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Alice comments on Belief in Belief - Less Wrong

66 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 29 July 2007 05:49PM

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Comment author: Alice 06 October 2008 12:43:20PM 2 points [-]

Does the idea that it is a good thing to subject our beliefs (and even our belief in belief) to logical and analytical scrutiny count as belief in itself or is it so justifiable as to count as knowledge? If so, what is the justification?

Comment author: Anomylous 09 December 2014 05:36:02PM 0 points [-]

I don't think it does. Scrutinizing your beliefs is a corollary - it naturally follows if you believe that "Truth is good and valuable and its pursuit is worthwhile." We value truth, we want our maps to match the territory, and so we scrutinize our beliefs. If anything needs to be justified, it's the value placed on truth and knowledge thereof.

And that's actually an interesting problem. Although my intuition shouts TRUTH IS GOOD, there's not much I can say to prove that statement, outside of "It's useful to be able to make accurate predictions." It seems like the goodness of truth ought to be provable some way. But maybe it's just a moral value that our (sub-)culture happens to hold particularly strongly? Perhaps someone better versed than I am in the arts of rationality can give a better answer.

Comment author: Lumifer 09 December 2014 06:25:27PM 1 point [-]

Although my intuition shouts TRUTH IS GOOD, there's not much I can say to prove that statement

Prove in which way? Not to mention that you need to define "good" first.

Would the observation that people who disregard "truth is good" rarely survive for long be considered a kinda-proof? :-)