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Comment by martin_lb on Uncritical Supercriticality · 2007-12-05T12:23:08.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me Eleizer has arrived at a line of arguing that mirrors buddhusm and other similar systems. People are attached to certain ideas, concepts, beliefsystems etc, and when two opposing ideas clash together the result is killing, and a destructive spiral. The challenge is to transcend the situation, by being able to keep the mind cold when the rest of society goes amok. Unfortunately while scientists are good at discribing a situation, when it comes to giving normative advice they are mostly useless.

Another thing, faith is so often brought up as a reason for war and massmurder. Equally important imo are other caracteristics of the human psyche like fear, frustration, humiliation and hatred. Just consider why do (or did) so many americans support the senseless attacs on Afganistan and Irak? I would say more beacause they are scared shitless that some arabs might blow up their neighborhod rather than their blind belief in their leader.

Comment by martin_lb on Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions · 2007-08-29T12:15:23.000Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I don't really see the problem here. the causal link from mind to body is not very much more understood today as it was in Lord Kelvins time. To propose that there is a life force involved may not have empirical basis but can be validated by personal experience. And to suggest that there can be nothing more than enzymes, nerve signals, molecules floating around etc. is perhaps also failure to admit ones own ignorance.

Secondly it seems to me that there is a philosophical/existential way of seeing things that is different from the more dry scientific point of view that one usually finds on this blog.

" If I am ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about my own state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself. "

The problem with this statement is that reality is relative and our understanding of it depends on the our limited ways of knowing about it. So to state that something is a mystery or is unknown might also be a recognition of this limitation. Something at one level of understanding might be something different on another level.

But of course this should not prevent us from trying to find out what is hiding behind the mystery.