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Comment by phil_boncer on Dark Side Epistemology · 2008-10-18T20:43:43.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I believe that there are circumstances in which you can say "I feel that X". What that could rationally mean is that you yourself recognize that you do not have enough evidence or knowledge to justify a belief about X vs. not-X, but that without evidence you lean toward X because you like that alternative. You are admitting ignorance on the subject. Ideally, this would then also imply an openness with regard to forming a belief about X or not-X given some evidence -- that recognition that all you have is a feeling about it means a very weak attachment to the idea of X.

PhilB

Comment by phil_boncer on Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans) · 2008-10-17T00:31:00.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Stuart Armstrong wrote: "Still disagreeing with the whole "power corrupts" idea.

A builder, or a secratary, who looks out for his friends and does them favours is... a good friend.
A politician who does the same is... a corrupt politician.

A sad bastard who will sleep with anyone he can is a sad bastard.
A politician who will sleep with anyone he can is a power-abusing philanderer.

As you increase power, you become corrupt just by doing what you've always done."

I disagree here. The thing about power is that it entails the ability to use coercion. What is wrong is not the act of helping your friends, or sleeping around, in themselves; what is wrong is the use of power coercively over others to further these ends. In a sense, it is not so much that "power corrupts" as that "power makes corruption possible to execute". This does not tell us whether the powerless are relatively uncorrupt due to moral superiority, or simply due to inability.

PhilB