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benelliott comments on Confidence levels inside and outside an argument - Less Wrong

129 Post author: Yvain 16 December 2010 03:06AM

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Comment author: benelliott 16 December 2010 09:00:09PM *  6 points [-]


I get quite annoyed when this is treated as a refutation of the argument that absolute truth doesn't exist. Acknowledging that there is some chance that a position is false does not disprove it, any more than the fact that you might win the lottery means that you will.

Comment author: christopherj 18 November 2013 05:00:02AM *  1 point [-]

Someone claiming that absolute truths don't exist has no right to be absolutely certain of his own claim. This of course has no bearing on the actual truth of his claim, nor the truth of the supposed absolute truth he's trying to refute by a fully generic argument against absolute truths.

I rather prefer Eliezer's version, that confidence of 2^n to 1, requires [n - log base 2 of prior odds] bits of evidence to be justified. Not only does this essentially forbid absolute certainty (you'd need infinite evidence to justify absolute certainty), but it is actually useful for real life.