I did a really silly thing. I just made a brief comment on a Christian’s Youtube video. I really didn’t want to discuss anything, but he responded and I responded. I knew from the get-go that I desired not such a “discussion” (if an exchange with an apologist could be called that).
I quickly disentangled myself from the pointless spiderweb of verbiage that apologists are so capable of tirelessly weaving. I’ve dealt with enough of them to instantly realize when its not going anywhere. I’m a person of curiosity and I find myself utterly bewildered by someone who has made up their mind before I even say anything. They just know they’re right.
Shouldn’t apologists have better things to do on Christmas than argue about Jesus? Shouldn’t they be spreading Christ’s Good message of Love or maybe ladling soup to the homeless while preaching to them about their sinful souls?
This particular apologist was one of the worst varieties. I’ve come across this exact type many times before, and they’re all very predictable. Its almost a personality type. This type of apologist doesn’t tend to rant unless you really get them riled up. They’re actually very intellectual with an aloof self-certainty. They’re mostly harmless in that they’re not that annoying except if you’re ever experienced banging your head against their brickwall. They have this intellectual inner certainty that reminds me of Introverted Intuition, but they have this outwardly congenial nature that doesn’t allow them to ruffle easily which makes me think of an INFJ Christian I know from another site… mostly a nice guy if a bit difficult to connect with.
If you’re feeling patient, you can sometimes have a good discussion with this type as they’ve tended to read a lot and they think very deeply. The problem is that their thinking is somewhat narrow and plodding, and they have strong beliefs which at least tend to be somewhat interesting in their uniqueness. They usually have some favorite obscure Christian philosopher, but it won’t bother them that you’ve never heard of the person. They’re used to not being understood even by other Christians.
They might secretly pride themselves on their idiosyncracies somewhat, but mostly they seem humble in a laid back way. Its hard to unsettle them or change their minds. If you try to have a debate with them, you’ll just go round and round. In certain ways, they’re very conventional in that they just don’t see or don’t care about what exists outside of their narrow focus (definitely no sign of Extraverted Intuition). You’re more likely to have an interesting conversation with them if you simply limit yourself to their interests.
They can keep up an argument if necessary, but they don’t really care to get worked up. Even though their beliefs are strong, they keep them mostly to themselves. They’ll often talk about more peripheral issues because that which truly matters to them is such a deep and profound experience for them.
They’re very scholarly with a typical pedantic attitude. Even though they like certain obscure writers, they put a fair amount of weight on tradition. They’re the type that would make a great Catholic theologian who knows the entire history of the Church. Their thinking is very abstract and they feel safest keeping theology away from practical affairs and thus keeping themselves away from getting mired in politics. They’re very understanding people and capable of relating well, but they’re also wary of the risks of complex social dynamics. They’re very good at reading others and also at hiding their own inner thoughts.
To be specific, this guy I was talking to on Youtube was quick to dismiss (dispute is the word he preferred) Robert M. Price. I briefly defended Price as he is as about as respectable as you can get, but its true that he doesn’t toe the party line of Biblical scholarship (ie conventional belief of mainstream Christianity). This guy definitely valued the theistic majority perspective of Biblical scholarship. People in Biblical scholarship tend to be Christians and so its no great surprise that belief in the historical Jesus is just assumed. One would have to be extremely naive to claim that this field was one of the more objective fields in academia.
Okay… so, I knew that if I tried to defend Price any further, this Christian would just nitpick and it would ultimately be just a battle of opinons. This kind of person can be very willful in having great intellectual stamina in going over and over the same little detail. I imagine that he would continually demand quotes and references all the while offering few of his own… or, anyways, that is a technique many apologists use… they just assume their position doesn’t need to be proved that its so obviously true.
In some ways, I prefer the ranting apologists more… the way an INFP apologist would act. lol There is an honesty about in-your-face prosyletizing. On the other hand, these more pedantic types lure you in with an appearance of being reasonable, but no amount of rationality will sway them. They just enjoy discussing ideas even though they’ve stated the exact same ideas a million times before. I’m fine with belief as long as someone is willing to admit that their views are beliefs. However, this type has this intricate facade of rationalization that you can’t even pierce through to the actual person behind it all.
I suspect this is a conflict that I experience when my Ne confronts the Ni of another. This might go back to my dad having auxiliary Ni. Anyways, its a challenge for me. The Ni is hiding away from the view of my Ne, but my Fi can sense it behind the social facade (especially in INFJs). I want to force to the surface which is exactly where Ni doesn’t want to be, where it can’t be in fact. My Ne gets bored with the narrow focus even though I can be momentarily impressed by the depth of insight that Ni sometimes proffers forth. I just don’t have the patience waiting around for that inisight that may or may not show itself. My Ne has thousand directions to go in and time is a’wasting. Curiosity beckons.
I think this is particularly magnified when Ni is the dominant for the other person as my Ne is auxiliary. I don’t identify with my thinking per se. Its simply how I try to relate to the world. My auxiliary Ne holds ideas very lightly. I too have an inner certainty but it just ain’t involving ideas for sure. Also, my inner certainty is less aloof as INFPs are more likely to get worked up than an INFJ. The burning passion of an idealistic core (Fi) manifests through the ungrounded infinitude of wonder and possibility (Ne). Simply put, Ne hates conventional thinking with a passion. It chafes against more plodding thought processes, and it mistrusts the aloof congenial nature (or facade as Fi judges it) of an INFJ.
Don’t get me started about NTs. 🙂