Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote this article about the two things that rationalists need faith to believe in: That the statement "Induction works" has a sufficiently large prior probability, and that some single large ordinal that is well-ordered exists. Are there any ways to justify belief in either of these two things yet that do not require faith?

Not exactly. MIRI and others have research on logical uncertainty, which I would expect to eventually reduce the second premise to induction. I don't think we have a clear plan yet showing how we'll reach that level of practicality.

Justifying a not-super-exponentially-small prior probability for induction working feels like a category error. I guess we might get a kind of justification from better understanding Tegmark's Mathematical Macrocosm hypothesis - or, more likely, understanding why it fails. Such an argument will probably lack the intuitive force of 'Clearly the prior shouldn't be that low.'

1drethelin3yYou can justify a belief in "Induction works" by induction over your own life.

Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017

by MrMind 1 min read17th Jul 201770 comments

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