Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Don't Believe You'll Self-Deceive - Less Wrong

15 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 09 March 2009 08:03AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (54)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 09 March 2009 04:59:15PM 1 point [-]

Thus did I carefully write, "cannot deliberately self-deceive", not, "cannot self-deceive".

Comment author: RobinHanson 09 March 2009 05:21:21PM 7 points [-]

We have a continuum of degrees of deliberation to our actions. Even if I agree that you cannot self-deceive at the strongest degree of deliberation, that isn't in practice much of a restriction on your ability to self-deceive.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 09 March 2009 06:26:48PM *  4 points [-]

Might seem that way to you because you don't actually go around all day saying, "And now I shall doublethink myself into believing X!" Deliberate self-deception is a subset of self-deception well worth slicing off the carcass. E.g. Utilitarian from OB.

Just because the boundary of deliberate self-deception is fuzzy, doesn't mean the boundary is not worth drawing. The more so in this particular case, as if you wonder "Is this a deliberate self-deception that I can't get away with, or a non-deliberate one that I might still be able to pull off?" it has already reached the point of being deliberate. (Repeating this to yourself will make it even more true.)