Comment by criticalsteel on The Parable of the Dagger · 2011-11-26T05:48:46.816Z · score: -6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It took me a while to understand this one because theres allot of assumptions within it. They are;

  • that the king isnt lying

  • that the king isnt mistaken

  • that the inscription isnt lying

  • that there is infact 1 key or dagger.

All of which have to be taken on faith. Which my brain obviously couldnt handle.

But if you belive all of that. The you should find that; as the king told you one box contained the key, then there is only one key, and of the other box is to be believed "that both boxes contain the same mystery item" then thats a contradiction, which means the opposite box is more likly to be true.

However this is wrong.

If the king is to be believed, then theres a 50/50 chance no matter what box you pick. But if the box is to be believed, then the other box is the container, but it could be lying. Therefore the chance is still an irreducible 50/50. Furthermore, believing either claim would require an assumption that the game was set up fairly or unfairly. And we know assumptions to be fallacies and never to make them.

The answer to the box question can only be worked out once the box is opened and the evidence is found. The validity of the claims can only be tested by using them.

As this is used as a proof of the core sequence “37 ways words can be wrong” “A word fails to connect to reality in the first place.”

I must say that it in no way supports this conclusion.

Comment by criticalsteel on The Parable of the Dagger · 2011-11-25T19:19:15.703Z · score: -15 (17 votes) · LW · GW

Wow... people give you negative carma, just because they dont understand your analogy...

Deal or no deal...

Comment by criticalsteel on Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics · 2011-11-25T05:14:47.273Z · score: -13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

“person does not tell the truth regarding critical matters to a reasonable woman, and as a result of misrepresentation she has sexual relations with him.”

First of all, how in the hell would you decide what is and isnt a critical matter. Its an appeal to authority of the most crazy kind. Now we cant even lie to protect ourselves for the reason that the law would always find in the favour of the plaintiff.

And what happens to omissions? Pretty soon we wont be able to have privacy atall, and instead, have state approved truths and security cameras on every street... but, we allready know that israel is a police state.

No amount of force results in logic. Science needs to hurry its ass and replace law.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-25T03:11:17.552Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

mouth making promises my brain cant keep.

Comment by criticalsteel on Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics · 2011-11-25T02:10:12.224Z · score: -7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You clearly know something of the law. Then why would you try to learn from a case in an israeli jurisdiction!? They still use relgious law there. Which is the most obvious kind of appeal to authority fallacy the law produces. Clearly the verdict, case and even police cannot be trusted to be unbiased.

Comment by criticalsteel on 37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong · 2011-11-25T01:33:19.084Z · score: -4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

A collection of religions is no different than one religion. Even christianity has a collection of similar relgions like mormonism, but they are all classified as relgions. Because they share common parts.

And while there may be many definitions of god. If they pertain to a deity then they are indeed a relgion. It is easy to dissprove deities by experimental evidence.

You then go on to describe your definition of a relgion, and try to apply that to atheism. However this is not really a proper definion, as athiesm is based on scientific evidence, and not philosophy. But, i agree with you that there are a large number of bad practicing athiests that straw man, ad hominem and appeal to authority very often.

"Who gets to set the value of God, for the test anyway??"

Almost every time there are phonomona attributed to a god, which can be analyised. If they appear at any rate above that of chance, then their claim has some validity. However, i havent heard of this happening yet.

"theism is the only sane choice, with further knowledge and exploration avilable from there." Just because you say it is, doesnt make it true.

"Atheism would require refutation of creation, or of all forms of existance (even illusionary ones)."

No, athiesm requires proof of creation, in any form. It does not need to refute the idea of a creator which, without evidence is just a hypothesis.

"Consensus agreement on belief doesn't make it any truer (or falser)" True.

"and all tests must be done in context to the Information under examination."

The information in this case, is a hypothesis. In good science, there is allways a null hypothesis explaining the oppoiste. The experiment then answeres both of them.

"All atheist arguments re: god seem to rotate around a strawman assumption of God… And then they go on to build a Jengo of arguments and assumptions to prove their beliefs are correct”

Most often they use the claims made by the religious themselves, and their books.

A good atheist or scientist, has no beliefs, but only evidence. And lack of evidence in favour of a religion weakens the credibility of the person or the book.

Comment by criticalsteel on 37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong · 2011-11-25T00:57:35.406Z · score: -6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

“2. Your argument, if it worked, could coerce reality to go a different way by choosing a different word definition.”

