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Nancy_Lebovitz comments on The Third Alternative - Less Wrong

55 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 06 May 2007 11:47PM

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Comment author: Nancy_Lebovitz 07 May 2007 01:39:21PM 2 points [-]

Here's another Noble Lie: protectionism--that there's somehow a morally and practically important difference between trading inside your borders and trading outside them. It may not be quite as good as Santa Claus, though.

The idea that torture is efficacious for getting accurate information might be Noble Lie (if you accept that causing pain to someone helpless is a benefit, thus making torture a self-seeking behavior), but that one might be too contentious for most discussions.

I suspect that the hook for adults in the Santa Claus story is a "benefit" of that kind--lying to someone who doesn't have the capacity to check on what you're saying.

That five minutes brainstorming is an interesting idea. Would another five minutes spent on looking at your preferred alternative from the points of view of all the interested parties also be a good investment?

Comment author: pnrjulius 27 May 2012 03:21:07AM 1 point [-]

Would another five minutes spent on looking at your preferred alternative from the points of view of all the interested parties also be a good investment?

Almost certainly. After all, it's five minutes. We've got a lot of those.

Comment author: mantis 08 September 2012 12:37:56AM *  3 points [-]

Here's another Noble Lie: protectionism--that there's somehow a morally and practically important difference between trading inside your borders and trading outside them.

That would depend on whether there are any morally and practically important differences between the environmental, labor, etc. practices found inside your borders vs. those found elsewhere. Protecting the income of free, paid laborers from competition by slaveowners whose victims can produce the same goods less expensively seems pretty morally and practically important to me.