Eliezer Yudkowsky : But the actual topic of this blog is cognitive bias and rationality
This is exactly what I mean, there are strong cognitive biases underlying the singularitarian ideas and since your "best analogies, metaphors, and examples tend to involve Singularity/transhumanism" don't be surprised they are questionned.
Anna : For you.
No this is not a personal opinion, the fact that ethical behavior is for a large part innate is shown by psychological studies, and also philosopy back to millenia ago, Confucius and more.
Anna : A religious person may feel that their ethical behavior is governed by their faith.
Young children "feel" that some of the gifts they get are from Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, because they are told that.
Anna : I believe in Something as opposed to Nothing but I am not a theist. I don't believe in Gods or Goddesses.
I don't see how that's relevant.
FYI, atheists aren't believers in Nothing. (Please show us an instance of Nothing)
It is relevant to ask about theism because it is commonplace for religionists to claim that there can be no morality without faith.
Anna : I agree that it's futile [bringing "rationality" to moral dilemmas]
Certainly not for the same reasons than me, you likely didn't read the comment I linked to, I will reproduce the substance below :
[bringing "rationality" to moral dilemmas] is the typical legacy of the Greeks who "invented" logic for this very purpose.
Yet it does not make any sense because our actual decision making (in moral matters as well as in anything else) is NOT rational.
But George Ainslie thesis that we use hyperbolic discounting to evaluate distant rewards instead of the "rational" exponential discounting casts serious doubts about our ability to EVER come with consistent judgements on any matter.
That may be the real cause for most occurrences of akrasia which are always noticed ex post facto.
Trying to enforce "rationality" upon our decisions may lead to severe psychiatric problems:
Intertemporal bargaining also predicts four serious side effects of willpower: A choice may become more valuable as a precedent than as an event in itself, making people legalistic; signs that predict lapses should become self-confirming, leading to failures of will so intractable that they seem like symptoms of disease; there is motivation not to recognize lapses, which might create an underworld much like the Freudian unconscious; and concrete personal rules should recruit motivation better than subtle ones, a difference which could impair the ability of will-based strategies to exploit emotional rewards.
Anna : Rationality is about looking at it from someone else's point of view and deciding if it is "right for you" or "wrong for you", without judgement.
Either I don't catch at all what you mean or you have strange ideas about rationality.
To me rationality isn't (primarily) about someone else's point of view but about using evidence and sound inferences to build a model of perceived reality.
Nothing to do with "right for [me]" or "wrong for [me]" or with judgement.
If I am using rationality I can expect to be able to share the resulting model with other people (intersubjectivity) or to amend or replace this model if I am shown factual errors or omissions in either my evidences or my inferences.
This does not seem to be possible when the "other people" take exception of "faith" to assert or deny facts without evidence or condone faulty inferences.
Anna : Morals are about beliefs and faith.
You are just asserting the point you supposedly want to debate!
Anna : Ethical behavior is about "right or wrong".
You are making up your own definitions, not much chance to reach any agreement on the substance of the debate if the terminology is uncertain.
I would ask anyway, "right or wrong" about what and for whom?
Anna : "How can I believe myself to be rational and logical and still believe in something that I can't see, hear, touch, taste or smell."
Physicists "believe" in quarks, cosmologists in Dark matter neither of which they can see, hear, touch, taste or smell.
Yet they are pretty hardcore rationalists, how do they do?
Anna : I apologize, (yes, that's weird to you, I know) if my post was too long.
How funnny, you seem to feel blamable for the length of your post but not for sneaking in a snide remark.
I surmise that you feel guilt about "breaking the rules" but don't really care about fellow humans.
An afterthought which I think is relevant to this thread.
I argued before that the whole idea of bringing "rationality" to moral dilemmas is futile and dangerous.
Anna : I guess this weird one is not smart enough to grasp your intellectual ideas. Thanks for your time, it has been interesting.
This is a lame trick!
My point was, ethical behavior is not "governed" by faith, it is endorsed by faith.
I suppose you are a theist, aren't you?
I know these questions don't fit into the main discussion of the thread, my apology.
Weirder and weirder, why would this thread have been titled "Consolidated Nature of Morality"?
For me, morality is about the ethical behavior of individuals or groups.
Playing with definitions, morality see ethics, ethics see morality, what's the point?
Can ethical behavior exist without the rules and regulations that have been governed by faith?
As far as I know ethical behavior is not "governed" by faith, it is endorsed by faith.
The primary source of morality is innate repulsion for acts which will damage the "fitness" of the human specie, incest, killing of kins or children.
On top of that idiosyncratic cultural traits have been built which sometimes run counter the "basics" (head hunting, even of children) but are still rooted in social emotions like conformity to group values.
The various religious faiths only piggyback upon those as a special case of customs.
Anna : If anybody has a moment, I am curious to know how morals can exist without faith?
Aren't you confusing morality with fear of retribution?
I am curious to know what you think morality is about!
Eliezer, was your previous thread "Your Rationality is My Business" about moral judgments or factual beliefs?
It seems you want to discuss the nature of morality WITHOUT discussing more "elementary" assumptions about our relationships to "reality" or "the world at large" or "the universe", etc...
Even the wording above is controversial and a matter of debate.
Sweeping these questions "under the rug" is surely not the way to clarify the discussion about "morality" and reach any kind of consensus.
Most especially if you pretend to have a special right to oversee other people thinking.
Cheap arguments cannot be used to justify "thought police".
RH : I believe every person should do his best to discern what is positive.
Of course but the consensus is not obvious.
the potential entropy of the Universe is truly huge
We certainly are not going to exhaust the potential entropy of the whole universe (though some seem intent on that...) but we can locally exhaust all the potential within reach and by this very fact compromise our access to more "distant" potential.