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Comment author: Thomas 05 November 2017 02:04:50PM 0 points [-]

I don't like it, at all.

As you see, my argumentation for that is just like yours. Nonexistent.

Comment author: mirefek 05 November 2017 02:32:29PM 1 point [-]

Well, the purpose of my comment was to clarify my views as the author of the link. Do I understand correctly that you disagree that the discussion format can influence the quality of the discussion?

Comment author: mirefek 05 November 2017 12:52:51PM 2 points [-]

I came across this site and it seems quite interesting to me. I believe that the discussion format can influence the discussion itself a lot. Not sure whether exactly the Kialo format is optimal but I consider Kialo as at least a promising attempt.

[Link] Kialo -- an online discussion platform that attempts to support reasonable debates

2 mirefek 05 November 2017 12:48PM
Comment author: TheOtherDave 01 November 2016 03:35:06PM 0 points [-]

You mean that it didn't happen here or in the global society?

I mean that it's unlikely that "the site [would] end up with a similar "rational" political consensus if political discussion went through".

Discussions about religion seems to me to be equally unproductive in general.

In the global society? I agree.

I can imagine that if the site endorsed a political ideology its readers would may become biased forward it (even if just by selection of readers).

Sure, that's possible.

But there is a possibility that that happened with the religion issue.

Sure, that's possible.

Also, let me cut to the chase a little bit, here.

The subtext I'm picking up from our exchange is that you object to the site's endorsement of atheism, but are reluctant to challenge it overtly for fear of social sanction (downvotes, critical comments, etc.). So instead of challenging it, you are raising the overt topic of the site's unwillingness to endorse a specific political ideology, and taking opportunities as they arise to implicitly establish equivalences between religion and politics, with the intention of implicitly arguing that the site's willingness to endorse a specific religious ideology (atheism) is inconsistent.

Have I correctly understood your subtext?

Comment author: mirefek 02 November 2016 04:37:33PM *  1 point [-]

Discussions about religion seems to me to be equally unproductive in general.

In the global society? I agree.

Yes, in the global society.

The subtext I'm picking up from our exchange is that you object to the site's endorsement of atheism, but are reluctant to challenge it overtly for fear of social sanction (downvotes, critical comments, etc.). So instead of challenging it, you are raising the overt topic of the site's unwillingness to endorse a specific political ideology, and taking opportunities as they arise to implicitly establish equivalences between religion and politics, with the intention of implicitly arguing that the site's willingness to endorse a specific religious ideology (atheism) is inconsistent.

Perhaps, partially. But I don't think that it is accurate. I did not choose the political topic just as a cover. I have opinions about both topics. I like controversial discussions about both of them. I consider myself as an atheist and I have my favorite political direction (I won't mention it, I respect rules of the site). It just do not seem to me that my philosophical opinions are more rational than my political opinions.

I do not object atheism of the site. I like atheist sites. But it seemed to me that the site claim to be "atheist because of rationality". If it was true it would be very nice indicator supporting my opinion. On the other hand, for example a variant of the "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry" in my (mainly atheist) country forbids itself to talk about religion and some of its major members are Christians. So I asked here and got an answer.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 31 October 2016 02:46:07PM 0 points [-]

As you pointed out yourself, most people involved with the site at the beginning were atheists. That is because of association with a group of people who were mainly atheists from the beginning. But they did not all agree on politics.

As a consequence, discussion of politics was discouraged because it would lead to contention and disagreement among those original people.

Discussion of religion, in the sense of disparagement of religion, was not discouraged, since it would not lead to contention and disagreement, given that the original group was atheist.

But in the early years, mentioning religion without directly saying it is false or bad would almost always be heavily downvoted, even if you did not assert that it was true. That happened without there being an official norm that you could not do that, simply because of the large proportion of atheists. The only exceptions (in the early years that is) were for people who favored religion but presented themselves as having basically something like a dhimmi status in relation to atheism. That of course got rid of most people interested in discussing religion, but a norm like the politics one was unnecessary, because of the presumed agreement on atheism.

But you are right that the difference was accidental, and based on the original group characteristics. If the original group had contained a mix of religious people with diverse religious views, the site would likely be that way to this day, and direct discussion of religious topics would be discouraged in the same way that politics currently is. It has nothing to do with what views are reasonable. Some views on religion are more reasonable than others, and some views on politics are more reasonable than others, but for most people, the views that they hold on these topics are not principally motivated by reason. That applies to both religion and politics, and it applies to people on Less Wrong almost as much as to ordinary people.

