I am a young person who recently discovered Less Wrong, HP:MOR, Yudkowsky, and all of that. My whole life I've been taught reason and science but I'd never encountered people so dedicated to rationality.

I quite like much of what I've found. I'm delighted to have been exposed to this new way of thinking, but I'm not entirely sure how much to embrace it. I don't love everything I've read although some of it is indeed brilliant. I've always been taught to be skeptical, but as I discovered this site my elders warned me to be skeptical of skepticism as w... (read more)

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I have been vocally anti-atheist here and elsewhere, though I was brought up as a "kitchen atheist" ("Obviously there is no God, the idea is just silly. But watch for that black cat crossing the road, it's bad luck"). My current view is Laplacian agnosticism ("I had no need of that hypothesis"). Going through the simulation arguments further convinced me that atheism is privileging one number (zero) out of infinitely many possible choices. It's not quite as silly as picking any particular anthropomorphization of the matrix lor... (read more)

3Desrtopa7yHow legitimate does "most legitimate" have to be? If I thought there were any criticisms sufficiently legitimate to seriously reconsider my viewpoints, I would have changed them already. To the extent that my religious beliefs are different than they were, say, fifteen years ago, it's because I spent a long time seeking out arguments, and if I found any persuasive, I modified my beliefs accordingly. But I reached a point where I stopped finding novel arguments for theism long before I stopped looking, so if there are any arguments for theism that I would find compelling, they see extremely little circulation. The arguments for "theism" which I see the least reason to reject are ones which don't account for anything resembling what we conventionally recognize as theism, let alone religion, so I'm not sure those would count according to the criteria you have in mind.
1metatroll7yI have no sense of what's important, and respond to stimuli that I should just ignore.

Open Thread, May 1-14, 2013

by whpearson 1 min read1st May 2013649 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.