All of Matthew_C.'s Comments + Replies

What makes you think that 'qualia' are a meaningful concept?

The problem, of course, is that qualia (or more generally, experiencing-ness) is not a concept at all (well there is a concept of experiencing-ness, but that is just the concept, not the actuality). A metaphor for experiencing-ness is the "theater of awareness" in which all concepts, sensations, and emotions appear and are witnessed. But experiencing-ness is prior to any and all concepts.


Read chapter 3, then come back and explain why a reductionistic explanation best accounts for the phenomena described there. Because if you are inconversant with the evidence, you simply have no rational basis to make any comment whatsoever.

You also seem to be playing some kind of semantic games with the word "reductionism" which I'll just note and ignore.

Carl Schuman,

I keep posting the link, for a very simple reason.

Eliezer continues to post about the certainty of reductionism, while he has completely failed to investigate the evidence that reductionism cannot account for all of the observations.

He also continues to post snide remarks about the reality of psi phenomena. Again, he has completely failed to investigate the best evidence that he is wrong about this.

The post he wrote here shows a great committment to intellectual integrity. And I honestly believe he means what he wrote here.

I suspect at some ... (read more)

In the interest of helping folks here to "overcome bias", I should add just how creepy it is to outside observers to see the unswervingly devoted members of "Team Rational" post four or five comments to each Eliezer post that consist of little more than homilies to his pronouncements, scattered with hyperlinks to his previous scriptural utterances. Some of the more level-headed here like HA have commented on this already. Frankly it reeks of cultism and dogma, the aromas of Ayn Rand, Scientology and Est are beginning to waft from this blog. I think some of you want to live forever so you can grovel and worship Eli for all eternity. . .

"I think some of you want to live forever so you can grovel and worship Eli for all eternity" The sentence is funnier when one knows that Eli is God in some languages. (not Eliezer but Eli) I would change it to be that reason or rationalism (or Bayesianism) is the object of worship and Eliezer is the Prophet. It certainly makes pointing out errors (in reasoning) in some of the religion posts a less enticing proposition. However, it does seem that not everyone is like that. Also, if actual reason is trusted and not dogmatic assertions that such and such is reasonable then error will eventually give way to truth. I certainly believe Eliezer to be mistaken about some things and missing influential observations about others but, for the most part, what he advocates doing with respect to not shutting down thinking because you disagree with things and other such things is correct. If ones faith in whatever one believes in is so fragile that it can not be questioned then that is precisely when ones faith needs to be questioned. One should discover what ones beliefs actually are and what is essential to those beliefs and then see if the questions are bothersome. If so then one should face the questions head on and figure out why and what they do to ones beliefs.

. . .I would not bother to voice my objection except that you are the leader of a project that if successful will impose on the entire future light cone decisions that will have the same unbendable and irreversible character that physical law now has.

How exquisite to read something like this in a thread attacking the absurdities of the narratives of religious beliefs. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Zenkat, I suspect a great deal of the venom towards Gould is also due to his opposition to certain positions on human population / IQ test differences.