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byrnema comments on The Meditation on Curiosity - Less Wrong

36 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 06 October 2007 12:26AM

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Comment author: byrnema 30 January 2010 04:16:18AM *  3 points [-]

All that sounds like natural rambling free-association to me, and more like fear of double-think than any actual double-think.

Are you reluctant to "critically examine" your beliefs because it just sounds like a lot of work? (Counselors will say, 'let's work on this' and then an hour later when you feel like an exposed mess of emoted goo and they'll say, 'OK, see you next week.')

Given that you're comfortable with your beliefs, perhaps you're reluctant to expose your beliefs because it'll be like throwing them to the wolves. If not indiscriminate slaughter (no offense to the more militant atheists here), it'll still be something like 12 to 1.

Well, if you ever decide to do this, if it helps, I offer to help you defend your views to the extent that I can competently do so.

Comment author: MrHen 30 January 2010 07:24:55AM 2 points [-]

All that sounds like natural rambling free-association to me, and more like fear of double-think than any actual double-think.

For me, free association clears up doublethink. If I write my thought into a sentence, the sentence has a strict meaning in the English language. I can write the other side of doublethink as a second sentence and let them duke it out over a conversation with myself.

Also, by the time I had responded with the rambling I had mostly sorted out the initial emotional response. I was very surprised that I had one. (It wasn't big; but any at all is a BIG RED FLAG.)

Are you reluctant to "critically examine" your beliefs because it just sounds like a lot of work? (Counselors will say, 'let's work on this' and then an hour later when you feel like an exposed mess of emoted goo and they'll say, 'OK, see you next week.')

No. At least, not how I think of "a lot of work." I certainly avoid some topics because they are a lot of work but this isn't one of them.

Given that you're comfortable with your beliefs, perhaps you're reluctant to expose your beliefs because it'll be like throwing them to the wolves. If not indiscriminate slaughter (no offense to the more militant atheists here), it'll still be something like 12 to 1.

Nah. I am reluctant to expose my beliefs because that is a lot of work. I am too verbose for my own good and have a hard time not responding to every single comment or question.

Well, if you ever decide to do this, if it helps, I offer to help you defend your views to the extent that I can competently do so.

Hmm... how is this different than the clever arguer in The Bottom Line? Honestly, I won't need help defending my views. If I cannot defend them, why should you? The goal in talking about my beliefs wouldn't be defense and offense oriented (at least, not for me). Seeking the truth is not (or shouldn't be) a war.

Comment author: byrnema 30 January 2010 01:32:25PM *  1 point [-]

OK, you don't sound afraid or like you'll want help.

You seem more self-possessed than I am. (This could be related to gender.) When I was arguing for theism, I felt like the inferential distance was great and that there were too many angles to parry at once. I would have been grateful for an interpreter/mediator.

I was most uncomfortable when people speculated about my motives, often with motives I couldn't relate to. I felt more flubbed by identity issues than atheist arguments (which I find I like well enough when they're relevant).

Seeking the truth is not (or shouldn't be) a war.

I think there is one, out there. A war of world views. LW is a sandbox where we can see how different angles and themes will play out once physical materialism becomes more mainstream.

Hmm... how is this different than the clever arguer in The Bottom Line?

My impression of the origin of due process is that the designers of the legal system were well aware of "the clever arguer" and thought the only remedy was to even the playing field.

Comment author: MrHen 30 January 2010 04:40:50PM 3 points [-]

You seem more self-possessed than I am. (This could be related to gender.) When I was arguing for theism, I felt like the inferential distance was great and that there were too many angles to parry at once. I would have been grateful for an interpreter/mediator.

I wouldn't sell your gender short. I have been doing this sort of arguing for a long time so I kind of know what to expect. The idea of an interpreter is actually significantly more interesting to me than a defender. Perhaps I misunderstood your original intent.

I was most uncomfortable when people speculated about my motives, often with motives I couldn't relate to. I felt more flubbed by identity issues than atheist arguments (which I find I like well enough when they're relevant).

I can understand that. I think I am approaching this from a different angle than you did; we'll see how it goes. :)

I think there is one, out there. A war of world views. LW is a sandbox where we can see how different angles and themes will play out once physical materialism becomes more mainstream.

I think people are fighting each other and they keep trying to dig up a war so they can tell other people to fight for them. Christianity loves to talk about this war of ideas. I am not convinced such a war needs to exist and have decided not to partake. When it comes to the bottom line, I choose what I believe. I take the evidence and come to a conclusion and move forward. The war just isn't interesting to me.

My impression of the origin of due process is that the designers of the legal system were well aware of "the clever arguer" and thought the only remedy was to even the playing field.

Near the end of What Evidence Filtered Evidence?, EY says something similar.

My impressions of the community so far have been good. The vague confession didn't really draw a lot of heat and people were very kind when asking for more details. So all signs point to good things ahead.

That being said, I would still love your input when the time comes. I just don't want you to feel like you have to pick sides. I'm not picking a side and it'll be my beliefs on the table.