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ciphergoth comments on The Meditation on Curiosity - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: ciphergoth 01 February 2010 10:38:05PM *  7 points [-]

In that case, you probably shouldn't think about whether or not there is a God just now.

Rather, you should first think about what you're going to do if you conclude there isn't. In your case, the line of retreat is rather more literal for you than it is for other people. Who would you bring in on your thinking before it had reached a conclusion, to let them know you're really wondering? What would you do to make the best of the situation, given how much you have invested? You'll find it very hard to think about this rationally until you can really face the thought of it going either way.

Comment author: MrHen 01 February 2010 10:54:06PM *  2 points [-]

You'll find it very hard to think about this rationally until you can really face the thought of it going either way.

Yeah. This is a hard mental exercise... and this area of thought experiments encounters a lot of resistance. Something is actively blocking this area and that is Very Bad. I have a hunch about what it is but don't know how to explain it well.

Hmm...

Comment author: ciphergoth 02 February 2010 12:20:44AM 6 points [-]

But don't delay. Whichever conclusion you come to, I can't imagine you would ever turn around and think "I'm really glad I spent so long putting off really thinking hard about that". You won't enjoy it, and you're unlikely to see it as time well spent.

I'm not saying rush to a conclusion; I am saying rush to thought.

Comment author: MrHen 02 February 2010 01:26:22AM *  2 points [-]

Agreed. Today is not the day, however, due to other circumstances. If I don't have at least two plausible options for both of the following questions by Saturday, February 6th feel free to pester me.

  • Who would you bring in on your thinking before it had reached a conclusion, to let them know you're really wondering?

  • What would you do to make the best of the situation, given how much you have invested?

Comment author: MrHen 08 February 2010 06:50:12AM 1 point [-]

Answer is up, one day late.

Comment author: MrHen 08 February 2010 06:49:41AM 2 points [-]

Who would you bring in on your thinking before it had reached a conclusion, to let them know you're really wondering?

If it came to the point where I began expecting to drop Theism I would tell my wife, my brother, and probably a good friend of mine in Minnesota. My wife because it affects her, my brother because he would probably have advice on how to deal with switching, and my friend because he has always had good advice before. And he's the one I feel I could actually talk to about the subject.

What would you do to make the best of the situation, given how much you have invested?

Given the option, I would leave my current city and go back to school. I suppose everything else revolves around the conversation I have with my wife. I would prefer to stay together but I honestly don't know what would happen. I don't see us splitting up, but I am not confident in this.

As for personal and non-social impacts, I would start over again. I would take the beliefs I have built in the journey to dropping Theism and continue the process. I expect I would continue acting relatively the same but with an attempt at slowly replacing all of the habits and rituals I have grown accustomed to having.

Comment author: ciphergoth 08 February 2010 08:38:15AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for thinking about this and answering. I hope that you're talking to these people now about the overall journey that you're on with respect to rationality, whether or not you raise the specific subject of theism. I think you'll have an easier conversation if you talk to them about the journey as it's going on than if you suddenly find yourself having arrived at somewhere that was not where you set off before those closest to you knew you were even setting out.

Comment author: MrHen 08 February 2010 02:32:19PM *  2 points [-]

Actually, I find it hard to talk about rationality because everyone I would want to talk to about it would think it was completely obvious. I talk about biases and the like, and particular examples, the but the basic concepts tend to get responses like, "Well... yeah? And?"

EDIT: Note that this is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The people I would want to talk to about it are the most likely to have already thought about these subjects.

Comment author: Kevin 08 February 2010 02:38:45PM 0 points [-]

How about talking about the solution to determinism versus free will, or "if a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?"

Comment author: MrHen 08 February 2010 02:54:32PM 0 points [-]

The solution? Everyone would get the concept of the topics involved. Most of them would get bored and move the conversation along.