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Perceiving and Judging pairs and Political Views

July 24, 2016

Interesting, as I was already planning this article, looking at the political situation through the Jungian cognitive function (Sensing, iNtuition, Thinking and Feeling), and the combinations of these that make up the “preferred function” letters of Myers Briggs “type” (ST, SF, NT, SF).

I’ve noted that conservativism is very “ST” (Sensing-Thinking), with “Sensing” dealing with “concrete” (or tangible, practical, empirical, etc.) data, as opposed to “abstract” (abstract, idealistic, hypothetical etc), and “Thinking” dealing with “logic” (“impersonal”/mechanical/technical) judgments, rather than more “personal/interpersonal” (or I call it “humane”, “anthropic”, etc).
Liberals are more “NF” (iNtuitive-Feeling; Which is also one of the groups known as a “Keirseyan temperament”, called “Idealist”). S and T by contrast are both described as dealing in fact”.

Debating with conservatives for years, I see their strong talking point is their reliance on ST data. As the universe is primarily tangible and mechanical, they seem to have the edge over a focus on the ideal and humane. That’s why they boldly claim to have all the facts, and often appeal to “nature” (including dynamics like the “market”, or “rugged individualism”), and coldly dismiss appeals to “feelings”.

I’m an NT (iNtuitive Thinker), and so can see the logic, but still think more hypothetically, and thus get highly frustrated when I look for a good logical liberal response to conservative rhetoric, but often get little more than “You conservatives are NOT NICE!” (T judgments you can think of in terms of “true/false” or “correct” or not, while F is “good/bad” or “nice” or not). Again, this is why conservatives think they have such a lockdown on “truth” (And liberals might assume a lockdown on “goodness”).

But these functional perspectives are but the ways limited humans divide reality (think how we divide space between “back/forth”, “up/down”, left/right” [no pun intended], and time into “past/future”). So while the hard core pure ST perspective may be good for bare “survival”, still, it does create a very lopsided view when the N+F side is ignored. This is why all the rhetoric, blaming, defensiveness, protesting, (and violence) is not getting anyone anywhere. If the conservatives had the “wild west frontier” society they so romanticize, it would not be pretty. (Which shows a less conscious and impractical N idealism is influencing their viewpoint as well, as well as an unconscious F emotionalism that drives their passions for it).
These are the same people always decrying government “oppression”, but that’s what they’re supporting when putting down others’ protests.

(Originally posting this on a Facebook post discussion, one person kept saying “yeah, those liberals go by feelings only with no practical logic”, but the point that one side is not more valid than the other, and to lean toward one side is to be lopsided, just went right over him).

The fact that one set of j/p perspectives is not better than the other, is even with all the “hard logic and factual data”, the view still gets skewed, to favor the preconceived notion. Critizing even some conservatives (Gingrich, Rubio) as using “feeling” arguments:

But if the political goal is to alleviate feelings of discrimination, no end point can ever be reached so long as a disproportionate number of black people end up in prison. And a disproportionate number of black people end up in prison not because of discrimination in the criminal-justice system, but because a disproportionate number of black people commit crimes.

…the police could actually solve the crime problem. That would require more police presence, not less.

In the short term, more police presence could exacerbate conflict with members of minority communities, of course. That’s because policing in high-crime areas is necessarily more abrasive and aggressive — if you place men and women in blue at higher risk of danger, then they’re significantly more likely to get rough with those they confront.

Lowering the crime rate in particular areas has generally occurred through those areas’ advancing economically, or through population movement. But America’s current high-crime areas are short on economic opportunity and mobility thanks to intergenerational legacies of single motherhood and crime. That leaves just one option: cleaning up the streets as they currently stand.

But that’s precisely the option foreclosed by the Black Lives Matter evidence-last, feelings-first racialism we’re now hearing from our loudest and most prominent voices.
And the drumbeat of criticism will continue, because it’s always easier for politicians to tell you they feel your pain than to give you solutions that may hurt.

But this, rather than really true (T) observed (S) data, is a typical spin of data, whose whole problem is ignoring of other factors (S), where the system has been unjustly (T) slanted to incarcerate blacks. With the term “crimes”, they try to conjure up images of blacks all robbing and raping, but a lot of these “crimes” are about the Drug War, where blacks will be arrested for drugs that whites will not be arrested for. (Once in the system, this then creates a domino effect, where they are tarred forever, nearly impossible to get a decent job, and thus more likely to engage in other crimes when they get out). Also, you have the blaming of economics on “single motherhood” in addition to crime. Accusing the blacks of always “avoiding responsibility”, conservatives are the ones making their system ideal, and all problems always on the other side.

It’s no longer “factual” ST data when you totally skew and ignore things like that. It’s really the ST “shadow”, where you’re starting with a preconceived idea (N), of blacks as just bad (F) criminals, and then the natural emotional reaction behind this causes you to warp all the facts you do have.
Also, when speaking of “truth” that “hurts”, but that always applies only to someone else, where you get to sit and proclaim this “truth”, with absolutely nothing painful to yourself (including the “nation” or “culture” you identify with). As I’ve said, there is nothing in these people that suggests to them that this setup might be “too good to be true”. That universal “truth” favors no man or group of men. They just presume (N) this “higher ground”, where they’re “above” or too good (F) for what they proscribe for someone else.

