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Comment author: David_Gerard 06 December 2010 11:03:21AM *  4 points [-]

ran the Royal Mint (and as such was in fact deeply concerned with the "role of money in society" - to significant practical effect at the time)

This would be the precise point that immediately occurred to me too. So no, it's not just you.

Tyrrell seems correct about the point being made, but nevertheless this wasn't a great example.

It couldn't possibly be that your abysmal ignorance of modern evolutionary theory is so total that you can't tell the difference between a carburetor and a radiator. That's unthinkable. No, the other guy - you know, the one who's studied the math - is just too dumb to see the connections.

This is the point at which it became apparent that this is one of those EY essays where I think "so who annoyed him in this particular way?" It appears to be the sort of essay that's a reaction to (or, more generously, strongly inspired by) a particular incident or person, rather than a careful attempt to speak much more broadly. This does not make it incorrect or not useful; it is, however, important in trying to sufficiently duplicate the conditions in the writer's head to understand it properly.

Comment author: stripey7 30 July 2015 01:27:21AM 0 points [-]

It may be a particular incident or person in EY's head, but it's not a unique one. It was very reminiscent of a crank interviewed for a segment of This American Life, who evidently wasn't unique judging from the way physicists reacted to his communications. It's also reminiscent of at least one conversation I've had.

Comment author: MooreQuestions 20 May 2013 08:38:48AM 0 points [-]

(Five years on, but whatever)

I don't think the inference is necessary, really; it's fairly explicit that the scenario in which the comment is relevant is one in which the Alien Monster selected the Damsel for some lovin'. A competent writer, given only that cover art as the basis for their film, could get around that. The fact that the story is so frequently told incompetently is what makes it an unfortunately apt example for a much subtler and more insidious fallacy.

As a more contraversial, if slightly less ovious example, is the Christian condemning an Athiest to Hell. Their universe does not include a scenario in which there is any other result in store for someone who disbelieves, even without any objective basis for their claim. Besides Dante Aliegeri, but results have to be independently verifiable, after all.

Comment author: stripey7 25 July 2015 04:34:11PM 0 points [-]

The Christian in your example isn't projecting ter mind into the atheist's mind. Te is, OTOH, if te says, "You must hate God," or "Why are you so pessimistic?"

Comment author: TobyBartels 30 October 2014 05:40:10AM 5 points [-]

There were ‘left-libertarian’ and ‘anarchist’.

Comment author: stripey7 12 June 2015 06:31:32PM 0 points [-]

True, but from the definitions I found on this site, those aren't quite the same.

Comment author: stripey7 12 June 2015 06:25:25PM *  1 point [-]

I "got" 2/5 of the above, before reading they were inverted.

When I took a psychology survey course in college, Dr. John Sabini gave a lot of attention to social psychology experiments, and much of the class was very surprised at their results; they didn't say they "would have predicted them." Of course Sabini may have been cherry-picking results that were likely to surprise. But I've seen it claimed elsewhere that social psychologists in the '60s were largely preoccupied with producing results that would grab a lot of attention by being counterintuitive.

Comment author: lessdazed 21 May 2012 06:30:05AM *  4 points [-]

I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?

-Ted Kaczynski, The Unabomber

-Heartland Institute billboard

From the press release:

1. Who appears on the billboards?

The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.

2. Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards?

Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming. They are so similar, in fact, that a Web site has a quiz that asks if you can tell the difference between what Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, wrote in his “Manifesto” and what Al Gore wrote in his book, Earth in the Balance.

The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.

Interestingly, science is the first thing mentioned in the next section:

3. Why shouldn’t I still believe in global warming?

Because the best available science says about two-thirds of the warming in the 1990s was due to natural causes, not human activities; the warming trend of the second half of the twentieth century century already has stopped and forecasts of future warming are unreliable; and the benefits of a moderate warming are likely to outweigh the costs. Global warming, in other words, is not a crisis.

Comment author: stripey7 19 April 2015 12:36:09AM 0 points [-]

That quote from J. S. Mill would be perfect for a pasted-on "billboard improvement."

Comment author: stripey7 03 April 2015 03:15:52PM 0 points [-]

What do you think of Huw Price's suggestion (http://www.powells.com/biblio/72-9780195117981-0) that if one allows for the possibility of advanced action, it's possible to have paradox-free physics within a single universe, since Bell's theorem only proved the non-existence of non-local hidden variables?

