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Comment author: Ben_Welchner 29 September 2013 01:28:45AM 6 points [-]

In the above examples, there may well be more net harm than gain from staying in an unpleasant relationship or firing a problematic employee. It's pretty case-by-case in nature, and you're not required to ignore your own feelings entirely. If not, yes, utilitarianism would say you'd be "wrong" for indulging yourself at the expense of others.

Comment author: JonahSinick 20 June 2013 12:50:41AM 0 points [-]

The train is currently rushing to kill the child, and you're not part of this situation. You, sitting in your car far away, see this happening. You now have the choice to drive up to the tracks and leave your car on the tracks. This will save the child but destroy your car.

I don't follow why leaving your car on the tracks prevents the child from being killed.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 20 June 2013 01:26:29AM *  26 points [-]

The same reason fat people can derail trolleys and businesspeople have lifeguard abilities, I'd imagine.

Comment author: Benito 11 March 2013 02:16:15AM *  3 points [-]

(No, this is not the "tu quoque!" moral equivalent of starting out by assigning probability 1 that Christ died for your sins.)

Can someone please explain this?

I understand many religious people claim to just 'have faith' in Christ, with absolute certainty. I think the standard argument would run "well, you say I shouldn't have faith in Christ, but you have faith in 'science' / 'non-neglible probability on induction and some single well ordered large ordinal' so you can't argue against faith".

What is Eliezer saying here?

Addendum: By which I mean, can someone give a clear explanation of why they are not the same?

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 11 March 2013 02:52:23AM *  2 points [-]

You pretty much got it. Eliezer's predicting that response and saying, no, they're really not the same thing. (Tu quoque)

EDIT: Never mind, I thought it was a literal question.

Comment author: Eliut 06 March 2013 04:08:00PM -1 points [-]


OK, I take that back. The idea that a tortoise is faster than a runner is preposterous and counterintuitive.

Therefore humans can become Minds

Provided that knowledge is not infinite

But of course that is a preposterous idea too, so I take that one back too, I don’t want to provoke the anger of my anonymous friend and get another wedgie.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 06 March 2013 04:30:08PM *  0 points [-]

We encourage you to downvote any comment that you'd rather not see more of - please don't feel that this requires being able to give an elaborate justification. -LW Wiki Deletion Policy

Folks are encouraged to downvote liberally on LW, but the flip-side of that is that people will downvote where they might otherwise just move on for fear of offending someone or getting into an argument that doesn't interest them. You might want to be less sensitive if someone brings one of your posts to -1 - it's not really an act of aggression.

Comment author: ThrustVectoring 26 February 2013 02:51:40AM 15 points [-]

Note to self: it's much more difficult to have original thought than I think it is.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 26 February 2013 03:35:11AM 1 point [-]

I sympathize. One of my professors jokes about having discovered a new optical illusion, then going to the literature and having the incredible good luck that for once nobody else discovered it first.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 25 February 2013 11:23:23PM 15 points [-]

This all seems to have more to do with rule consequentialism than deontology. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and rule consequentialism has indeed been considered a halfway point between deontology and act consequentialism, but it's worth noting.

Comment author: FiftyTwo 03 January 2013 02:45:02PM 2 points [-]

I think the extro/introvert split is unhelpful, people have preferences for and against different social activities. E.g. I can enjoy parties but not meetings, or prefer to read in silence but work as part of a group. The article is trying to take a few examples and extrapolate a much wider theory out of them.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 03 January 2013 06:08:09PM *  3 points [-]

Disliking meetings and reading in a crowded environment doesn't seem like much evidence that you're neither introverted nor extroverted (except that you're not one of Those Nasty Extraverts that keep supposedly fawning over meetings), which doesn't seem like much evidence that the introvert/extrovert split isn't helpful. I can't enjoy parties or meetings, prefer to read in silence and work alone.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 06 November 2012 08:26:42PM 24 points [-]

In accordance with ancient tradition, I took the survey.

Comment author: DeeElf 19 September 2012 12:51:20AM *  1 point [-]

Eliezer_Yudkowsky (EY) said (above):

Let me see if I understand your thesis. You think we shouldn't anthropomorphize people?" -- Sidney Morgenbesser to B. F. Skinner

  • As far as I've I can tell, this never happened.
  • Perhaps your understanding of "anthropomorphic" is too narrow?

EY said (above):

Behaviorism was the doctrine that it was unscientific for a psychologist to ascribe emotions, beliefs, thoughts, to a human being.

This is the basic myth. Skinner fought very hard to demonstrate that this was a gross mischaracterization of behaviorism.

EY said (above):

But for the behaviorists to react to the sins of Freudian psychoanalysis and substance dualism, by saying that the subject matter of empathic inference did not exist... Which behaviorist? Where? When?

Added: I found it difficult to track down primary source material online, but behaviorism-as-denial-of-mental does not seem to be a straw depiction. I was able to track down at least one major behaviorist (J.B. Watson, founder of behaviorism) saying outright "There is no mind."

This should make plain why Watson was never behaviorist poster boy material. I wouldn't even call him a "major" behaviorist.

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 19 September 2012 12:56:10AM 1 point [-]

As a psychology student, I can say with some certainty that Watson is a behaviorist poster boy.

Comment author: Gastogh 09 June 2012 04:15:59PM *  -1 points [-]

Whatever doubt or doctrinal Atheism you and your friends may have, don't fall into moral atheism.

-Charles Kingsley

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 09 June 2012 04:33:29PM 0 points [-]


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