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Religion's Claim to be Non-Disprovable

Because religion cites their ancient texts as authority, their historical teachers as guides and examples to be emulated. And this is a necessary part of many religions which would not survive without it.

Trial by combat is gone, and no one cites the code duello as a legal text. Law firms don't cite a professional duelist as a respected founding member to be emulated.

The theory of the four elements is gone. Scientists no longer cite Aristotle as an authority on physics. "Ipse dixit," isn't used even when Aristotle was right.

The theories of colonialism and racial superiority are on the outs. No one publicly asks on a question of government policy "What would Cecil Rhodes do?" Much less assume that that's the right thing to do. Even if they like some writings of Thomas Jefferson, they don't claim they are right because Jefferson wrote them.

Christians cite old testament laws to condemn homosexuality or genesis as an actual text. They cite Moses or Paul as authorities on morality. As authorities on anything. They guide themselves by asking "WWJD?" Catholics even hold up the institution of the papacy as giving moral authority, and accept that the Borgias were legitimate moral authorities.

If a person doesn't view the bible as giving useful historical or scientific knowledge; If they don't accept the teachings of Moses, Paul or Jesus as being specially relevant; If they don't hold up Jesus as a paragon of virtue to be emulated; In what way are they still a Christian?

Desire is the direction, rationality is the magnitude

I actually like that line. There are a lot of people and organizations that are portrayed as rational and evil. Walmart sacrificing all soft values to maximize profit and the robot overlords systematically destroying or enslaving humanity are also views of rationality. They can be used as objections as much as Spock can. This quick joke shows that problems like this are considered, even if they aren't dealt with in depth here.

Keep Your Identity Fluid [LINK]

Funny that the first word of a post rejecting the concept of an identity is "I".

Try dialing down the ridicule. No arguments are made, but you manage to call the opposing ideas ludicrous and ridiculous.

Also try dialing up the empathy. There are some reasons for embracing any belief beyond being unable to accept one's own error. Try to understand why someone might believe or act in a different way.

Trying to Try

Failure is always possible. However there are two responses to failure. One is to be happy with having made the attempt. This does not make failure less likely in the future.

The other is to actually engage with and analyze your failure. If you didn't flip the switch, your failure is a failure. You figure out why you came up with a plan that didn't work. If the switch needs to be flipped again tomorrow, you will have a better chance of flipping the switch tomorrow. If some button needs to be pressed tomorrow, you won't likely fail at button pressing for the same reason you failed at switch flipping.

Doing rather than trying is a commitment to the second response to failure.

Announcing the Complice Less Wrong Study Hall

It's asking for a password to join. What's the password?

Uncategories and empty categories

Savory and spirit are two different types of uncategories. Savory starts by having a well defined and narrow category, flavor. Then it uses negation to eliminate a portion of that category. The color green isn't sweet, but that doesn't make it savory because green isn't a flavor. I have some other valid uncategorical definitions of this type.

A mongrel is a dog that doesn't belong to any recognized breed of dog. Manslaughter is the killing of one human by another human, without the intent of seriously wounding or killing. Health is the state of a living organism without significant disease or injury. Fiction is any story that does not represent actual events.

Spirit is a problem because it is an unanchored uncategory. It doesn't start with a known subset of thingspace, instead it starts with thingspace. To use older terms, a definition is generally genus and differentia. Spirit lacks a genus in the way that savory doesn't.

How much does consumption affect production?

First, is that because they are different things it's not a contradiction to what I said.

The second is that elasticity is not validly applied to long term supply curves, as they are not a function of supply in terms of price.

How much does consumption affect production?

Long term supply curves are different than supply curves. They are similarly named, but different concepts.

Supply curves measure supply at a price.

Long term supply curves measure market equilibrium supply as demand changes over time.

The elasticity measurement is the derivative of supply with respect to price. It cannot be applied to long term supply curves.

How much does consumption affect production?

I'm sorry, that is correct. You were describing a supply curve that doesn't behave normally. So I can't say anything about demand curves. I apologize for the cheap shot.

In the standard economic models, supply and demand curves have elasticity that is a positive, finite number. Infinitely elastic curves are not possible within the standard models.

The priors I start with, for any market, are that it behaves in a manner consistent with these economic models. The burden of proof is on any claim that some market is behaving in a different manner.

How much does consumption affect production?

Cumulative elasticity = Supply Elasticity/(Supply Elasticity - Demand Elasticity).

A cumulative elasticity factor of one means a demand elasticity of 0.

A completely inelastic demand curve is not to be expected in standard economics, and as such it is an inappropriate prior. Thanks for the math demonstrating my point.

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