Bending, and crafting false definitions is reprehensible, but can be easily disproved with evidence.

“3. You try to establish any sort of empirical proposition as being true "by definition". Socrates is a human, and humans, by definition, are mortal. So is it a logical truth if we empirically predict that Socrates should keel over if he drinks hemlock? It seems like there are logically possible, non-self-contradictory worlds where Socrates doesn't keel over - where he's immune to hemlock by a quirk of biochemistry, say. Logical truths are true in all possible worlds, and so never tell you which possible world you live in - and anything you can establish "by definition" is a logical truth.”

This is wrong. A good critical thinker would simply say it is a generalisation fallacy to assume all humans are susceptible to hemlock. And that is all that is needed. Even though not all generalisations are false, as to say that, would itself be a generalisation of generalisations. So we simply say it is likely that he is susceptible, or that most humans are susceptible.

Unfortunately, the article has not supported its conclusion with any of its evidence.

“You try to establish any sort of empirical proposition as being true "by definition".” If something fulfils all the criteria of a definition. Then it can be referred to as such. If we are looking at a cup of milk. We see that; by definition, it must be made of the same components as milk of any animal, and must also be in a container with an open end. Therefore, the argument; “this is a glass of milk” is proven by the criteria of the definition, for which we have found evidence for.

This “establish any sort of empirical proposition as being true "by definition".” Is just a convoluted theory that makes the mistake of never collecting evidence to prove the definition. If it was true, then its own definition of the particular action described, would also prove nothing. Therefore it is a contradiction, or inconsistency fallacy or another circular argument.

I have only begun to analyse this set of information. But it seems that everything here is likely to be wrong.

Comment by criticalsteel on 37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong · 2011-11-25T00:16:22.873Z · score: -7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"There's no way my choice of X can be 'wrong'" is nearly always an error in practice, whatever the theory. You can always be wrong. Even when it's theoretically impossible to be wrong, you can still be wrong. There is never a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card for anything you do. That's life."

AHahahaa oh god... thats a contradiction, or inconsistency fallacy.

If "whatever the theory. You can always be wrong." does it mean that THIS theory is wrong?

  1. A word fails to connect to reality in the first place.

The example given: framster, could mean anything. We don’t know. Its not a matter of the word failing to connect to reality. Its is a flaw of our interpenetration of the word. Framster could mean philosopher in Cantonese.

I think you mean, a word that fails to describe reality properly.

In the source for this point it seems that the sentence used is actually a very badly structured question with no English grammar.

The answer to this question is: neither of the boxes can be believed to be true without evidence, no matter what they purport is inside them. So if the king is to be believed that one contains the key, it is still a 50/50 chance, and will never reduce from that. A truly logical person would never believe the king and gamble with his life.

In a similar way the statement “this statement is false” doesn’t pertain to anything and therefore has no evidence to analyse. The argument is often put forward that the statement is deliberately structured to pertain to itself, but without any evidence to lend credibility to its analysis of itself, it cant be believed. That is to say; just because you write it down on a peace of paper, doesn’t mean its true or real, or, just because you believe yourself to be the king, doesn’t mean you are.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-24T21:15:17.581Z · score: -6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"I've not made any argument to you"

Everything you SAY is an argument, a proposition, everything is a theory until proven. Which the credibility must be analysed by critical thinking criteria.


If your making an argument that doesnt include evidence then your not being logical.

"this is an instruction"

Who are you, who is to suggest instructions to me, without any evidence or credibility atall by the critical thinking criteria.

"Improve your manners or be downvoted to oblivion, again, and again, and again."

Restricting the options fallacy

I'll choose door number 3 please: I'll continue using critical thinking, proving you wrong. Untill you all come around... or not.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-24T20:55:27.131Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

He hasn’t proven anything yet...

All i did was challenge the "here be dragons" video, on its flaws, as per critical thinking. Which is the premier, logical method. But none of you seem to know it.

Now, having challenged your beliefs i am subjected to a cascade of arguments filled with logical fallacies in their critical thinking.

Simply put. You condemn what you don’t understand.

Also, most of you here are completely illogical and cannot even make a comment without handicapping yourself.

Just what makes you think you can down vote a critical thinker, when you yourself cannot even do it?

There are massive, gaping flaws in the core principles you all take for granted. Most of them are based on opinion and never tested, obviously, because their full of logical fallacies which people have known about since the 1700s.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-24T20:19:51.600Z · score: -6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

“Not at all. It is entirely legitimate to down-vote completely crackpot ideas purely because hearing the same old completely crackpot ideas can be annoying.”

