"I can't explain why you are wrong. But, honestly, I can't fully explain why you are right either. Until I can, I'm going to go with the trusty old combination of tradition and gut instinct."

When I understand a valid argument, I do believe it. I don't have a choice in the matter. I'm not sure if anyone has a choice in the matter, although some people may be better at ignoring that the inner voice that requires you to act in accordance with your beliefs.

But I think there is a big difference between being understanding and being unable to counter.... (read more)

[LINK] Why taking ideas seriously is probably a bad thing to do

by David_Gerard 1 min read5th Jan 201343 comments

25


Yvain's blog: Epistemic learned helplessness.

A friend in business recently complained about his hiring pool, saying that he couldn't find people with the basic skill of believing arguments. That is, if you have a valid argument for something, then you should accept the conclusion. Even if the conclusion is unpopular, or inconvenient, or you don't like it. He told me a good portion of the point of CfAR was to either find or create people who would believe something after it had been proven to them.

And I nodded my head, because it sounded reasonable enough, and it wasn't until a few hours later that I thought about it again and went "Wait, no, that would be the worst idea ever."

I don't think I'm overselling myself too much to expect that I could argue circles around the average high school dropout. Like I mean that on almost any topic, given almost any position, I could totally demolish her and make her look like an idiot. Reduce her to some form of "Look, everything you say fits together and I can't explain why you're wrong, I just know you are!" Or, more plausibly, "Shut up I don't want to talk about this!"