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RPMcMurphy comments on Politics is the Mind-Killer - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 February 2007 09:23PM

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Comment author: RPMcMurphy 27 March 2015 07:44:28PM 1 point [-]

Support for the KKK and for neo-nazis, is, in fact, a political position. Is it "biased" to oppose the KKK's political goals? I don't think it's biased in any bad sense of the term, but it's definitely biased. (As is favoring un-prohibited access to regenerative medicine; freedom of speech; due process of law; etc.)

In fact, I could probably come up with objectively good, more right, and Less Wrong arguments for why I believe my bias is legitimate. This should be our sole concern: legitimacy, with reference to reality. I could include anecdotal information that would be seen as "less legitimate" and systemic information with millions of data points that would be seen as "more legitimate." None of that would effect the legitimacy of the argument itself, in an objective sense.

All bad politics destroys, harms, kills. It's easy to find bad policies that have killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, by looking at the raw data. We should do that, and not shy away from it. Even if people say we're "stupid" or "mind-killed" for doing so.

There's another problem: Those who benefit from the status quo benefit from labeling all political discussion as mind-killed.

Comment author: advil 20 November 2016 08:54:20AM 0 points [-]

You know the only thing worse than arguing about politics, is arguing why one shouldn't argue about politics.

Seriously though, while this post is/was important, I still think there should have been a request to not debate politics in this post's comment section, because you know, explaining why it's bad to debate politics in science blogs apparently wasn't enough. http://www.fordycespots.xyz

Comment author: scashman 23 March 2017 08:37:46PM 1 point [-]

I think that in talking about politics trying to avoid "team based" reasoning hijacking your thinking doesn't mean that you have to not have a political position. Being opposed to the KKK or a politician who wants to round up all homeless people and turn them into soylent green doesn't mean you are unreasonable. The big problem in thinking about political things is that people often, as this article argues, line all their thinking and reasoning up with their side and refuse to consider that their side might be wrong about some things. Maybe the politician who wants to make homeless people into soylent green actually is totally right about some things. Maybe the training programs for homeless people do suck and should be reworked in some ways.

If your team is at war with another team some of your soldiers could be bad soldiers and some of the soldiers on the other side could be really good soldiers, but you are still going to support your side of the battle! The worst soldier fighting on your side is on your side! Even a great soldier on the other team is out to get you! If anything the other side having good soldiers (or good arguments) is a terrible thing, because they are the enemy! If the other side makes good arguments from time to time this doesn't mean you should line up with them where they are right, it means you have to fight twice as hard where they are kind of making a point because you don't want people drawn into their influence.

The point is not to abandon your rationally held beliefs, but to avoid wholesale adopting an extensive political belief system.