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Questions on Theism

LW article Excluding the Supernatural worked for me. I didn't want it to work! I didn't read it as an attempt to change my mind. I just read it because it seemed interesting, and then realized in horror that there probably aren't any deities. Losing my belief in theism was an upsetting experience, though I can't bring myself to regret it.

New Post version 2 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with l–z)

No vote, because I don't typically vote unless something sticks out.

I thought the article was pretty ok. I liked reading your story of personal development. :) The short sections with clearly labelled points were effective. I don't have too much objection to the specific advice you mentioned, except: there were certain ones that apply to, yes, a nice large portion of people, but an individual might find that they are more compatible with people outside that portion (eg. people who appreciate math jokes as flirtation) and I think it's worth looking for that compatibility even if it's not as common.

Experience with dual n-back?

[A discussion between Troi and Data about Riker's possible tactics in a battle simulation.]

DATA: Only twenty-one percent of the time does he rely upon traditional tactics. So, the Captain must be prepared for unusual cunning. Counsellor, Commander Riker will assume we have made this analysis, and knowing that we know his methods, he will alter them. But, knowing that he knows that we know that he knows, he might choose to return to his usual pattern.
TROI: Wait, wait. You're over-analysing, Data. One cannot deny human nature. What kind of a man is Commander Riker?
DATA: A fighter?
TROI: Yes.
DATA: The weaker his position, the more aggressive will be his posture.
TROI: And he won't give up.
DATA: Then despite whatever options he is given, he must be--
TROI: The man that he is, exactly.
DATA: Is that a failing in humans?
TROI: You'll have to decide that for yourself.

-Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 2, Episode 21: "Peak Performance"

Richard Dawkins on vivisection: "But can they suffer?"

I don't intuit any particular correlation between suffering and intelligence. I am not on board with Bentham's idea that capacity for suffering is what counts, morally speaking. It's not intelligence but sapience that I find morally significant.

How exactly do you deal with irrational reactions to insects and spiders?

If it's typical, then I'm atypical. I'm much more squeamish than when I was a kid. As an 8 or 9-year-old I played with live worms and caterpillars and various bugs, and was equally fascinated by the dead ones, even sometimes cutting them open to see the insides. I thought it would be cool to take an anatomy class and dissect cadavers.

Now I cannot bear the sight of bugs. Just looking at them gives me a visceral feeling of horror. Touching them freaks me right out. And I'm pretty sure if I had to dissect a cadaver I'd scream and vomit.

Why No Wireheading?

So you want to wirehead. Do you think you'll have access to that technology in your lifetime?

Malice, Stupidity, or Egalité Irréfléchie?

I didn't pick up that the article was "formulating a hypothesis". Did the article indicate that this is what it was doing? Perhaps I missed it.

Now that I do know, from your comment, that the article was doing that, I have to say I'm a bit surprised; I didn't expect to see that sort of article in the main section. Then again, I'm no expert on Less Wrong so maybe that sort of thing is not so uncommon.

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

My chief complaint is that almost none of the other articles here are as engaging, compelling, or fun as Eliezer's sequences. Which I have finished reading. :(

The elephant in the room, AMA

we're more interested in your anticipations that are related to the above proposition

calcsam, did you not realize this? If not, why?

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