Just because you call something crackpot doesn’t mean its true. Just because you call something legitimate doesn’t mean its true.

Indeed you are committing a circular argument fallacy right now.

“Circular arguments are arguments that assume what they’re trying to prove. If the conclusion of an argument is also one of its reasons, then the argument is circular.”

And by criticising me instead of my argument, you are also committing an ad hominem fallacy.

““Ad hominem” is Latin for “against the man”. The ad hominem fallacy is the fallacy of attacking the person offering an argument rather than the argument itself.”

The only problem is. Every time you fail to PROVE it is crackpot. You commit another one of these fallacies.

"entirely different kind of 'conspiracy' used in law"

There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between the conspiracies used in law.

Your dangerously close to making an appeal to authority fallacy. These 3 usually come as a set.

“An appeal to an authority is an argument that attempts to establish its conclusion by citing a perceived authority who claims that the conclusion is true. In all cases, appeals to authority are fallacious; no matter how well-respected someone is, it is possible for them to make a mistake.”

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-24T19:54:54.829Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"Your comments were full of implicit and explicit signals of condescension towards the people you were talking to."

no source.

“It would only be an "ad hominem" fallacy if I was pretending to attack your argument: if I used an attack on your person in order to undermine your position. But I'm not doing that : I'm attacking your person, in order to have you improve your attitude, regardless of what position you hold.”

“Ad hominem” is Latin for “against the man”. “Ad hominems can simply take the form of abuse: e.g. “don’t listen to him, he’s a jerk”.

Your above argument, is also a circular argument. “Circular arguments are arguments that assume what they’re trying to prove. If the conclusion of an argument is also one of its reasons, then the argument is circular.”

So, the reason are trying to improve my attitude, is because of my attitude (which is your conclusion). So if you believe the attitude is there. Then you are fine with this conclusion. But if you don’t… Either way you keep believing exactly what you did before.

My attitude is proportionate to my position; my argument is not disproven. So, if i disprove others argument. It is their position which should change.

You need to get used to abandoning positions which no longer work. Instead of trying to re-enforce a failed position.

“As I'm not an American I really don't have an emotional investment on your government”

I’m not American. I was discussing conspiracies. Why is it you think we have to have an emotional investment in things? It is merely a matter of evidence.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-24T05:29:14.198Z · score: -10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This is, for all practical purposes, false.

Because YOU say so? Wheres your evidence? Coz all i see is a theory...

"Obnoxious" and "arrogant" are not properties like "blue" or "spherical" or "rumbling" that correspond to objective phenomena independent of social context.

Yes they are. They have set definitions in dictionaries. The evidence would be a specific quote, and the explanation of how the quote achieves the criteria of the dictionary.

Your "social context" does not prove anything besides you perception. Which is hardly evidence on its own.

"If you say the ball is spherical and everyone else around you says the ball is cubic, you are almost certainly correct despite being a minority of one."

No you arnt... jeez, you people dont understand a damned thing about logic or scientific method.

Things arnt real just because you perceive them to be real. Their real because they can be repeatable PROVEN to be real.

What you just described is being biased to your own view. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT ALL THIS TIME...

"If everyone around you says that you are obnoxious and arrogant, then you are, in fact, obnoxious and arrogant, even if you beg to difer."

This is the complete opposite of what you just explained. Now, i'm not "certainly correct despite being a minority of one." Because "If everyone around you says that you are obnoxious and arrogant, then you are, in fact, obnoxious and arrogant".

If everyone around me said we should all jump off a bridge that wouldnt make them any more correct than if i was on my own saying we should all jump off a bridge.

The missing link is; evidence.

For example, if i was the only one on fire, and the bridge had water below, and was the only way i could be extinguished. Then, considering the evidence, i would be justified. But if i tried to convince others who were not on fire. Then i wouldn’t be justified.

BUT YOU!!! You would jump along with me!

Huehuehue.... aint i a stinka?

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-24T03:30:51.820Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW


Obnoxious and arrogant is in the eye of the beholder...

I tell people about the flaws in their arguments and theories and suddenly I AM THE ONE who's being arrogant. I find its verry common for people to start to criticise me personally after i have identified a number of critical thinking fallacies in their arguments.

This conforms to the definition of an ad hominem fallacy.

"the fallacy of attacking the person offering an argument rather than the argument itself." ~

Most often they criticise my tone, or by taking everything ive said as an insult instead of as identifying a logical puzzle for them to solve.

