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eli_sennesh comments on Sapiens - Less Wrong

31 Post author: Vaniver 08 April 2015 02:56AM

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Comment author: [deleted] 22 April 2015 12:08:01AM 0 points [-]

I think I now understand what you're saying Harari means by "fiction", but I still think that's an abuse of the word, at least in present-day English. Zeus is not only different from direct sensory experience, but also from scientific explanations, yes. But he's also, and this is the key distinction usually wrapped up in the word "fiction", very different from Harry Potter.

Comment author: Vaniver 22 April 2015 01:29:53AM 2 points [-]

See legal fiction. I agree that it's not the word I would have chosen for it: something like "constructed fact" as opposed to "measured fact" seems like a cleaner distinction, but is longer to type.

Comment author: MakoYass 06 July 2016 02:56:17AM *  0 points [-]

If you dislike the way Harari abuses terms for myth, you're going to really dislike the way he abuses "religion". His definition is a very reductive "a system of human norms and values that is founded on a belief in a superhuman order". He also has a very reductive, non-theistic sense of Buddhism. He observes that Buddhism is considered a religion, so he overextends his sense of religion until it encompasses all political philosophies

Just as a Buddhist could worship Hindu deities, and just as a monotheist could believe in the existence of Satan, so the typical American nowadays is simultaneously a nationalist (she believes in the existence of an American nation with a special role to play in history), a free-market capitalist (she believes that open competition and the pursuit of self-interest are the best ways to create a prosperous society), and a liberal humanist (she believes that humans have been endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights). Nationalism will be discussed in Chapter 18. Capitalism – the most successful of the modern religions – gets a whole chapter, Chapter 16, which expounds its principal beliefs and rituals. In the remaining pages of this chapter I will address the humanist religions.

Wittgenstein would kick his ass over these abuses.