Posts

Happiness and Children 2014-06-26T07:36:20.570Z · score: 3 (8 votes)
Asking about polyamory in Melbourne 2014-02-09T09:51:04.335Z · score: -8 (16 votes)
Skepticism about Probability 2014-01-27T09:49:08.814Z · score: -8 (25 votes)
Historical/Rationalistic Assesment Question 2013-11-01T11:24:32.538Z · score: -9 (12 votes)
Criticisms of the Metaethics 2013-10-21T11:23:30.990Z · score: -2 (11 votes)
Requesting advice- A Philosophy Idea 2013-10-08T11:31:03.525Z · score: -10 (15 votes)
Requesting clarification- On the Metaethics 2013-10-07T13:00:44.353Z · score: 2 (8 votes)
Lesswrong Philosophy and Personal Identity 2013-08-23T13:15:56.214Z · score: 10 (15 votes)
Greatest Philosopher in History 2013-08-09T12:50:44.199Z · score: 1 (25 votes)
Requesting advice: Doing Epistemology Right (Warning: Abstract mainstream Philosophy herein) 2013-05-28T13:03:51.269Z · score: 0 (3 votes)
Requesting advice- where to live 2011-09-17T04:58:14.785Z · score: 0 (12 votes)
Requesting advice 2011-05-27T10:12:36.305Z · score: 3 (10 votes)
Requesting Advice 2011-05-06T10:59:57.705Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
Brief Query- An Idea 2011-04-14T19:55:04.308Z · score: 11 (16 votes)
Requesting some advice on a question 2010-11-13T06:07:54.256Z · score: 0 (4 votes)

Comments

Comment by carinthium on Yudkowsky vs Trump: the nuclear showdown. · 2016-11-15T23:10:51.135Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A good question to keep in mind is how much real power the electorate has, as opposed to entrenched bureaucrats or de facto oligarchies.

Comment by carinthium on Yudkowsky vs Trump: the nuclear showdown. · 2016-11-15T22:59:34.529Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Question. I admit I have a low EQ here, but I"m not sure if 4) is sarcasm or not. It would certainly make a lot of sense if "I've been glad to see in this thread that we LW's do, in fact, put our money where our mouths are when it comes to trying to navigate, circumvent, or otherwise evade the Mindkiller." were sarcasm.

I would have said we had information on 2), but I've made so many wrong predictions about Donald Trump privately that I think my private opinion has lost all credibility there. 1) makes sense.

I can see why you might be afraid of war breaking out with Russia, but why do you consider Islam a major threat? Maybe you don't and I'm misinterpreting you, but given how little damage terrorist attacks actually do isn't Islam a regional problem to which the West has a major overreaction problem?

Comment by carinthium on An attempt in layman's language to explain the metaethics sequence in a single post. · 2016-11-15T22:50:54.276Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was trying to say with my second paragraph that we specifically cannot be sure about that. My first paragraph was simply my best effort at interpreting what I think hairyfigment thinks, not a statement of what I believe to be true.

From my vague recollections I think the idea is worth looking up one way or the other. After all, a massive portion of modern culture is under the impression there are no gender differences and there are other instances of clear major misconceptions I actually can attest to throughout history. But I don't have any idea with the Romans.

Comment by carinthium on An attempt in layman's language to explain the metaethics sequence in a single post. · 2016-11-15T00:41:30.654Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Clarification please. How do you avoid this supposed vacuity applying to basically all definitions? Taking a quick definition from a Google Search: A: "I define a cat as a small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractile claws." B: "Yes, but is that a cat?"

Which could eventually lead back to A saying that:

A: "Yes you've said all these things, but it basically comes back to the claim a cat is a cat."

Comment by carinthium on An attempt in layman's language to explain the metaethics sequence in a single post. · 2016-11-15T00:27:16.749Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe we should be abandoning the objectivity requirement as impossible. As I understand it this is in fact core to Yudkowsky's theory- an "objective" morality would be the tablet he refers to as something to ignore.

