Are you a Cold Soul or Loving Puppy

Hello All,

I would like to ask your thoughts on a subject.
Do you believe humans are inherently good?
E.g. when you meet someone for the first time are you:
a) Careful trying to figure out if he is trustworthy.
b) Consider him trustworthy until the he shows himself unstrustworthy.

Of course if anybody considers me anything but a cold soul would be foolish but then people dont know that outright ;D


PS Dont think to much about it, would be interesting to know your first thoughts. If you like add a good joke about it. Lets not over analyse it.

I don’t think anybody is inherently good or bad.

When I meet new people I tend to consider them trustworthy while careful trying to figure out whether they are.

If a stranger tells me he or she wants a R1000 from me and will return it with interest in two days, I’ll tend not to believe him or her. If the same stranger tells me I have to drive two km and then turn right at the next robot when I ask him or her directions, I tend to follow that directions and not automatically suspect such a person of leading me into an ambush.

I think it depends on your own self image…I tend to assess people as individuals instead of putting them into one or other pigeon hole. People with low self esteem will I think, tend to be more suspicious of others. People build up a profile in my mind which is a function of my subjective value systems and exposure to the individual. The profile ultimately does tend to “pigeon hole” them in any event.

@ Brain, very interesting and insightful response.

0:)‘subjective value system’ when I know more (and I have a quite a bit still to learn) hopefully we can have fun debating this. That is if you like that kind of thing.

But would anybody dare to commit to a viewpoint >:D

It’s easy to report from the point of view of one’s experiences now, but that doesn’t quite answer the question of what we are ‘inherently’. And that question has to a large extent been answered by evolutionary biology, game theory, etc. We’re inherently self-interested (not necessarily selfish), and that self-interest frequently translates into various altruistic behaviours in both human and non-human animals. As for the view from here-and-now, you’re going to get wildly different reports based on where people live, their experiences to date and so forth. For example, when I recently visited Oslo, a local couple simply gave their house keys to a young Irish couple who were visiting (for the same event I was there for), and went away for the weekend. They had never met this couple before. That would probably not happen in SA.

I dare say you’re not going to get a hard and fast viewpoint here. We’re skeptics remember? Most of us will give a stranger in a non-threatening situation the benefit of the doubt, but in almost all situations, I would rather not rely on a stranger or even a known person for anything if there is’nt another way around a scenario.

One needs some notion of what “good” might be. You make the assumption that trustworthiness is good. In some views it might be bad, or indifferent. If you think good has something to do with our ability to procreate ( breed, make more of our species, etc. )( not that I necessarily do, mind - I am mostly just confused ), the common lie “I love you ( now stfu and get on the bed, doll )” might be good perhaps?

I believe humans sit on a bell-curve in most aspects and there’s no reason they can’t on this one. Some people are bleeding-heart, some are cold as ice, most are somewhere in between.

E.g. when you meet someone for the first time are you: a) Careful trying to figure out if he is trustworthy.

Am I trusting them by being in their company, or trusting them by handing them a loaded gun? Different levels of trust for different people, and the more hardcore trust can only be earned. Due to personal experiences though, I’m weary of even the closest of people when it comes to “the big stuff”, I’ve learned the hard way that familiarity can breed MISPLACED trust too.

I am outwardly a cold soul, but I’m butter on the inside. I’m an emotional eclair. (MBTI type: INTJ)

Er, I think you meant “wary” not “weary.” Funny slip, though. ;D

You’re aware of MBTI’s criticisms?


You may have mentioned it before. ;D


Psychometrics - measuring done by psychos. Not on my list of favourite things. Trying to box-in and contain the human mind reminds me of that day at Rwenzori Discount Isotope Packers LLC when we tested our newly designed 60 kg size tin can for packing U-235. Ka-fucking-boom would be an understatement.

