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g comments on Torture vs. Dust Specks - Less Wrong

41 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 October 2007 02:50AM

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Comment author: g 30 October 2007 03:36:34AM 37 points [-]

The answer that's obvious to me is that my mental moral machinery -- both the bit that says "specks of dust in the eye can't outweigh torture, no matter how many there are" *and* the bit that says "however small the badness of a thing, enough repetition of it can make it arbitrarily awful" or "maximize expected sum of utilities" -- wasn't designed for questions with numbers like 3^^^3 in. In view of which, I profoundly mistrust any answer I might happen to find "obvious" to the question itself.

Comment author: RomanDavis 24 May 2010 01:54:25PM 8 points [-]

Isn't this just appeal to humility? If not, what makes this different?

Comment author: adamisom 04 November 2012 03:29:05AM 0 points [-]

In other words, you're meta-cogitation is 1 - do I trust my very certain intuition? or 2 - do I trust the heuristic from formal/mathematical thinking (that I see as useful partially and specifically to compensate for inaccuracies in our intuition)?