The same within the Church, in the Calvinism vs Arminianism debates, where Calvinists tend to use scripture and even logical arguments more to build their case of unconditional election and “reprobation”, and Arminians take a more “emotive” view, being weak to really answer the proof-texts the Calvinists use, and going more by how “brutal” or “monstrous” (F) it is to trap people on a path to Hell (the Calvinists point out with some justification, that their position still leads to that for many people. The Fulfilled view is really the answer to that whole debate). When a well known Arminian (Dave Hunt) rose up with a strong response they really felt threatened by, then you saw all of this emotion come up, as they claimed he “misrepresented Calvinism” (in simply spitting back the corollaries of their arguments), to the point of demanding he rescind his book! (Never seen it come to that in a debate!)

Then, the old-line fundamentalist vs new-evangelical debate (which is really one-sided, with the old-liners really doing all the debating), like in the still ongoing issue of music, like I just covered again here:
The fundamentalists, while traditionally seen as the antithesis of intellectualism, are now the ones heaping up all of this supposedly “factual” data, of what scriptures teach, and even trying to support it with scientific data. And what do they always say, but that the new-evangelicals only go on emotions and likes (F). And it’s kind of true, with dozens of anti-CCM books turned out by IFB ministries over probably half a century, with all of these intellectual and theological arguments, and only two published responses (that I’ve seen) from new evangelicals: Miller’s The Contemporary Christian Music Debate, and Frame’s Contemporary Worship Music: A Biblical Defense. Neither of which are even direct responses to fundamentalist critics, but are more toward the general criticism of the genre.

But as we see again, their arguments don’t hold. The scriptures they cite don’t prove their point, the “scientific” arguments are spun and turned into this “spiritual” lingo that doesn’t fit either science or the Bible, and there’s an emotionally driven fear of change that causes people to “double-down” and increase the “standards”, causing division among even those who believe like themselves. One even admits that predecessors guarding the churches often reacted with “pressure and force” (which are emotionally driven) and “not according to teaching and understanding”.
(Meanwhile, secular science is also a strong “empirical” ST perspective; hence also skeptical of type theory, and pretty much ignored fundamentalist creationism after the Scopes trial. So the Christians stood out as the emotion-driven ones, but as they gradually began to add “scientific” arguments for their positions; trying to beat the modern world at its own game, by the new millennium, they had become apparently big enough of a threat to finally start getting strong responses from evolutionists, as we saw beginning with the Dover trial. But some of them would also begin showing some unchecked emotion, in the way some of them would trash theism. The empirical evidence might not prove God, but then it doesn’t disprove Him either).

Here’s a hilarious familiar video on voting conservative because of one’s feelings:

So I’m voting for Donald Trump, because, because I’m angry, and, and I don’t make good decisions when I’m angry…“.

So the “hard truth” conservative is letting his ideals and emotions blur his vision just as much as the liberal! Difference is, the liberals are not the ones essentially saying a whole race of people should accept being killed, or bullied by police! The new-evangelicals aren’t the ones fighting all other Christians over made-up issues.

  1. It seems that the distinction between a pure focus on “surviving in the material world” and “ideal human relations” form a dichotomy between only two of the function combinations, ST and NF. What about the other two, NT and SF?

    I had discussed this here:

    What each function shares in common with each other (in addition to S/N and judgment/perception):

    S, T “realistic” perspectives of nature
    N, F specifically human, “idealistic” perspectives
    N, T “intellectual” or “reflective” perspectives
    S, F style, class, artisticness

    So while the N pairs ended up as Keirsey temperaments and were named “Rational” (NT) and “Idealist” (NF), their S “mirrors” could be ST “Realist” and SF “Aesthete”.
    So “Realist vs Idealist” reflects a focus on “the real world” vs “ideal” relationships.
    The other pair of opposites would be “Rational” vs “Aesthetic”. Rather than which realm we are adapting to, this seems to cover our approach to problem solving.

    When applied to politics, it’s right up my alley as something to “argue” on, which is what I think will present a solution for problems (represented in the conflict); where an SF approach may avoid that altogether, not liking arguments. So where the NF will jump into the argument and argue the other side is “not nice”, SF’s will think the entire argument is “not nice” and retreat, focusing in making the immediate environment nice as their solution to humanity’s ills, rather than solving a global (conceptual) problem. And, as mentioned elsewhere, where NT’s will argue the logic of the situation rationally, ST’s will often trash “rationalizing” in favor of presenting the “facts” as speaking for themselves. So they, like SF’s do not want to argue, but being T’s, when people don’t follow the logic, they will then challenge the offender.

    Here are a couple of tables pairing the functions accordingly:

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