If they used critical thinking and scientific method and debated often, like me, then they would work out many of lifes puzzles, which is why i am such a strong proponent of it as a teaching method.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-23T23:22:37.457Z · score: -9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

What!? This is no game! No matter how much you repeat it.

I am not twisting words. The flaws and fallacies have clear, unequivocal definitions.

Furthermore. I prefer the term logical. Because rationales can be different. But logic is a matter of evidence. You either are logical, or you arnt.

"troll somewhere else."

You'd rather attack me than the reasoning of my augment, because you'd lose if you did. Ad hominem fallacy.

So far your only criticism of me is something which you have failed to prove. Indeed you are not resisting debating. Now you are resisting critical thinking. And if you refuse, repeatable demonstrated evidence, then you also refuse scientific method.

You are backtracking your way away from logic merely because it doesnt fit with your dearly held opinions and biases.

Your not making your opinions pay rent. Even when their worth less than a wooden nickel.

Somtimes people like you make me think that the lessons i have learnt, cannot be tought by exercising them, like in a debate. But the information that you absorbe is not under my control, and eventually put down to biases.

I do ask one thing. What is your IQ, if i may?

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-23T19:17:38.498Z · score: -12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

"I believe..."

Denial is soo last centaury... whats the null hypothesis on that one btw?

"standards of rational discussion"

"assume that the remainder of my reply consists of"

"rational discussion"




What the fuck am i reading!?

"straw man", "non sequitur" or "no, that's just plain wrong".

Wait... you really have no idea what book i'm getting this from do you? Because that last indulgence of yours, is not a part of critical thinking. Which means your condemning something which you cannot do yourself.

"Merely description and observation which readers can agree with or disagree with themselves based on their own observations of the context and intellectually oriented social dynamics."

Why is it you dont say evidence there and avoid doing so. You do know scientific method, dont you?

"Basically I just agree with lavalamp in the ancestor and will down vote all comments of the form seen here without further engagement."

So, not only will you not learn critical thinking or debating. But you wont review any document which i produce which contains them. Furthermore, you find it reasonable and good, to down vote all the above argument, without reviewing it.

Bias and generalisation.

You cant honestly expect to have credibility under these circumstances...

How about this for a contract. You learn from whatever sources fit with your biases. And i'll learn from everything there is available. Then, we can compare whos smarter.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-23T06:13:35.901Z · score: -8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

spin my opponents words...

You cant spin something which has a clearly defined definition.


Hum... oh i see. So when an opponent (not enemy) commits 2 fallacies and i only commit 1. Then the judge is somehow being unfair by telling them to improve their argument style.... is that what your saying? The judge is merely working out verisimilitude and is not an appeal to authority, which is what you would say if you knew a damn thing about logic and critical thinking.

"the more they are able to prove how unnecessary it is to update based on evidence."

But wait. Isnt that exactly why your saying that you wont update to learn debating? In that way your making a circular argument and have no proof.

"Whether you are too far gone to recover is yet to be seen but your arguments here remind me more of boxing than of thinking. Which is fine - epistemic rationality is a less useful skill in most situations than rhetoric."

This is just some rehearsed argument that you wished to give to some other debater and bares no resemblance to me or anything i have said. Critical thinking and debating procedure certainly arnt rhetoric, but the fact that you say so proves you are emotionally involved (something which debating trains you not to do), so it is clear you arnt very logical.

My skills far exceed debating but i accept it as the first experimental test of a theory. Since this site is composed mainly of theories which manifest into ideologies like the singularity, then debating is clearly something you need. Furthermore it is a bias of yours. You are biased against debating. It is likly you are home to several theories that dont hold up under much scrutiny, and scrutiny by standards such as critical thinking, which it is certain you do not grasp. Why is it certain? Because you made a circular argument fallacy. And i still, have made none.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-23T01:30:41.443Z · score: -7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Oh my god....

I just found out what you meant by core sequences.... if you think that

You people are wrong... or... less right than me...

And yes... i may get around to proving this. I may HAVE to.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-22T23:10:16.071Z · score: -7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"Appealing to "proper" debating technique is going to be counter-productive here."

What!? Appealing to logical, turn based, evidence based arguments, is not relevant to this argument?!?

"getting the right answer."

And you think.... that thats going to happen without debating right? Right?

"Debates as commonly practiced train you to write your conclusion before searching for the reasons"

No it doesnt. Being for the proposition of an argument is NOT a conclusion, it is a theory.

