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Caledonian2 comments on No Safe Defense, Not Even Science - Less Wrong

14 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 May 2008 05:19AM

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Comment author: Caledonian2 18 May 2008 02:11:01PM 4 points [-]

The idea that flaws need to be added - and that the final lecture will be flawless - is both silly and presumptuous. There will almost certainly be flaws, whether they are added or not, and our judgment is not adequate to determine whether our own work has them or not.

Eliezer, all of your problems with "Science" seem to stem not from any problems with the method itself, but from your personal tendency to treat the method as a revelation that people have an emotional investment in: in other words, a religion.

There are a variety of ways people can fail to put science into practice. One of the most pernicious is failing to apply it in situations where it is clearly called for, because we have an emotional investment in holding positions that we don't want to disturb. One especially dangerous subtype of this error is when the important subject is our 'scientific' reasoning and the conclusions we derived from it. It is even more dangerous than the general case because it doesn't just involve a corruption of our ability to deal with one specific set of problems, but a corruption of the general method we must use to rationally investigate the world. Instead of merely having a blind spot, we lose our sight completely, while at the same time losing our ability to detect that we're blind.

You are guilty of this error. That doesn't mean that you've gained a unique insight that must be shared with the world at all costs. This is a very old and trivial insight that most people worth listening to have already produced independently.

Comment author: Kenny 21 March 2013 03:36:15PM 0 points [-]

Without the second and last paragraphs, this would be a wonderful comment.