Comment author: mirefek 31 October 2016 05:58:43PM *  0 points [-]

Thank you for clarifying a history of the site and the community. I expected something of that.

But I wasn't sure how much the local community is resistant to biases (and how it is confident in that), so the original question was perhaps a bit indirect.

mentioning religion without directly saying it is false or bad would almost always be heavily downvoted, even if you did not assert that it was true

So I am glad that I haven't been heavily downvoted yet. Religion is false, of course :-)

Comment author: TheOtherDave 31 October 2016 01:46:34AM 2 points [-]

Yeah, there's a communally endorsed position on which religion(s) is/are correct ("none of them are correct"), but there is no similar communally endorsed position on which political ideology(ies) is/are correct.

There's also no similar communally endorsed position on which brand of car is best, but there's no ban on discussion of cars, because in our experience discussions of car brands, unlike discussions of political ideologies, tend to stay relatively civil and productive.

What do you think? Would the site end up with a similar "rational" political consensus if political discussion went through?

I find it extremely unlilkely. It certainly hasn't in the past.

Comment author: mirefek 31 October 2016 12:22:18PM *  0 points [-]

I find it extremely unlikely. It certainly hasn't in the past.

You mean that it didn't happen here or in the global society? Discussions about religion seems to me to be equally unproductive in general.

I can imagine that if the site endorsed a political ideology its readers would may become biased forward it (even if just by selection of readers). Surely, it is not the intent of the site. But there is a possibility that that happened with the religion issue...

Comment author: mirefek 31 October 2016 12:48:26AM 0 points [-]

Hi,

I am a bit surprised that contemporary politics is kind of suppressed here (by FAQ). Well, I understand the reason that it is a controversial topic in society. I get that people tend to be biased in it. This is just because it is such a wide topic and lot of people have a political standpoint. I agree that it is probably better to train rationality on less known topics.

So, what is confusing me?

I think that there is another topic with a similar controversy level in society: Religion. I can see the analogy. In my view, arguing with a religious person is similar to arguing with a political "opponent". Both topics are very complex (from philosophical standpoints through world issues to daily life). There can be many misinterpretations, lot of uncertainty, and other problems.

Isn't the "Quaker Republican" example an argument against discussing religion as well? I think that the article could be simply modified. "A Christian may read your blog so be careful and do not address the philosophy as a whole piece", "you should rather discuss ancient religions", and so on.

Despite of it, I did not met a warning before promoting atheism here. Why?

I can see a correlation. By surveys, readers of the site mostly consider themselves as atheists but their political leanings are colorful (social democratic, liberal, libertarian). Yet, the causality is not so clear for me. What do you think? Would the site end up with a similar "rational" political consensus if political discussion went through?

Comment author: mirefek 29 October 2016 10:36:55PM 1 point [-]

I expect that "truth" in this context just mean "opinion what the truth is" which can not be easily verified nor refuted and despite of it both debaters are pretty confident in their opinions. In this case a response can be something like "I would prefer word "opinion" but I hope we understand each other ;-)"

For more accurate response I need some examples. I don't realize coming across this phrase in a discussion.

Comment author: hairyfigment 22 October 2016 10:32:19PM 0 points [-]

I don't think you've responded to my linked comment. But OK, looking up a result in a math book could count as an experiment, as could any method by which you might learn about dyslexia or whatever you suspect might be confusing you. If you don't believe anything like that could happen to you, either you made that judgement based on experience and science or you are very badly misguided.

Comment author: mirefek 23 October 2016 04:41:34PM 0 points [-]

To be honest, your comments confuse me. I knew about the link but I didn't see a connection between the link and experimental method and where the citations in the link came from. I am not sure what you mean by "anything like that" in your last comment and I am not very interested in it.

But I prefer to keep the original problem: If looking up a result in a math book could count as an experiment what is the (broader) definition of an experiment, then?

Comment author: hairyfigment 22 October 2016 07:53:27PM 0 points [-]

Ahem. I can think of many ways that some broadly defined "experimental method" could come into play there.

Comment author: mirefek 22 October 2016 08:32:08PM 0 points [-]

Please, be more specific. I am not sure exactly what are you responding to. Do you mean that a math proof (or knowledge of it) can be considered as experimental method in some sense?

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