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SilasBarta comments on Why the beliefs/values dichotomy? - Less Wrong

20 Post author: Wei_Dai 20 October 2009 04:35PM

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Comment author: SilasBarta 20 October 2009 10:49:08PM *  3 points [-]

Simple. They don't.

Maybe it's just me, but this looks like another case of overextrapolation from a community of rationalists to all of humanity. You think about all the conversations you've had distinguishing beliefs from values, and you figure everyone else must think that way.

In reality, people don't normally make such a precise division. But don't take my word for it. Go up to your random mouthbreather and try to find out how well they adhere to a value/belief distinction. Ask them whether the utility assigned to an outcome, or its probability was a bigger factor.

No one actually does those calculations consciously; if anything like it is done non-consciously, it's extremely economical in computation.