I'm not entirely on Yudkowsky's side in this. My view is that moral desires, whilst psychologically distinct from selfish desires, are not logically distinct and so the resolution to any ethical question is "What do I want?". There is the prospect of coordination through shared moral wants, but there is the prospect of coordination through shared selfish wants as well. Ideas of "the good of society" or "objective ethical truth" are simply flawed concepts.

But I do think Yudkowsky has a good point both of you have been ignoring. His stone tablet analogy, if I remember correctly, sums it up.

"I think Eliezer is correct in showing that the only solution is avoiding contact at all.": Assumes that there is such a thing as an objective solution, if implicitly.

"The difference is not between two cars, yours and mine, but between a passegner ship and a cargo ship, built for two different purpose and two different class of users.": Passenger and cargo ships both have purposes within human morality. Alien moralities are likely to contradict each other.

"There's not much objectivity in that.": What if objectivity in the sense you describe is impossible?

"Why is it so important that our morality is the one that motivates us? People keep repeating it as though its a great revelation, but its equally true that babyeater morality motivates babyeaters, so the situation comes out looking symmetrical and therefore relativistc.": If it isn't, then it comes back to the amoralist challenge. Why should we even care?

Comment by carinthium on An attempt in layman's language to explain the metaethics sequence in a single post. · 2016-11-14T23:52:51.059Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The Open Question argument is theoretically flawed because it relies too much on definitions (see this website's articles on how definitions don't work that way, more specifically http://lesswrong.com/lw/7tz/concepts_dont_work_that_way/).

The truth is that humans have an inherent instinct towards seeing "Good" as an objective thing, that corresponds to no reality. This includes an instinct towards doing what, thanks to both instinct and culture, humans see as "good".

But although I am not a total supporter of Yudowksy's moral support, he is right in that humans want to do good regardless of some "tablet in the sky". Those who define terms try to resolve the problem of ethical questions by bypassing this instinct and referencing instead what humans actually want to do. This is contradictory to human instinct, hence the philosophical force of the Open Question argument but it is the only way to have a coherent moral system.

The alternative, as far as I can tell, would be that ANY coherent formulation of morality whatsoever could be countered with "Is it good?".

Comment by carinthium on An attempt in layman's language to explain the metaethics sequence in a single post. · 2016-11-14T23:00:31.826Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think hairyfigment is of the belief that the Romans (and in the most coherent version of his claim you would have to say male and female) were under misconceptions about the nature of male and female minds, and believes that "a sufficiently deep way" would mean correcting all these misconceptions.

My view is that we really can't say that as things stand. We'd have to know a lot more about the Roman beliefs about the male and female minds, and compare them against what we know to be accurate about male and female minds.

Comment by carinthium on Yudkowsky vs Trump: the nuclear showdown. · 2016-11-14T22:13:20.411Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

On a purely theoretical level (which is fun to talk about so I think worth talking about) I would like to see one of the high status and respected members of the rationalist movement (Yudowsky, Hanson etc) in power. They'd become corrupt eventually, but do a lot of good before they did.

On a practical level, our choices are the traditional establishment (which has shown its major flaws), backing Trump, or possibly some time in the future backing Sanders. Unless somebody here has a practical way to achieve something different, that's all we have.

(EDIT: For what it's worth, I base my trust on their works, somewhat on their theories on rationality, and the fact that reviewing ideas in far mode for so long has them "nailed" to policies. Without, say, an implacable Congress in their way, I think they'd do enough good to outweigh their inevitable corruption)

Comment by carinthium on Communication is violent by nature · 2016-11-14T07:01:41.507Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What is this even? I don't get it.

Comment by carinthium on "3 Reasons It’s Irrational to Demand ‘Rationalism’ in Social Justice Activism" · 2016-11-13T00:37:37.353Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Got it. Thanks.

Comment by carinthium on "3 Reasons It’s Irrational to Demand ‘Rationalism’ in Social Justice Activism" · 2016-11-12T05:43:27.579Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

cousin_it, if you're still paying attention- I'm curious why you think this about Eliezer.

