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Benquo comments on Uncritical Supercriticality - Less Wrong

47 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 December 2007 04:40PM

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Comment author: Benquo 29 November 2017 05:12:46PM *  0 points [-]

Not all wrongness is innocent error. Sometimes people are lying, consciously or unconsciously. This is violence directed at the listener to control their behavior. Even advertising that makes no false claims is often in this category, when it raises the salience of something for basically adversarial reasons. (Hard sells and infomercials are less like this, branding is more like this.) If it never ever never for ever gets bullet, then eventually a bunch of thugs barge into your <a href="http://lesswrong.com/lw/c1/wellkept_gardens_die_by_pacifism/">nice unwalled garden</a> (walls being a form of structural violence) and ruin it.

Second, some types of dissent undermine the political order that enables us to interact with one another peacefully. The Deuteronomy quote is very specifically about introducing the worship of foreign or novel gods.Conflating this with a general decree to punish critics is a totally implausible reading to anyone who’s actually bothered to pay attention to the Bible; ancient Israelite prophets frequently claimed that Yahweh’s instructions had been wrongly construed, and that the dominant power structure (including both kings and the priesthood) was in error. They seem to have been a sufficiently protected class that kings and priests would sometimes yell at them, but rarely physically injure them.

The correct modern analogue to advocating the worship of a foreign god, is advocating cooperation with a foreign government. The contemporary analogue to stoning the person introducing the worship of foreign gods, would be imposing legal sanctions against Facebook for colluding with Russian intelligence services to manipulate American election results. If you can’t tell the difference between that and punishing criticism, then you don’t know how to have a sane walled garden.