You get points here because your actually talking about scientific method (i hope).

"You should read much more of the sequences before calling us wrong so authoritatively."

I'm willing to admit thats possible. But my last post. Is fine the way it is.

You didnt prove anything, and my later researching of "map and territory" or "belief and reality" (which i take to be a theory which is a proposed addition to the list of flaws and fallacies.) didnt lend any greater credibility to your point.

Its use of the term belief immediately characterises my argument as a belief, instead of evidenced based. Beliefs do not require evidence, they require faith. Therefore your fallacy does not apply here. Furthermore, it is very fallacious and risky to use this fallacy "belief and reality" because it can be stated, without the user ever having to prove the veracity of “belief and reality” by; disproving the evidence submitted, proving something is a ‘belief’ and based on faith, providing contrary evidence to prove that ‘reality’ is indeed different from the so called ‘belief’.

This new fallacy, "belief and reality" instead substitutes a group of different fallacies which could be used instead. They are:

  • appeal to authority (in the case the map/belief is issued by an authority that does not evidence that it is correct)

  • correlation not causation (where it is confused which is the map/belief and which is the reality)

  • thin end of the wedge (where the maps representatives is taken to extremes)

  • restricting the options (where the map omits valuable information about reality)

Of all the fallacies I expect that restricting the options is the one that is the most representative of the bias their trying to convey here.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-22T19:20:32.934Z · score: -12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

sigh You obviously have no idea how to debate.

Your first point must ALLWAYS contain the evidence it is based on, BEFORE moving on. For example;

"Pigs can fly, flying is achieved by the length of the wing being greater on the top, creating an area of low pressure, effectively sucking the plane into the sky."

The first 3 words, were not verified in any way.

If it is indeed "the map and not the territory" as you say. Then it is the arguers fault (arguers for the proposition).

You see; debating method (all academic debating methods) require the argument is taken in turns. And if the guy has not presented any evidence at the end of the first sentence, let alone after a 15 min and part 1 of the video. Then they are going to get torn a new one, by the other team (arguers against the proposition).

“You didn't cite any[fallacies].”

I said: “generalisations, using the words 'all conspiracy theorists'”

That counts as 1 fallacy (why did you miss that?), and in debating terms, he is now 1 point down. My argument, which contains no fallacies (and you haven’t found any yet). Is still at 0. Therefore not much more analysis is needed to know he is wrong.

“The video's creator's name should be capitalized. Also, she prefers to be addressed as Miss Shirley Representing the Point.” Wat… oh I see… what a robust argument… descending into criticizing spelling errors.

“Please read the material that is the background for many on this site if you are going to try to engage with the ideas here: Map and Territory, Words”

I might… but as of yet, your “map and territory” is looking mighty fallacious. I really REALLY doubt that you can vindicate it.

I’m seeing the shadow of flaws and fallacies, cast throughout this entire website, for 2 main reasons; no experience debating and actually testing the theory, and, very little experience using strict critical thinking. And above all else, TOO MANY PSYCHOLOGY THEORIES.

Psychology AND theory, bare no impact upon evidence based arguments. The evidence is either real or fake, true or false. It exists in a binary state of 1 or 0, it does not matter who is looking at it, or what state their mind is in, as evidence is independent of mind as it exists outside of it. (oh here come the thumbs-down due to biased psychologists)

Comment by criticalsteel on [SEQ RERUN] The Robbers Cave Experiment · 2011-11-22T02:23:40.924Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

i recommend reading the full article before this post

Lets start with criteria of credibility (CRAVEN), and possible sources for bias.

"Sherif" is not a highly credible scientific accolade. Indeed, the fact that they work for the 'law' already means their fine with making the appeal to authority fallacy. Which casts a shadow over this whole experimental report. The one responsible for the most descrete and subtle uses of biases and fallacies is most likely, the law.

See if you can spot the hidden term, which might be biased in the so called "experiments" stated aim:

"investigate the causes - and possible remedies - of intergroup conflict."


The term remedy is a legalese term that implies that injury has already occurred. But it also assumes a guilty party, the party that shall be “remedying” the problem, that is, if the law can make them. (so we’re already agreeing with the law as a scientific instrument, and as the top authority, even If we didn’t know it.)

This leaves the objective of the experiment as; to determine the guilty party and remedy of class warfare.

Furthermore, its conclusion; “The only way the counsellors managed to bring the groups together was by giving the two groups a common enemy.”