Comment by Carinthium on [deleted post] 2015-09-01T12:47:46.156Z

Major question. Where do you fit the kind of truth that comes from realising an idea is incoherent, therefore must be wrong?

(For clarity, my view is that the whole notion of 'affective truth' is just plain wrong, but I have nothing to say on that which hasn't been already said)

Comment by carinthium on Happiness and Children · 2014-06-27T09:33:26.563Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Good to know, but does that research clarify whether happiness is overall higher or lower in the long run?

Comment by carinthium on Happiness and Children · 2014-06-27T09:28:59.106Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I can believe that that's true for a significant portion of humanity- that they would choose to have children even knowing it would be bad for their happiness in the long run. It isn't true for me, though, and there are large numbers of people for whom it isn't (or else childlessness in the West wouldn't have risen so much).

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-09T06:02:33.195Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why is that?

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-09T02:36:33.547Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have an independent income. I demand a transfer, and if I don't get it I quit.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T09:23:56.145Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If I go on about it enough in conversation, people will have to realise. I won't made it explicit directly to them, but them realising will discourage others.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T07:23:37.739Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Because it makes it obvious to people that I'm taking my policy seriously.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T07:03:47.254Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

A One Strike Rule. If I catch a person lying to me, I never hang out with them against unless I have no case. I also deliberately act in a rude and hostile manner.

However, this only applies if I've already warned them about the policy.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T05:32:54.498Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Another thing I should note that it can simply be a matter of human preferences. I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of having any truely close relationship (lover or close friend) with somebody who would be willing to lie to me. I see no reason why other wants should somehow override this one.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T05:31:58.600Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Improving my social skills is HARD. I could invest a massive effort into it if I tried, but I'm at university right now and my marks would take a nosedive. It's not worth the price.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T05:31:26.050Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

True, but it is also true that you can't somebody on certain matters if they are willing to tell you white lies. It's better to try and hang around more honest types so you can learn to cope with the truth better.

Comment by carinthium on White Lies · 2014-02-08T04:58:17.303Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I reject this idea for a fairly simple reason. I want to be in control of my own life and my own decisions, but due to lack of social skills I'm vulnerable to manipulation. Without a zero-tolerance policy on liars, I would rapidly be manipulated into losing what little control of my own life remains.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-04T01:01:58.724Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Mostly right. I accept the theoretical possibility of a self-evident belief- before learning of the Evil Demon argument, for example, I considered 1+1=2 to be such a belief.

However, a circular argument never is allowable, no matter how wide the circle. Without ultimately being tracable back to self-evident beliefs (though these can be self-evident axioms of probability, at least in theory), the system doesn't have any justification.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-03T08:57:50.905Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

On thought, my response is that no circular argument can possibly be rational so the question of if rationality is binary is irrelevant. You are mostly right, though for some purposes rational/irrational is better considered as a binary.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-03T07:56:49.038Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You are the only who is making assumptions without evidence and ignoring what I'm saying- that contrary to what you think you do not in fact know the Earth exists, your memories are reliable etc and therefore that your argument, which assumes such, falls apart.

You also fail to comprehend that probabilities have implicit axioms which must be accepted in order to accept probability. There is induction (e.g.- Sun risen X times already so it will probably rise again tonight), the Memory assumption (if my memories say I have done X then that is evidence in probabilities I have done X), the Reality assumption (seeing something is evidence in probabilities for it's existence) etc. None of these can be demonstrated- they are starting assumptions taken on faith.

In the real world, as I said, it depends on what the person asked for. If I believe they were implicitly asking for a faith-based answer I would give that, if I believe an answer based on pure reason I would say neither.

The truth is that anything an agent believes to be true they have no way of justifying, as any justification ultimately appeals to assumptions that cannot themselves be justified.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-02T08:26:33.255Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I said earlier that I believe that rationally speaking, skepticism proves itself correct and ordinary ideas of rationalism prove themselves self-refuting. However, I believe on faith (in the religious sense) that skepticism is false, and have beliefs on faith accordingly.

