It is unclear to what extent, or even whether, being a victim of sexual abuse causes people to perpetrate sexual abuse. That said, I would personally be surprised if there wasn't some effect.
Caledonian, you're not disputing anything Eliezer said yet you manage to find a way to be disrespectful. I wish you wouldn't.
I think Eliezer makes some good points, but that he is taking them too far. I'm not certain where or how much we disagree though. It would be clearer what he really believes he was forced to discuss/debate a wide range of situations in which he agrees/disagrees that it is worth violating an ethic which is generally a good one.
I encourage people to offer thought experiments in the comments.
For more on the evolution of our moral faculty, see work by people like Marc Hauser & Jonathan Haidt. The former, and perhaps the latter, sees the moral faculty as analogous to Chomsky's universal grammar.
For the record, I never intended to argue that any statement which shifts the audience's priors towards what I perceive to be the truth is justified.
What I was starting to get at, and I hope Eliezer will address, is how we should select which true statements to make.
What about true statements which shift at least one of the listener's priors away from the true prior? What about avoiding true statements which would improve the listener's priors?
I believe that intelligent people sometimes avoid telling lies by selectively choosing truths which manipulate someones priors.
I'm confused, you aren't really arguing that people hiding Jews from the Nazis should answer to the SS honestly? Sometimes honesty is unethical.
If statements I make shift a listener's priors then we can evaluate the statements I choose to make based on how much they shift the listener's priors towards which truths. This is an interesting way, to compare the decision to make different types of possible statements with lies as a special case. "Successful" lies move at least one of the listener's priors away from truth, their belief about what yo... (read more)
I realize it has little to do with the main argument of the post, but I also have issues with Eliezer's claim:
"The experimental evidence for a purely genetic component of 0.6-0.8 is overwhelming..."
Genes matter a lot. But there are a number of problems with the calculation you allude to. See Richard Nisbett's work.