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Eliezer once wrote that "We can build up whole networks of beliefs that are connected only to each other - call these "floating" beliefs. It is a uniquely human flaw among animal species, a perversion of Homo sapiens's ability to build more general and flexible belief networks.

The rationalist virtue of empiricism consists of constantly asking which experiences our beliefs predict - or better yet, prohibit."

I can't see how nearly all of the beliefs expressed in this post predict or prohibit any experience.



Forgive me if i've misunderstood but I get the impression from your writings here that you believe no claim can be about reality unless there is some physical configuration of the universe, some state that can be described at the quark level, which would count as evidence against that claim. Claims about morality, by such a standard, cannot be about reality.

On a somewhat unrelated note, do you think the critics of logical positivism were wrong? As I read what you have written here it seems like the philosophy you are expounding is more or less the same old logical positivism, just with special emphasis on bayesian updating and (in the case of this post) palatability.


Please clarify "I do think that reflective loops have a meta-character which should enable one to distinguish them, by common sense, from circular logics."

What physical configuration of the universe would refute this?


Subhan's question here, "How does a universe in which murder is wrong, differ from a universe in which murder is right? How can you detect the difference experimentally?" is such a gem.

I wonder if Eliezer intended it as parody.


Eliezer: What lame challenge are you putting up, asking for a state of the world which corresponds to possibility? No one claims that possibility is a state of the world.

An analogous error would be to challenge those of us who believe in musical scales to name a note that corresponds to a C major scale.

Jim Baxter: Good luck to you. So far as I can tell, a majority here take their materialism as a premise, not as something subject to review.