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Stuart_Armstrong comments on Evaporative Cooling of Group Beliefs - Less Wrong

41 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 December 2007 11:08PM

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Comment author: Stuart_Armstrong 08 December 2007 08:44:48AM 11 points [-]

If you have one person around who is the famous Guy Who Disagrees With Everything, anyone with a more reasonable, more moderate disagreement won't look like the sole nail sticking out.

Like the Devil's advocate in the catholic church? He seems to have done his role admirably; according to Wikipedia:

[The Devil's Advocate] was abolished by Pope John Paul II in 1983. This abolition streamlined the canonization process considerably, helping John Paul II to usher in an unprecedented number of elevations: nearly 500 individuals were canonized and over 1,300 were beatified during his tenure as Pope as compared to only 98 canonizations by all his 20th-century predecessors.