Azathoth123

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Rationality Quotes November 2014

It seems like half your complaints are that Russian doesn't make some distinction that English does and the other half are that Russian forces you to make distinctions that English doesn't. It strikes me that you're simply more comfortable thinking in English.

A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion

But then you've already lapsed into consequentialism, and thus stuck yourself with a mandate to consider the trade-offs between desirable and undesirable consequences.

Yes, and deontologists and virtue ethicists consider trade offs between different principles or virtues.

This is not what deontological and virtue-theoretic politicians actually do.

This is not what consequentialists actually do either. In particular, I've never seen an actual utility function, much less using one to compute trade-offs.

"Look how morally brave I am for being willing to let this sort of thing happen out of pure principle!"

Well, this is also what consequentialists talking about trolley problems sound like.

A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion

I would guess that they don't exist in some communist countries.

Yes, and those countries' economies aren't doing to well.

A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion

If I understand all of someone's logical arguments for believing what they believe, and I have the knowledge and processing power needed to evaluate those arguments,

Outside of math you also need the relevant evidence, i.e., observations, which requires you to trust that they have been accurately reported.

A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion

So by that standard almost no politicians believe in global warming.

Notice how all the rich actors who show up at charity events to "fight global warming" are also lining up to buy beach front property. (They also tend to fly around in private jets, but that's a separate issue.)

Edit: The reason I didn't use politicians in the above example is that not all politicians can afford beachfront property and the ability to do so correlates with other things that may be relevant to whether you want him in power.

Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014

Sarah Hoyt isn't quite NRx, but her recent (re)post here seems relevant.

In particular, the old distinction between deserving and undeserving poor.

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