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Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes March 2013 · 2013-03-02T20:15:48.562Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"The 'law of causality' is obsolete and misleading. The principle 'same cause, same effect' is utterly otiose. As soon as the antecedents have been given sufficiently fully to enable the consequent to be calculated with some exactitude, the antecedents have become so complicated that it is very unlikely they will ever recur." - Bertrand Russell "On the Notion of Cause", 1913

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes December 2012 · 2012-12-10T03:34:41.075Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks - makes sense. My fault, I don't know how I missed that post... I love this blog!

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes December 2012 · 2012-12-10T03:08:13.431Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Reason for downvotes please?

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes December 2012 · 2012-12-08T05:32:56.750Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"To paraphrase Mayor Daley, logic is not there to create truth, logic is there to preserve truth." - Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes December 2012 · 2012-12-04T14:28:10.607Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd say that is a fair answer. Without more context it’s hard to say exactly what Turing meant; he might have been referring to the different ways science and religion each handle causality. In science, causes are local in space and time -- perfectly modeled by a differential equation. In religion, causality is placed by fiat: a First Cause (boundary condition at the beginning of time) or final causes (teleology).

Another way of looking at the quote is to notice that physics especially concerns itself with continuous changes in space and time. Each infinitesimal chunk of spacetime is governed by its immediate neighbor. But this leads to a difficult question as you expand the system under consideration: who or what determines the ultimate boundary conditions of the differential equation?

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes December 2012 · 2012-12-03T23:00:51.179Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition."

Alan Turing, Alan Turing: the Enigma (Vintage edition 1992), p. 513

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-06T21:20:33.928Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Explanation for the down votes please?

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-06T01:00:50.960Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

E.T. Jaynes on the Mind Projection Fallacy and quantum mechanics:

"[T]he mysteries of the uncertainty principle were explained to us thus: The momentum of the particle is unknown; therefore it has a high kinetic energy." A standard of logic that would be considered a psychiatric disorder in other fields, is the accepted norm in quantum theory. But this is really a form of arrogance, as if one were claiming to control Nature by psychokinesis."

Comment by endlessenigma on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-06T00:39:15.560Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The discovery of truth is prevented most effectively, not by false appearances which mislead into error, nor directly by weakness of reasoning powers, but by pre-conceived opinion, by prejudice, which as a pseudo a priori stands in the path of truth and is then like a contrary wind driving a ship away from land, so that sail and rudder labour in vain.

  • Arthur Schopenhauer "On Philosophy and the Intellect"