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KPier comments on Help Fund Lukeprog at SIAI - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 August 2011 07:16AM

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Comment author: KPier 31 August 2011 12:14:18AM 5 points [-]

Given the human tendency to get emotionally involved in an argument, I think a rule of "assume bad faith as much as is suggested by evidence" qucikly devolves into "assume bad faith". If you want to argue for a community norm of "assume bad faith as much as suggested by the evidence even after updating on all the evidence that people are really bad at evaluating other people's motives", I wouldn't neccesarily disagree, but in practice, I think that looks a lot like "assume good faith".

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 31 August 2011 12:23:57AM 2 points [-]

If there are known flaws in a method of inference, taking them into account should be part of what's done when performing an inference, or what's meant when suggesting to perform it. There should be no distinction between suggesting to look for a fact and suggesting to take into account possible flaws in the method of looking for that fact. This is simple exercise of the human power, something to encourage, not work around.

Comment author: KPier 31 August 2011 12:29:03AM 3 points [-]

But, for instance, we know that flaws in our way of thinking about politics are so pervasive that we've decided to avoid it as much as possible. I would argue that flaws in our way of assessing whether other people in an online argument are arguing in good faith are nearly as pervasive, to the extent that assuming good faith is a better heuristic than assuming bad faith as much as is suggested by evidence.

And people who use an "assume good faith" model still change their mind once the evidence starts to accumulate; it's about what your default assumption is, not whether it's ever appropriate to say "You are arguing in bad faith."