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David_J._Balan comments on Semantic Stopsigns - Less Wrong

54 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 August 2007 07:29PM

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Comment author: David_J._Balan 25 August 2007 09:57:26PM 0 points [-]

I think some theists would say that the "who made God" question is a semantic stop sign, but that this is OK. That is, they would say that *they* are not capable in probing into the question any further, but that the leaders of their religion (with the help of the sacred texts) are capable of doing so, and they bring back from the other side the answer that the religion is true and everything is OK.

As for liberal democracy, it's clearly an error to assert without further argument that liberal democracy will solve all future problems. But it is not a mistake to say that it is far and away the most successful thing that humans have ever come up with, and so that it is the best framework in which to try to address future problems.

Comment author: pnrjulius 19 May 2012 04:51:29AM -1 points [-]

Yeah, I found the "liberal democracy" example somewhat unfair too. It may be a stopsign for some people, but it's also a pretty darn good idea in general. How well has liberal democracy done on similarly tricky problems? Might it be fair to say... better than anything else yet devised?

I guess I would agree it's not a complete answer. But answering "liberal democracy!" seems about as valid as answering "rationality" or "science", which we actually do give as answers sometimes (at least when pressed for time).