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Comment author: smallricochet 03 September 2011 10:28:50PM 1 point [-]

How do you face this situation as a rationalist?

There are four answers on a multiple answer question, A B C and D. Using prior study knowledge, you immediately dismiss B and D. Problem! A and C sound equally plausible, your first urge is A, for some reason, but after some examination, B seems more plausible to your mind.

Results notwithstanding, how would you think of this as a rationalist. Is it even relevant?

Comment author: anon2 11 August 2007 01:50:21AM -2 points [-]

It's strange that it sounds like a rationalist is saying that he should have listened to his instincts. A true rationalist should be able to examine all the evidence without having to rely on feelings to make a judgment, or would be able to truly understand the source of his feelings, in which case it's more than just a feeling. The unfortunate thing is that people are more likely to remember the cases when they didn't listen to their feelings which ended up being correct in the end, than all the times when they were wrong.

The "quiet strain in the back of your mind" is what drives some people to always expect the worst to happen, and every so often they are right which reinforces their confidence in their intuitions more than their confidence diminishes each time they are wrong.

In some cases, it might be possible for someone to have a rational response to a stimulus only to think that it is intuition because they don't quite understand or aren't able to fully rationalize the source of the feeling. From my own experiences, it seems that some people don't make a hard enough effort to search for the source... they either don't seem to think that there is a rational source, or don't care to take the effort.... as long as they are able to ascertain what their feelings suggest they do, they really don't seem to care whether or not the source is rational or irrational.

A true rationalist would be able to determine the source and rationality of the feeling. The interesting question is if he fails to rationally explain the feeling, should he ignore the feeling, chalking it up to his weakness as a perfect rationalist.

Since we are all human and cannot be perfectly rational, shouldn't a rationalist decide that a seemingly irrational feeling is just that, irrational. Is it not more rational to believe that a seemingly irrational feeling is the result of our own imperfection as a human?

Comment author: smallricochet 03 September 2011 10:23:36PM -2 points [-]

Wasn't it more a rationalist should listen to their subconscious (comprised of all their past experiences?)

That sounds simple enough. Unless we don't actually know that our subconscious is biased or something.

Comment author: smallricochet 03 September 2011 10:16:58PM 0 points [-]

I don't claim to have much knowledge in this, which gives me free reign to say this little example: Four girls, A B C and D, were talking about Girl E, all negative. Girl A finally says, "Girl E is my friend, I don't see a problem with her." All four girls stopped talking about Girl E, suddenly uncomfortable. (This was not because they were afraid of offending Girl A, but because they truly didn't have anything against Girl E in the first place.) But there was immense pressure for Girl A just to conform and keep gossiping, this uncannily similar to the groupthink example (which was on a bigger, more consequential scale).

I always thought it was social-rational instinct, a mix between pre-conceived morals, personality, and consideration for the future. Nothing experiments can so specifically pin down, but sort of obvious nonetheless?

Well, think of it this way. If everyone was so confident in themselves and dissented whenever their view didn't conform with someone else's, where would humans be? (Of course, this either led to monarchies, dictatorships, and finally, democracy. What's the fine line between wanting things to be done, and wanting things to be done with everyone's opinion? Variety is good, you need both.)

I hope that was all on track and relevant.