All of aronwall's Comments + Replies

Do you really think that the best way to encourage critical thinking when you're older, is to avoid doing it when you're younger?

No, which is why I refrained from saying any such thing.

Just to be crystal clear, the series of posts explaining why I think Science and my religion are compatible don't exist yet. What I linked to is a series of posts explaining what I think Science is. I wanted to pin that down first before asking what is, or is not, compatible with it. Besides, how Science works is interesting in its own right.

Although I do believe in an afterlife, I do not believe that the mechanism for this is that the soul is immaterial. My "soul" is a pattern of information in my neurons, which is eventually going to be dow... (read more)

Do you have written something that explain that evidence in more detail?
Kind of a shame the doubt and reflection couldn't hold off a bit longer, so that the critical thinking skills could get some firm foundations before crystallizing the social pressure in there permanently.
/me looks with sudden interest You are a scientist.
You've noticed that too?
Does that mean that you are purely focused on having a true belief system and don't want to believe in God because believing in God makes you happy or provides other benefits?
On 18 December 2012 09:13:14PM, user "aronwall" replied "yes" to the question "So you're saying that if the evidence goes against you, you are going to stop being a Christian and self-identify as atheist (note that we do not capitalize that word)?". This comment is to ensure that user "aronwall" shall not be able to disavow this reply; please ignore it otherwise.

The lack of any valid arguments that they are incompatible?

But if you want a much more detailed answer, I'm going to be discussing just this question in the next few weeks on my blog. The posts which already exist are trying to define exactly what Science is, in order to lay the groundwork for this.

Thanks. A sequence of links would be much appreciated. Edit: oops, that was the very object of your post… Checking… argh! 404! As for the arguments… Well on one hand we have seemingly universal laws of physics, and on the other we have (undetectable) immortal souls and miracles. From a cursory look, that simply doesn't add up. We also have perfectly reasonable explanations for religion in a natural world, making the existence of religion very weak Bayesian evidence for a supernatural world. Finally, a secondary, but salient, point: if atheism is false, then which form of supernaturalism is true? If one existing human religion is true, which one? Why are you Christian specifically? Do you have any specific reason to believe Christianity is more likely than any other religion, or did you just happen to enjoy a Christian upbringing? Re-Edit: maybe you addressed those points in your sequence. I'll read it when the links aren't down for me any more.

On the contrary, I want to take seriously all the reasonable arguments on both sides. The fact that I have an opinion about where the evidence as a whole leads does not prima facie make me impossible to argue with. Do you think it's pointless to argue with anyone who has a strong opinion about anything? Or do you think religion is a special case?

As for why I think Christianity is better than other religions, it's mainly because I believe that the Christian miracle claims are supported by better historical evidence than the miracle claims of other religi... (read more)

So, I'm sorry if I'm missing something here, but... your claim is that you have evidence, but you don't wish to discuss ANY specifics? Not even one single example? I mean, yes, I can IMAGINE a hypothetical set of historical data that does that, but I can also imagine the caloric requirements of an elder red dragon.
Never mind.

The fact that I have an opinion about where the evidence as a whole leads does not prima facie make me impossible to argue with.

So you're saying that if the evidence goes against you, you are going to stop being a Christian and self-identify as atheist (note that we do not capitalize that word)?

Taking logs of a dimensionful quantity is possible, if you know what you're doing. (In math, we make up our own rules: no one is allowed to tell us what we can and cannot do. Whether or not it's useful is another question.) Here's the real scoop:

In physics, we only really and truly care about dimensionless quantities. These are the quantities which do not change when we change the system of units, i.e. they are "invariant". Anything which is not invariant is a purely arbitrary human convention, which doesn't really tell me anything about the... (read more)

Isn't the argument to a sine by default a quantity of angle, that is Radians in SI? (I know radians are epiphenomenal/w/e, but still)
Machine learning methods will go right ahead and apply whatever collection of functions they're given in whatever way works to get empirically accurate predictions from the data. E.g. add the patient's temperature to their pulse rate and divide by the cotangent of their age in decades, or whatever. So it can certainly be useful. Whether it is meaningful is another matter, and touches on this conundrum [] again. What and whence is "understanding" in an AGI? Eliezer wrote somewhere about hypothetically being able to deduce special relativity from seeing an apple fall. What sort of mechanism could do that? Where might it get the idea that adding temperature to pulse may be useful for making empirical predictions, but useless for "understanding what is happening", and what does that quoted phrase mean, in terms that one could program into an AGI?
"units are a useful error-checking homomorphism"
2Eliezer Yudkowsky10y
I think it'd be obvious how to take the log of a dimensional quantity. e^(log apple) = apple