This is clearly a biased interpretation of what happened. They were, more likely, prioritising. Deciding; “I’ll deal with this asshole before I deal with these other assholes because without water we’ll all be dead in a week.” And all this happened subconsciously, or group consciously, or even consciously… we cant really know. But in any case, they were making the right decision.

But what of the other objective? To “investigate the causes”. Well from this experiment we can only conclude one thing, and it’s a doozy. Care to speculate what it is?


The only thing that this experiment proves fully is; that when groups are split apart and given tasks which bring them into conflict. That it is to the benefit of a third group. In this case, those creating the experiment. Not only does this directly echo what conspiracy theorists are always saying. But it proves they are likely to use positions of authority(authoritarianism) to do it i.e. camp councillor, assigning camps etc.

Even more ironically, considering that the experiment was conducted in the aftermath of ww2. Hitler himself was responsible for several conspiracies to worsen the crisis and force conflict between germans and german jews, communists. Such as the Reichstag fire.

On another note. They are very free with the use of the term 'class warfare' for the situation they have directly created, even though it bares only passing resemblances to the subjugation of jews in ww2. This is infact a fallacy, most likely a necessary and sufficient condition confusion or, weak analogy.

If I were to name the situation, I would think it better called rivalry. (that’s Victorian grammar btw) So, the stated aim "investigate the causes - and possible remedies - of intergroup conflict."

Should instead resemble: ‘investigate the causes - how to determine a guilty party - of rivalry - when instigated by a third party.

And my final criticism is that no one has asked themselves “should we even stop a conflict”. “Whoever said that conflict is so unnatural and unscientific?” May I remind you that the target of “stopping all conflict” is an extremist end of the spectrum, and the preserve of ideologies like Buddhism and not evidence based science.

So, this is the strange conclusion we find ourselves with.

Comment by criticalsteel on [SEQ RERUN] Every Cause Wants To Be A Cult · 2011-11-22T00:26:55.806Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"As long as the idea's adherents are human, they will be vulnerable to the flaws in reasoning that cause cults." I could say many things here, but hear me out... this one is the most important:

That quote is a circular argument fallacy. It goes: 'Humans cause cults so if you have humans in your group they will cause a cult'

It ignores the idea that the humans MAY not cause a cult. I agree where it says: "Simply basing a group around the idea of being rational is not enough."

But i see that by following critical thinking criteria of credibility and scientific and debating procedure. Would render the group safely filling the criteria of being 'rational'.

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-22T00:01:09.055Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'd have to dissagree, based on evidence. Even if this gets me more thumbs down.

The evidence is: In his description of conspiricies in part 1, he never even once mentiones the word evidence. He doesnt submit evidence. He doesnt prove that what he considers to be a conspiricy theory IS infact either a theory or even a real conspiricy involving a 'group' and 'secrets'. Can you see that? He never even challanges evidence nore finds any in the whole 15min.

A word which he does mention, is philosiphy. Which, has no place in an evidenced based argument.

Without evidence to verify any of his own argument, he decends into fallacies; gerneralisations, using the words 'all conspiricy theorists', and strawmans, miss representing the point.

He fails hard. Please tell me you can see this by the evidence...

Comment by criticalsteel on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-11-20T19:17:10.533Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The "here be dragons" video is nonsence. Sorry.

He commits fallacies of his own in his explanation of fallacies.

He straw mans the entire vaccine debate and the fact that 9/11 was an inside job. Furthermore he casts doubt on "conspiracy theories" with a generalisation (that they are all theories) like a true evangelist.

There are many conspiracies that are historical fact; the Reichstag fire, the gulf of Tonkin, even Caesar’s murder.

I know mentioning the law is an appeal to authority, but, even the law knows of conspiracies. They have conspiracies to pervert the course of justice, conspiracies to commit crimes. And these arnt just coincidental terms.

"Here be dragons" fails, badly. Mainly, by assuming that Critical Thinking is on some sort of political side with science, or at least, the whole of science. Instead of being, in entirety, about analysing evidence.

Comment by criticalsteel on Lawful Uncertainty · 2011-11-19T03:21:39.207Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In summary.

This article seems to re-affirm: You develop a theory and test it by making further observations and following scientific method. (which you should all have memorised)

However one criticism i have is of the statistics gained at the beginning. Surly the challenge is to develop an optimum theory to predict the right card most often. Surly this objective is the same no matter who is being tested, or how many people are being tested. The question would then become; what theory did you use to get your high score? And most answers would be; card counting.