Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Esar comments on Reply to Holden on 'Tool AI' - Less Wrong

94 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 June 2012 06:00PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (348)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: thomblake 25 July 2012 08:18:57PM 0 points [-]

Esar's summary doesn't seem to be different from this, other than 1) adding the useful bit about "passed away irretrievably" and 2) yours makes it clear that the logical jump happens right at the end.

I'm actually not sure now why you consider this like "reference class tennis". The argument looks fine, except for the part where "souls exist in the world below" jumps in as a conclusion, not having been mentioned earlier in the argument.

Comment author: [deleted] 25 July 2012 08:50:02PM *  0 points [-]

The 'souls exist in the world below' bit is directly before what Eliezer quoted:

Suppose we consider the question whether the souls of men after death are or are not in the world below. There comes into my mind an ancient doctrine which affirms that they go from hence into the other world, and returning hither, are born again from the dead. Now if it be true that the living come from the dead, then our souls must exist in the other world, for if not, how could they have been born again? And this would be conclusive, if there were any real evidence that the living are only born from the dead; but if this is not so, then other arguments will have to be adduced.

Very true, replied Cebes.

Then let us consider the whole question...

But you're right that nothing in the argument defends the idea of a world below, just that souls must exist in some way between bodies.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 04 July 2014 12:14:14PM 0 points [-]

The argument omits that living things can come from living things and dead thingsfrom dead things

Therefore, the fact that living things can come from dead things does not mean that have to in every case.

Although, if everything started off dead, they must have at some point.

So it's an argument for abiogenesis,

Comment author: bogdanb 10 July 2013 06:28:03PM *  0 points [-]

just that souls must exist in some way between bodies.

Not even that, at least in the part of the argument I’ve seen (paraphrased?) above.

He just mentions an ancient doctrine, and then claims that souls must exist somewhere while they’re not embodied, because he can’t imagine where they would come from otherwise. I’m not even sure if the ancient doctrine is meant as argument from authority or is just some sort of Chewbacca defense.

(He doesn’t seem to explicitly claim the “ancient doctrine” to be true or plausible, just that it came to his mind. It feels like I’ve lost something in the translation.)