So I have! I guess that makes me an INTP with a leaky memory…

LOL @ rwenzori. “Rwenzori Discount Isotope Packers LLC” exceeded my critical humour mass. ;D


Truth is, I’m painfully aware of the big hole that is the MBTI. I find that for a “extremely rare” type called INTJ, and the so-called "NT"s generally, I seem to smack face first into people who “test” as that type all the frikkin time. It doesn’t seem to add up even by my casual observation.

So why do I mention it? Because before I became critical of the whole thing, a friend linked me to a Jung test, which I took.

Now, lets just suspend the fact that I’m a skeptic for a second… In my ignorance it changed my life. It’s weird, and I can’t explain why, or how, but it did. Reading through the INTJ description, I can’t say that before that time I’d ever seen anyone, anywhere, describe me in such painful, intricate, deeply buried detail as this thing did. Let me note, I’d been to clinical child psychologists?/psychiatrists? as a kid (I was/am categorised as … above average, and testing ensued. Getting pulled out of class to do an IQ/aptitude/etc test in school was a recurring theme), and later in life I’d read through their reports and they didn’t come nearly as close as INTJ descriptions on the net - and I mean, it’s the net ffs! - , they’re freakishly accurate and specific (in my opinion) for something written by a complete stranger who has never met me.

So, I have extremely strong confirmation bias on MY OWN “type description” in the MBTI. This could be pure fluke, this could be wishful thinking, this is based on self-selection and anecdote, I realise that. BUT, after reading through some of them, and examining it more… I felt less alone in the world. My rational mind might not like how I’m feeding cognitive dissonance on this one, but that’s how it is.

I’ve seen similarities between myself and the INFJ type too, so I realise these categories aren’t set in stone, and I tend to think we can “inhabit” any personality (no I don’t mean “as categorised by Jung/MB”) we want depending on context. I’ve also seen MBTI type “professionals” on the net be VERY quick to point out the flaws in the system, so I don’t think they have “blind faith” in the methodology. I think lots of laypeople do, but I don’t think pro’s do.

Do I think it’s true because I find it useful? No. But when describing myself, I find it’s a very useful summary of how I feel “I am” that I can point other people to. And in that regard, I DO think it’s useful to paint a person in broad strokes with a succinct “label”. Kinda like labelling a species never describes an individual in full, but helps.

You don’t think it’s likely that the Forer effect accounts for a significant part of the MBTI’s perceived accuracy?

We have family members who scoff at Western astrology but swear by the allegedly impressive accuracy and specificity of Chinese horoscopes.


Absolutely. Like I say it’s completely subjective and can be based on various cognitive biases I have. In my attempt to mitigate this I read through most of the descriptions available and found I did agree with one more than any of the others.

Boogie Monster, I really do not like psychologists/psychiatrists and esp not their tests. I think that eventually sciences like evolutionary biology and neuroscience will make psychology obsolete. At least to a very large extent. Something that I am very skeptical about are personality and IQ tests.

Thank you Jacques I really like your post. I agree with this and it is something that I want to learn more about and it is hard science wich I like even more.

Very interesting responses again great forum that makes a person think!


PS according to Wiki there seems to be three types of skepticism

  1. Scientific Skepticism
  2. Religious Skepticsim
  3. Philosophical Skepticism

Myself I would fall under Religious Skepticism definitely not under the other two.

Hope you do not have a problem with that. I just thought I should clear this up so that you understand better where I am coming from.



I find this Wiki classification contrived. Skepticism IMHO is a particular approach or mindset to whatever subject you wish. By definition, philosophical skepticism looks awfully like an oxymoron?? WTF

I also find it a bit weird. Science is almost an embodiment of skepticism. If you’re not skeptical of science you’re doing it wrong.

Sorry am I misunderstanding. Would you be skeptic about for eg something like evolution that is supported by a lot of evidence. If so I cannot be a skeptic at all hope I do not offend somebody. I really cannot be skeptic about something that is supported by evidence.