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Alicorn comments on How to Convince Me That 2 + 2 = 3 - Less Wrong

53 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 September 2007 11:00PM

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Comment author: Alicorn 29 July 2011 02:41:12PM 2 points [-]

Everything I have learned about Mormonism is internally consistent, and consistent with my own ideas on morality.

This sounds very convenient for you. Do you consider the church's consistency with your morality to be evidence that your morality is correct, or that the church is? Especially if the latter, what evidential status do you consider people whose morality disagrees at least partly with the church to have?

Comment author: Arandur 29 July 2011 04:23:54PM 0 points [-]

Oh, yes, it's very convenient. :P Well, not always. A good example is the recent fight over Prop 8, wherein the Church's morality came into sharp contrast with the morality of many outside it. (I will not say "most", because it was in fact the vote of California citizens which decided the matter, and not the Church.) To showcase the inconvenience without revealing overmuch about my personal life, I will simply state that I have many personal friends who were outraged at my decision to stand with my Church on the matter.

The church's consistency with my own morality is, I think, evidence that the Church is correct. Without the church, my morality would still exist. As far as others' conflicting moralities...

.....

That's an interesting question, actually. What evidential status does my conflicting morality have on yours?

Comment author: Alicorn 29 July 2011 05:41:36PM 0 points [-]

The church's consistency with my own morality is, I think, evidence that the Church is correct. Without the church, my morality would still exist.

Without your morality, the church would still exist, too, wouldn't it?

What evidential status does my conflicting morality have on yours?

Some, but not more than the average dissenter - less than a typical clever consequentialist found around these parts, and not even as much as the ideologically similar votes of Mormons I'm friends with and have had a chance to question in more detail. But that's not quite the same question, because I developed the framework of my own morality independently, and am not backed by a large institution. What I want to know is more along the lines of: why is your morality agreeing with the LDS church evidence for the LDS church, which is not overwhelmed by the majority of human beings whose moralities disagree with yours/the church's, or overbalanced by the humans whose moralities agree with those of other religions?

(If you were using "evidence" in a sufficiently technical sense that this overwhelmingness/overbalancedness was in fact noted and simply left unmentioned as strictly irrelevant to what I originally asked, I retract the question, but I suspect otherwise.)

Comment author: Arandur 29 July 2011 11:54:40PM 0 points [-]

I was in fact using evidence in that technical a sense, but I'll answer your question anyway.

...why is your morality agreeing with the LDS church... not overwhelmed by the majority of human beings whose moralities disagree with yours/the church's, or overbalanced by the humans whose moralities agree with those of other religions?

Because morality is not a binary attribute. You can't go out on the street and ask them, "Do you agree with the Mormons, yes or no?" Well, you could, but then if they answered no, you'd have to ask them how many people they killed today. It's exactly that fallacy that leads fundamentalist Christians /shudder/ to claim that atheists love to rape and murder and... I dunno, engage in bestiality or something.

So no, other peoples' moralities don't sway me particularly much, because a) they don't matter as much to me as my own morality - as I think you'd agree with, saying "not more than the average dissenter"; and b) because the consonance between my morality and Mormonism isn't that much of an evidence in its favor. I was using it mainly as a contrast between myself and all the people who have posted saying that Christianity made them feel "wrong".

Comment author: lavalamp 29 July 2011 07:33:37PM 0 points [-]

I saw this on the side while reading an unrelated post...

The church's consistency with my own morality is, I think, evidence that the Church is correct. Without the church, my morality would still exist.

I'm much more inclined to think it's evidence that you were raised in the church, or in a culture influenced by the church, etc...

If I rephrase what you said, it's "Party X's agreement with me on subject Y is evidence that Party X can think well and is probably right about other things, too." Please tell me you meant something else...

PS: You seem capable of updating, judging from a few of the comments in this thread, and you seem to care about the truth. The next step is to stop holding your own beliefs to a different standard of evidence than you do other beliefs. I hope you find your time in the soon-to-be-formerly-theistic camp more fun than I did.

Comment author: Arandur 29 July 2011 11:36:44PM 0 points [-]

Your point is only applicable inasmuch as you took my quote out of context. I was asked to choose one of two options; I chose the one that seemed most right to me. I could be wrong, but your point doesn't answer to the original question.