Comment author: JoshuaZ 12 July 2010 02:24:00PM *  3 points [-]

One of my friends as a teenager had his mother converting into Judaism; apparently people who convert into the religion have to go through the diet strictures and whatnot extra-strictly. That's what I meant by "almost impossible to convert into". My understanding of the Jewish view of the afterlife is that they either go to Heaven or cease existing (Sheol) which is infinitely worse than eternal hellfire, and a decent Christian will still get into Jewish heaven since we'd follow the Noahide laws, so that way I'm covered.

This remark makes it sound even more like you didn't do much research. The belief that one ceases to exist was historically floating around in some sects but wasn't a prominent viewpoint from about 100 CE to 1800 CE where it again got picked up by the most weak theistic and deistic strains of Judaism (such as some Reform and Conservative types). Most Orthodox for example believe in a heaven and (temporary) hell pretty similar to that of Christianity (although even this is complicated by the lack of any strong doctrinal statements. There's a lot more fracturing without anything like the statements of faith or catechisms found in many forms of Christianity). Also, while it is clear that Muslims follow the Noachide laws by most approaches it is actually far from clear that Christians count as such. In particular, the belief in the divinity of a human, Jesus, according to many opinions runs afoul of the prohibition on idolatry. Islam doesn't have this problem when running into the Noachide laws because no claim is made that Muhammad is divine, indeed quite the opposite.

ETA: Also the thing about converts keeping laws extra strictly is only true in some strains also. Note also that this simply amounts in some strains to actually requiring converts to keep the rules (for example in the United States only about half of all Conservative Jews keep kashrut but it is expected that converts keep some form. The Conservative Movement leaders believes that everyone should keep Kashrut but in practice they can't get most of their members to actually do so).

Mormonism was rejected because the guy who founded it was a known con man, and the nature of the Book of Mormon is such that if it is true, you can't not believe in it and go to Heaven, and if it isn't, then you can't believe in it and go to Heaven.

That's not true. Many Mormons believe that non-Mormons can go to heaven. The only caveat is that non-Mormons don't progress as much as Mormons.

Comment author: stripey7 09 March 2015 02:50:02PM 1 point [-]

Especially since Mormons are in the habit of converting non-Mormons after their deaths.

Comment author: nick012000 12 July 2010 02:11:14PM 0 points [-]

I'd like to think I put as much thought into it as I think so! :P I don't think I wrote down the answer first and then filled in the proof, but I suppose I can't be totally sure I didn't. I did get raised in a Christian environment, but we were hardly the type who'd go to Church every week.

One of my friends as a teenager had his mother converting into Judaism; apparently people who convert into the religion have to go through the diet strictures and whatnot extra-strictly. That's what I meant by "almost impossible to convert into". My understanding of the Jewish view of the afterlife is that they either go to Heaven or cease existing (Sheol) which is infinitely worse than eternal hellfire, and a decent Christian will still get into Jewish heaven since we'd follow the Noahide laws, so that way I'm covered.

Mormonism was rejected because the guy who founded it was a known con man, and the nature of the Book of Mormon is such that if it is true, you can't not believe in it and go to Heaven, and if it isn't, then you can't believe in it and go to Heaven. Since he was a con man and therefore it probably isn't true, it's probably not a good idea to believe in it.

I'll admit that I don't think I did much looking into Bahai, other than seeing that they were basically a religion that splintered off of Islam. Looking it up on Wikipedia, though, it looks like they believe in reincarnation? Bleh. My mind is who I am; if it gets deleted when I go onto the next world, there's no point.

Comment author: stripey7 09 March 2015 02:43:24PM 1 point [-]

My value system is just the opposite. To me eternal hellfire is the worst thing possible, hence infinitely worse than nonexistence. But since the chances for it appear infinitesimal, I easily assign greater expected utility to the freedom from cognitive dissonance that consistent empiricism affords me.

In response to Church vs. Taskforce
Comment author: stripey7 28 December 2014 03:10:17AM 1 point [-]

Actually many such groups exist already, except they're not arbitrarily limited to self-described rationalists -- for instance, the committee that's working on a garden for an elementary school in my neighborhood.

Comment author: stripey7 02 November 2014 04:15:46AM 0 points [-]

I could be called libertarian socialist or libertarian communist. It's hard to say whether I fit the "usual" meanings of the individual words since most people don't have a clear idea of what any of them mean. Certainly I don't fit any of the categories in the first part of the survey. In the extra credit part I could pick "socialist," but only by ignoring the definition in the first part. "Anarchist" would describe one aspect of the desired end (non)state, but often implies a more rigid attitude toward present-day politics than I actually have.

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