Therefore, I sort of believe in a double truth, but in a coherent fashion.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-02T08:04:55.230Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You believe that the world exists, your memories are reliable, etc. You argue that a system that does not produce those conclusions is not good enough because they are true and a system must show they are true. But how on earth do you know that? Assuming induction, that your memories are reliable etc to judge Epistemic rules is circular.

You must admit it is absurd that you know the world exists with certainty, therefore you must admit you believe it exists on probability. Therefore your entire case depends on the legitimacy of probability.

Before accusing me of contradiction, remember my posistion all along has a distinction between faith and rational belief.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-02T06:58:48.891Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This assumes what the entire thread is about- that probability is a legitimate means for discussing reality. This presumes a lot or axioms of probability, such as that if you see X it is more likely real than an illusion, and induction as valid.

The appeal to absence of many true beliefs is irrelevant, as you have no means to determine truth beyond skepticism.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-02T02:47:47.586Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not exactly Platonic- I have no belief whatsoever, on faith or reason, in ideal forms. As for why rationalism, I believe in it because rationalist arguments in this sense can be inherently self-justifying. This comes from starting from no assumptions.

However, I then show that such rationality fails in the long run to skeptical arguments of it's own sort, just as other types of rationality do. I focus on it because it is the only one with a halfway credible answer to skepticism.

I have already shown I know what skepticism is- not knowing anything whatsoever. You haven't refuted this argument, given that "I don't know" is a valid Epistemic state.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-01T15:03:09.233Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think I know my answer to this- I've realised my definition of "rational" subtly differs from LessWrong's. When you see mine, you'll see this wasn't my fault.

A set of rules is rational, I would argue, if that set of rules by it's very nature must correlate with reality- if one applies those rules to the evidence, they must reveal what is true. Even if skepticism is false, then it is a mere coincidence that our assumptions the world is not an illusion, our memories are accurate etc happened to be correct as we had no rational rule that would show us that they were. We do not even have a role that we must rationally consider it probable.

One of the rules of such rationality is that pragmatism is explicitly ruled out. Pragmatic considerations have no necessary correlation with what is actually true, therefore they should not be considered in determining what is true. The consideration of whether human beings are or are not capable of believing something is a pragmatic consideration.

You claim that skepticism is incoherent. Firstly, this is circular as you assume things to get to this conclusion. Second, even if you take those assumptions humans are capable of understanding the concept of "I don't know". Applying this concept to absolutely everything is effectively what skepticism is.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-01T14:55:22.760Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It seems we're using different definitions of words here. Maybe I should clarify a bit.

The definition of rationality I use (and I needed to think about this a bit) is a set of rules that must, by their nature, correlate with reality. Pragmatic considerations do not correlate with reality, no matter how pressing they may seem.

Rather than a rational obligation, it is a fact that if a person is irrational then they have no reason to believe that their beliefs correlate with the truth, as they do not. It is merely an assumption they have.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-02-01T14:50:55.280Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My conception of reason is based on determining what is true, completely and entirely irrespective of pragmatism. To call skeptical arguments irrational and call an anti-skeptical case rational would mean losing sight of the important fact that ONLY pragmatic considerations lead to the rejection of skepticism.

Rationality, to me, is defined as the hypothetical set of rules which reliably determine truth, not by coincidence, but because they must determine truth by their nature. Anything which does not follow said rules are irrational. Even if skepticism is false, believing in the world is irrational for me (and you, based on what I've heard from you and my definition) because nothing necessarily leads to a correlation between the senses and reality.

One of the rules of my rationality is that pragmatic considerations are not to be taken into account, as what is useful to believe and what is true have no necessary correlation. This applies for anything which has no necessary correlation with what is true.

What you're talking about is pragmatic, not rational. It is important to be aware of the distinction between what one may 'believe' for some reason and what is likely to be actually true, completely independent of such beliefs.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-31T01:49:04.510Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In the real world, it depends. With most people in practice, assuming they have enough of an understanding of me to know I am a skeptic on these things and are implicitly asking for one or the other, I give that. Therefore I normally give advice on faith.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-31T01:48:07.497Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Better" isn't a function of the real world anyway- I'm appealing to it because most people here want to be rational, not because it is objectively better.

