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MrHen comments on The Meditation on Curiosity - Less Wrong

36 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 06 October 2007 12:26AM

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Comment author: MrHen 01 February 2010 10:25:39PM *  0 points [-]

There are impacts from not having Theism. The most obvious are social. Most of the others are easy enough to deal with. There is also a really, really vague one that I haven't figured out how to do talk about yet.

Sorry there isn't more information being offered here.

I don't understand your second question.

Comment author: JGWeissman 01 February 2010 10:37:30PM 0 points [-]

I don't understand your second question.

Would your belief in theism be different if you did not have a fear of losing the belief even if not true? To what extent does this fear compete with your desire for accurate beliefs?

Comment author: MrHen 01 February 2010 10:47:15PM 2 points [-]

Ah, okay. Bullet point answers:

  • IF Assuming Theism was not true
  • AND Assuming no fear of losing Theism if Theism was not true, then
  • THEN I would drop Theism as soon as I convinced myself it wasn't true

Other variations on the above format:

  • IF Assuming Theism was not true
  • AND Assuming there is fear of losing Theism if Theism was not true, then
  • THEN I would drop Theism as soon as I convinced myself it wasn't true
  • ONLY IF I overcame my fear of losing Theism.

I would expect convincing myself Theism isn't true would be harder than overcoming my fear of losing Theism. This leads into your question:

To what extent does this fear compete with your desire for accurate beliefs?

You are implying a scenario more like the following:

  • IF Assuming Theism was not true
  • AND Assuming there is fear of losing Theism if Theism was not true, then
  • THEN I would convince myself Theism wasn't true
  • ONLY IF I overcame my fear of losing Theism.

Which is a subtle but important difference. I like to think that my fear wouldn't cloud my ability to perceive the truth... but I don't actually know how to verify that. Signs seem to point the exact opposite way, in fact.

I suppose one solution would be to lesson my fear in losing Theism, which seems to be the route pjeby suggested in another comment.