially anti-conformist and who ra-ra-ra'hd for individualism. Or perhaps it was a simpler matter of absorbing and taking to heart those 'you're special and unique' elementary school slogans....

    Eitherway, I'm just being snark-arific. Sorry.

    For that matter, now that most of us identify as INFJs, it's likely that we will be assimilating more and more INFJ-like traits too. Especially since most of us seem to be so preoccupied with what an INFJ identity entails, its like we're subconsciously looking for our individualism in others...

    Ah, the miracle and irony of group-think.
     
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  13. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Replying to slant's post in meandering thoughts..


    Right and wrong now, are more about protecting property or individual assets. It's all kind of bullshit. It's wrong for someone to walk into a Barnes and Noble and steal a book but it's not wrong for the providers of paper to the books being published to consume land without abandon to make a profit from producing a product.

    Or it's more like, it's illegal to walk into a dept. store and steal a shirt, but it's not illegal for the company producing the shirt to push foreign peoples off land and seize land that could be used for farming just to produce low quality clothes and what's more, employ people in a factory for strenuous hours and miserable conditions and pay them next to nothing.

    Or, it's ok that poverty exists because Jesus said, "You will always have the poor."
    Or in some eastern religions and philosphies, to accept one's miserable lot in life because they were bad in a previous life.

    Etc., etc., etc., etc.
     
    #13 acd, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  14. IndigoSensor

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    Again, you sound correct to what you are saying. I just don't like the idea of giving up all of who I am to be the result of other people. I like to think I made a choice in being who I am from all of the storehouse of personalites, people, and information I had presented to me in life. I mean, growing up, I had to pingpong between two radically different envrionments every weekend (parents have been divorced since I was 4), my mom and dad are day and night to each other. Both places had there good and bad points. I have always felt different since I was little, and I did take the whole "you're special/unique" thing to heart. The interesting thing is though, it felt rather generic because it all seemed to apply to me, so in a way I tried to buck it (again because I don't let people define me).

    I'd MUCH sooner give up who I am to my biology then I would to social interactions and construct. While both give an impact in developing a person, the former doesn't bother me. Because in that sense I am not giving up control to others. It is just within me.

    I also put alot more stock into nature as opposed to nurture, even though both are a factor, I think nature has a much stronger force (don't bother trying to debate me, I won't go there :D)
     
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  15. sassafras

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    Constructionist theory 101.


    Mmm. I don't quite agree with you when you say that institutions establish what we think.

    True, there are some things that are established by institutions (and usually by way of propaganda or other forms of claimsmaking), but institutions in general arose from the informal rules that were socialized into us prior before they became formalized as creeds or laws. The laws and creeds had to come from somewhere. It wasn't just a group of individuals who sat down and decided to sanction a few rules. Institutions, as far as policy making goes, have very little power. Unless there's some severe punishment involved or a strong, socially controlled environment that allows for the complete eradication or ridicule of contradictory beliefs (think the military or Stalin's Russia) the informal rules and morals that exist outside of the institution will prevail.

    That's not to say that institutions don't have any power over the beliefs of the masses, but something that has a direct sway over culture is a much more powerful (and dangerous) entity. I'd say in our day and age, it's the media has the sole responsibility in shaping our beliefs.

    Exactly; it's colossal power of the global media, and its propensity to shape how we think, feel and interact. What laws we want to change, who we want to instate in office, what are opinions are about the war in Iraq, etc.

    Well, seeing as we're structures in ourselves (biological structure, psychological structures) we depend on other structures for support. The validity of anything ("right" or "wrong") depends on how condusive it is to our survival based on our existing structures. But just like our minds and bodies evolve, so do our societies.

    Thus, the only meaning to anything goes back to your discussion of primitive man: survival.
     
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    #15 sassafras, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  16. OP
    The Jester

    Maybe this thread should've been in sociology, because I think most of the people agree society has an influence on us.

    Still reading all your replies, I could never word it like that. At least not in English <.<.
    I like you guys.
     
  17. slant

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    I disagree that religion and the government do not have more power then the media. The media is BROADCASTING the messages of the government and the media, whom deliberately twist it in order to manipulate the masses. Before the internet and television were so widespread, things were still quite similar to the way they are now in the sense that people were having political and religious based morals. There hasn't been a sudden change in moral's since the 1940's. The main difference is that information can be spread much faster and easier and so people are aware of different ways of life. Before then, it was easier for a government or religion to fool people into beleiving their way was the only way. Most people never left their little town, let alone the country, so how could they possibly know what's going on outside the world besides what their leaders tell them?

    It's quite similar today, just that information travels faster and it's easier to know things by a quick wiki. Media is the result of the government and religions.

    I could go on about how the media effects how we behave, such as women shaving their legs and wearing makeup, ( which is all part of advertising that popularized it), but that has nothing to do with morals. It isn't considered immoral not to shave your legs or wear makeup, it just looks funny to the mainstream public.
     
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  18. v.shadow

    v.shadow Community Member

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    I believe ideas and principles are not ours in a way (we are influenced by external approaches, even if we want it or not), but we decide what to believe in (at least I do) as we experience and learn. I may be really influenced by some people, but in the end what I care about are their ideas - so I will always question them.
     
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