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JulianMorrison comments on Something to Protect - Less Wrong

52 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2008 05:52PM

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Comment author: JulianMorrison 31 January 2008 02:09:13AM 1 point [-]

"Rationality by its nature cannot be only a means towards an end."

Rationality is conformance to reality. You can conform to reality for a cause. (You're saying, you can't mold reality to your cause - I agree, but that's not what he was meaning.) He was meaning that people have thought themselves rational when applying formal, skillful, pedigreed academic techniques that DON'T WORK, such as Jesuit style casuistry. So you have to hold the technique up against reality. You won't do that if you put the technique first by saying "I serve reason", because that morphs in your mind into "I serve Jesuit casuistry" or whatever. It blithely assumes your all-too-human technology of achieving reason works - and it might not.