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contravariant comments on "Flinching away from truth” is often about *protecting* the epistemology - Less Wrong

74 Post author: AnnaSalamon 20 December 2016 06:39PM

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Comment author: contravariant 31 December 2016 07:13:18PM 1 point [-]

It seems to me like it's extremely hard to think about sociology, especially relating to policies and social justice without falling into this trap. When you consider a statistic about a group of people, "is this statistic accurate?" is put in the same bucket as "does this mean discriminating against this group is justified?" or even "are these people worth less?" almost instinctively. Especially if you are a part of that group yourself. Now that you've explained it that way, it seems that understanding that this is what going on is a good strategy to avoid being mindkilled by such discussions.

Though, in this case, it can still be a valid concern that others may be affected by this fallacy if you publish or spread the original statistic, so if it can pose a threat to a large number of people it may still be more ethical to avoid publicizing it. However that is an ethical issue and not an epistemic one.