What do you mean by "rational" is not a binary?

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T10:51:32.111Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW
  1. The Evil Demon Argument says that you don't know that it's actually those three things before you. Further, it says that you don't know that eating the rice will actually have the effects you're used to, or that your memories can be used to remember your preferences. Etc etc...

  2. On reason, I would give no advice. On faith, I would say to have the rice.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T03:32:21.581Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think we mean different things by "basis in reality". I use it to refer to something correlating with the real world, and evidence that demonstrates such a connection either probable or certain. Probability, of course, can only work if probability were somehow demonstrated valid.

Circular arguments do not count as a basis in reality, hence your argument, which assumes the existence of physical brains, does not work.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T03:26:40.886Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nothing is justified if skepticism wins. Unless we have irrational faith in at least one starting assumption (and it is irrational since we have no basis for making the assumption), it is impossible to determine anything except our lack of knowledge.

So on thought, yes. There is never any valid rational reason to discriminate between possibilities because nothing can demonstrate the Evil Demon Argument false.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T03:25:24.457Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Then you mean a different thing by "free will" then me- I was referring to free will in the popular conception.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T03:24:21.739Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is precisely the problem. I was posting in the hopes of finding some clever solution to this problem- a self-proving axiom, as it were.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T03:23:27.310Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't believe in the reality around us, not on a rational level- that does not mean I don't believe there are things which are real(there may be, anyway). I just have no idea what they are.

Justification is DEFINED in a certain manner, and I think the best one to use is the definition I have given. That is how I can be certain about justification (or at least what I am calling justification) and a skeptic about reality.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-30T01:52:17.317Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you have no non-circular basis for believing in induction, surely it is irrational?

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-29T09:18:08.199Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In reality, I believe non-skepticism on religious faith whilst thinking that rationally speaking skepticism is true. I slip up from time to time.

I should note, however, that a lot of my argument is that the rules of logic themselves suggest problems with beliefs as they currently stand- namely those surrounding circular arguments.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-29T08:14:11.832Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ad hominem represents arguing based not on the evidence but on the character of the person giving it. This is bad because it leads people to instinctively ignore arguments from those they dismiss rather than considering them.

In this case it is also circular, as you presume the existence of the skeptic which you should not be able to know.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-29T07:42:12.481Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A premise isn't self-evident because anybody whatsoever would accept it, but because it must be true in any possible universe.

Deductive arguments aren't self-evident, but for a different reason than you think- the Evil Demon Argument, which shows that even if it looks completely solid it could easily be mistaken. There may be some way to deal with it, but I can't think of any. That's why I came here for ideas.

You claim my standards of justification are too high because you want to rule skepticism out- you are implicitly appealing to the fact skepticism results as a reason for me to lower my standards. Isn't that bias against skepticism, lowering standards specifically so it does not result?

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-29T02:24:31.726Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Implicit assumptions- not just the senses, but the reliability of memory and the reliability of rules of induction.

I already mentioned that I believe in the world, not because I think it rational, but as an act of religious-style faith. I think it irrational to believe the world exists because it makes so many assumptions that can't be defended in a rational argument.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-29T02:22:53.373Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why are you applying ad hominem selectively? You wouldn't use an ad hominem argument in most things- why is the skeptic an exception?

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-29T02:16:28.884Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is the problem which must be dealt with. Rather than assume an assumption must be correct, you must somehow show it will work even if you start from no assumptions.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-28T16:04:51.872Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But we are talking about scepticism. It's an exception to the Wittgensteinian rule.

Comment by carinthium on Skepticism about Probability · 2014-01-28T15:35:35.428Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Something is epistemically justified if, as you said, it has some sort of reality to it not by coincidence but because the rule reliably shows what is real. I am trying to find a framework with some sort of reality to it, and that requires dealing with scepticism.