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Comment by roxton on The Fallacy of Gray · 2013-05-29T17:57:58.416Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Point taken, but I would advance the view that the popularity of such a categorical point stems from the fallacy. It seems to be the backbone that makes deontological ethics intuitive.

In any event, it's still clearly an instance of begging the question.

But my goal was to cast a shadow on the off-topic point, not to derail the thread.

Comment by roxton on The Fallacy of Gray · 2013-05-29T15:26:54.532Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Doesn't "coercive violence is bad" beg the question in a way that would only be deemed natural if one were implicitly invoking the noncentral fallacy?

Comment by roxton on Call for Anonymous Narratives by LW Women and Question Proposals (AMA) · 2012-09-18T18:55:27.136Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

[Off-topic discussion taken offline.]

Comment by roxton on What is moral foundation theory good for? · 2012-08-15T13:44:24.492Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Except you totally do so imagine, because you could only get away with such dickish social signaling if my communication style was unacceptable in a group context.

Comment by roxton on What is moral foundation theory good for? · 2012-08-14T18:29:28.835Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How many people that self-identify as liberal would agree that liberalism is "the erosion of the presumption of a privileged ontology"?

<1%. And that must be accepted as a criticism. However, I would contend that individual liberal battles can readily be perceived as fitting comfortably in this framing.

Also, in what way does the Ten Commandments rely on a "privileged ontology" that human rights does not?

I imagine you will agree that the concept of "putting presumptions under erasure" is not something that expresses itself well in dialog. You will notice that a hallmark of the occupy movement and human rights is that they are generally used vaguely.

This is because they "happen to categorize" the kinds of policies that are advocated when the rationalization of the status quo is put under erasure.

Now, I'll acknowledge that this framing fails because clearly powerful international organizations are asserting definitions of human rights.

I will suggest that this is a tool in the service of the paradigm mentioned, and then I'll acknowledge that this is a fully general counterargument.

And while I've explicitly lost the argument, allow me to ask you to hang onto it, because its corpse is still quite useful.

Comment by roxton on What is moral foundation theory good for? · 2012-08-14T18:05:41.398Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Cogently put.

The "erosion of the presumption of a privileged ontology" sounds more like postmodernism,

An accurate characterization, although I don't share your negative associations with the term.

and "a creative gut context informed by predictive models and evidence", when decoded, seems to mean "inventing the conclusion you want and selecting theories and evidence to fit it".

A reasonable decoding, which means I conveyed the point poorly. The core idea is that you recognize no particular framing as "special." Selecting theories and evidence to fit it would contradict that.

There are a thousand framings in which to consider menial subjects like... food, plastics production, coffee consumption, pain, sexuality, population growth. These framings must be arrived at creatively. To illustrate the complexity, I will add that these framings are, in turn, framed in the context of whether people care about them; how it relates to individual experiences.

These framings often present metrics. Mapping these metrics to a decision is not a deterministic process without arbitrarily privileging one or more framings.

An example of a framing is the old LW yarn comparing torture and minor eye irritants.

Where does evidence fit into this?

Evidence is the one thing, the only thing, that can be privileged without allegations of arbitrariness. (That said, evidence of how people experience things is still evidence.)

So, under this framing, a liberal is anyone who tries to capture all these framings (impossible!) and holding that massive ball of contradiction to their aesthetic eye, makes "educated" decisions pertaining to action or inaction, probably following the lessons of rational instrumentality.

So here's a crazy contention – people who do this tend to, in aggregate, make the same determinations. That's actually not surprising, given ev. psych.

Is it "correct"? No. There is no "correct." But it's a weird thing to argue against, because you'd have to privilege a frame to do it. For example, you could argue for embracing the naturalistic fallacy, because it works, thus, without thought or conscience, privileging your frame over all the anti-rape framings.

Comment by roxton on What is moral foundation theory good for? · 2012-08-14T13:17:04.969Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I feel like I'm getting a communal "No. Just.... no." here.

Comment by roxton on What is moral foundation theory good for? · 2012-08-14T11:52:11.621Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I believe you misframe the liberal position.

Liberalism can be meaningfully defined as the erosion of the presumption of a privileged ontology. Rational debate is possible, to the extent that it serves to undermine privileged ontologies.*

When somebody raises a proposal, the argument that might follow typically involves participants inferring and teasing out the relevant premises, and then arguing them.

In contrast, Liberalism tries to identify the ontologies underpinning the premises, and then encourages you to recognize that ontology as arbitrary, have the self-awareness to treat that ontology as a rationalization for your motivations, and decide whether you're willing to be a bully and acknowledge yourself as such. (I suppose OCPD creates its own motivations, allowing elegant and/or simpler models to dominate for some people.)

In the end, the policies adopted by liberals can't be argued for. They just can't be argued against effectively, except in a creative gut context informed by predictive models and evidence.

*(or creatively flesh out and validate/invalidate predictive models)

I would end the comment here, but I can't resist quibbling on one point. I believe you are confusing liberalism's erasure of the old regime with a rejection of regulation. Sex is more policed now than ever, in a state enforcement context, a social coregulation context, and a support system context – all this with dramatic consequences.

"Sacredness" is a word we use to create moral models around feelings. If liberals choose to "make way" for those feelings, does that mean they've bought into a sacralizing mentality? No.

Comment by roxton on LW's image problem: "Rationality" is suspicious · 2011-07-19T18:23:40.466Z · score: 23 (25 votes) · LW · GW

If you want to promote the republishing of LW articles, I think you'd be more inclined to drop the Singularity/Futurism bits from the tagline. They're alienating and off-message, I think.

Also, when I try to share an article on G+, G+ pulls the following text for summary: "Less Wrong Discussion Future of Humanity InstituteSingularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Main. Posts; Comments. Discussion. Posts; Comments. Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refin...". No good.