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Burch's Law

In the UK it's tax free, anyway.

Burch's Law

Never a good idea. Unless you win. Ask the recipient of $100m tax-free whether or not it was a good idea to buy a ticket.

I don't buy lottery tickets, but as much as the chance is so ridiculously small that you might as well burn the ticket as soon as you buy it, that doesn't stop people from winning.

The Proper Use of Humility

Wouldn't having three deities instead of one be more complex by their interactions with one another? Even if they existed on separate planes of existence, they would have to all be exerting some kind of influence for them to be gods, no? And in their shared application of influence, would they not be interacting?

Conservation of Expected Evidence

Hi, new here.

I was wondering if I've interpreted this correctly:

'For a true Bayesian, it is impossible to seek evidence that confirms a theory. There is no possible plan you can devise, no clever strategy, no cunning device, by which you can legitimately expect your confidence in a fixed proposition to be higher (on average) than before. You can only ever seek evidence to test a theory, not to confirm it.'

Does this mean that it is impossible to prove the truth of a theory? Because the only evidence that can exist is evidence that falsifies the theory, or supports it?

For example, something people know about gravity and objects under it's influence, is that on Earth objects will accelerate at something like 9.81ms^-2. If we dropped a thousand different objects and observed their acceleration, and found it to be 9.81ms^-2, we would have a thousand pieces of evidence supporting the theory, and zero pieces to falsify the theory. We all believe that 9.81 is correct, and we teach that it is the truth, but we can never really know, because new evidence could someday appear that challenges the theory, correct?

Thanks

Rationality Quotes September–December 2016

I think I understand. The facts should be told because no one would really take the facts at face value, and not draw any conclusions from them. Using the original example, if they say 'they are going to cut off his head' then whoever hears the message will be allowed to work out for themselves whether or not the 'debt to society' was paid. But if they tell us from the start how to think about the events, then we are prejudiced, or at least an attempt has been made to prejudice us.

In this specific example of prison/execution, we already think that the justice system is fair, and that it would be good and proper to only tell people that a debt has been paid, but in other scenarios, including executions in certain other countries, it would be in the best interests of democracy for only the facts to be told. If the general populace decides that a debt has been paid, then the system works, and if people decide that the punishment was unfair, then the system would be adjusted by public opinion (in a perfect world of course).

The idea 'they are going to lock him away and feed and house him for free for the next ten years' could perhaps be seen as a positive, but only within a vacuum. I think that the kind of person who would see a ten year jail sentence as a positive would not be likely to be swayed by platitudes such as the repayment of a debt to society. If anything, stating the facts may remove some air of romanticism or abstraction from the core concept at hand, and serve as a better deterrent than an allusion to a balance within society. ("If you do this, we will kill you" seems to be a rather powerful motivator to me, at least.)