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rv77ax comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: rv77ax 27 December 2011 04:04:07AM 13 points [-]

Hello LW readers,

Long time lurker here. Just created this account so I can, probably, participated more in LW discussion.

I'm male, 27 years old, from Indonesia. I work as freelance software developer. I love music and watching movies. Any movies. Movie is the only way I can detached from reality and have a dream without a sleep.

I come from Muslim family, both of my parent is Muslim. Long story short, after finished my college, with computer science degree, I tried to learn extend my knowledge more in Islam. I read a lot of books about Islam history, Islam teaching, Quran commentary, book that explain hadith and Quran, etc. Every books that my parents have. Soon, with the help of Internet, I renounce my faith and become an atheist. I see rationalism, philosophy in general, as the way to see the world without giving any judgments. Because, in the end, there is no absolute truth, only facts and opinions.

I know LW from /r/truereddit, and has been reading some of the articles and discussions in here, very informative and thoughtful. The only thing I can help here probably by translating some of articles, especially the Sequences, into Bahasa Indonesia.

Comment author: cousin_it 27 December 2011 01:13:42PM *  11 points [-]

Because, in the end, there is no absolute truth, only facts and opinions.

Eliezer's essay The Simple Truth is a nice argument for the opposite. The technical name for his view is correspondence theory. A short summary is "truth is the correspondence between map and territory" or "the sentence 'snow is white' is true if and only if snow is white".

Comment author: rv77ax 28 December 2011 06:53:36AM 3 points [-]

Actually, The Simple Truth is one of my favorite essay, and it's not the opposite of my statement. Autrey is the one who work with facts (reality) and Mark is the one who work with opinion (belief). Who jump at the cliff at the end ?

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 31 December 2011 06:44:04AM *  0 points [-]

I interpreted your comment about no absolute truth to mean something like the objects in the universe having no inherent properties (or at least less inherent properties than most might think). Was that what you meant?

Comment author: rv77ax 03 January 2012 06:06:35PM 0 points [-]

I am not sure I'm fully understand about Mind Projection Fallacy, but I answered it with: Yes.

The point is the word "truth" that we, English language, use today is not truth in the sense of everything is true and everyone accept it as true; but only part of it is true, I called in facts, and the rest of the part is just an opinions.

Comment author: thomblake 27 December 2011 04:42:37PM *  1 point [-]

The technical name for his view is correspondence theory.

If you really want to be technical, I think it would be hard to say whether this view is supposed to be a correspondence or deflationary theory of truth, and some (including the linked article) would regard them as currently at odds.

Personally, I think the distinction is not very important (which is also hinted at in the linked article) and it makes sense to use the language of both. The Simple Truth in particular casts it as deflationary; the shepherd doesn't even know what 'truth' is, and thinks questions about it are silly - he just knows that the pebbles work.

ETA: To be slightly more helpful to readers, here's a relevant section of the SEP article that intends to illustrate the difference:

A correspondence-type formulation like

(5) “Snow is white” is true iff it corresponds to the fact that snow is white,

is to be deflated to

(6) “Snow is white” is true iff snow is white,

Comment author: TheOtherDave 27 December 2011 05:23:43PM 1 point [-]

One can, of course, get arbitrarily wrapped around the axle of reference here. "The man with a quarter in his shoe is about to die," said by George, who has a quarter in his shoe, shortly before his own death, is true... but most intuitive notions of truth leave a bad taste in my mouth if it turns out that George, when he said it, had not known about the quarter in his shoe and was asserting his intention to kill Sam, whom George mistakenly believed to have a quarter in his shoe. Which is unsurprising, since many intuitive notions of truth are primarily about evaluating the credibility and reliability of the speaker; when I divorce the speaker's credibility from the actual properties of the environment, my intuitions start to break down.

Comment author: orthonormal 28 December 2011 01:27:08AM 4 points [-]

Because, in the end, there is no absolute truth, only facts and opinions.

There are several different things you could mean by this. Do you agree that, outside of human cognition, some things happen rather than others? And also, isn't it practically useful if our expectations are in line with the sorts of things that actually happen?

Comment author: rv77ax 28 December 2011 06:36:58AM *  -2 points [-]

There are several different things you could mean by this.

Yes. The big context are science and ethics. In science, we work with facts, and from them we develop a hypothesis (opinion). Someone can agree with one hypothesis, and become true, until it proven otherwise. In ethics, everything is just opinions.

Do you agree that, outside of human cognition, some things happen rather than others?

Yes. If I can simplify it, only one thing is happened outside of our cognition, and its linear with time.

isn't it practically useful if our expectations are in line with the sorts of things that actually happen?

No. I think that would become confirmation bias.

Comment author: orthonormal 01 January 2012 06:19:04PM *  0 points [-]

isn't it practically useful if our expectations are in line with the sorts of things that actually happen?

No. I thing that would become confirmation bias.

So you do accept scientific evidence, then- simple (approximate) models that explain well-verified patterns should be taken as practically true, until their limits are found. Right?

(Otherwise, on what grounds do you cite research about confirmation bias?)

Comment author: TimS 01 January 2012 06:26:03PM *  1 point [-]

Link to a previous discussion I had about post-modernism and science. Brief summary: Models - no, Predictions - yes.

Comment author: rv77ax 03 January 2012 06:43:51PM *  0 points [-]

So you do accept scientific evidence, then- simple (approximate) models that explain well-verified patterns should be taken as practically true, until their limits are found. Right?

Yes and no, depends on the context. In reality, some of patterns can be taken as practically true and some of it is not.

As an example, If I drop something from top of building, it's always go down to the ground; this pattern is always reproducible with the same result by all peoples who can test it. But, if I drink hot water when I'm sick and I get healthy in the next morning, that would become biased, because it's not always reproducible with the same result.

I think, it's only a matter of how someone defined the value for "well-verified" and "limit" until it become true for himself.

Comment author: orthonormal 03 January 2012 09:42:38PM 0 points [-]

So you're talking about a quantitative difference rather than a qualitative one- we should be far more skeptical about our generalizations than we're inclined to be. A good point in this community, but phrasing it as "no truth" probably communicates the wrong concept.