Old_Gold

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Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

Our adaptive environment is small forager tribes, not "modern society".

Well, in case you haven't noticed aren't in small forager tribes right now.

Why should we have a moral expectation that people have to "function in modern society" or else be enslaved/institutionalized?

You're right, I left out a few alternatives. We could also deport them to a haunter-gatherer society, let them go around engaging in tribal-style raids (although that tends to interfere with the functioning of modern society for those who can function in it), or let them starve to death.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

You neglected to include a good argument in favor of slavery.

Some people aren't intelligent enough/don't have high enough time preferences to function in modern society. Thus you either need to have them under the control of a master, or you wind up having to put them on the public dole and institutionalize the many of them anyway.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

For instance, suppose my cause is to prevent the growth of a hole in the ozone layer. I tell people they must stop using CFCs.

Well, that raises issues about just how serious a threat was the "hole in the ozone layer", and how much if anything it had to do with CFCs.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

Stop hyper-focusing on individual words to try to score debating points when the intent behind their use is clear from the context, everybody on LessWrong.

There were good arguments for all of those things when they were still in use. There are no good Arguments today for favoring Aristotelian physics over Newtonian physics, Ptolemaic over Copernican, or the phlogiston theory over the oxygen theory, where an Argument means a complete consideration of the evidence and the individual arguments.

I'm not trying to score debating points. I have a serious point, namely that chances are you don't actually know most of the arguments involved, either here or in the political debate. Instead you rely on appeals to authority. This raises the question of how reliable are the authorities. Probably reasonable reliable in the case of physics, rather less so in the case of political issues.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

Slavery, suffrage, Christianity or Prohibition aren't right or wrong in some objective non-moral sense. Arguments for or against such things are inevitably about convincing people, not about some objective truth.

Well three of those four things are essentially government/societal policies, and one can argue about what the consequnces of adopting or not adopting those policies are.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

Let's test your idea that "There are no good arguments for X" is simply how having a successful social taboo against X feels from inside:

"There are no good arguments for the phlogiston theory of chemistry" is simply how having a successful social taboo against the phlogiston theory of chemistry feels from inside.

"There are no good arguments for Ptolemaic astronomy" is simply how having a successful social taboo against Ptolemaic astronomy feels from inside.

"There are no good arguments for Aristotelian physics" is simply how having a successful social taboo against Aristotelian physics feels from inside.

There are in fact good arguments for all three of those theories, and better arguments against. I'm guessing you don't know either arguments, and base your belief in all three based on argument from authority.

Edit: Also the situation isn't exactly analogous due to the difference between debates about physical facts, and debates about policy.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

Ideally, I would estimate the negative effects: how many people would later learn I lied and abandon my cause, and how enemies of the cause might use the fact I lied against it, and the reputational harm to my other causes and to my allies.

Not to mention the damage the people who believe your lies might do by acting on them.

Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market

Those movements didn't require wholesale lying and sleight-of-hand, because they could make valid and true one-sided arguments.

Yes they did, in particular the false claim that there are no significant diffrences between blacks and whites.

It's hard to come up with a good counter-argument to "slavery is bad".

Well, "slavery is bad" isn't even an argument it's either an asertion or at best a value judgement. The fact that this wasn't obvious to you is a sign you haven't thought much about the topic.

Even women's suffrage and Prohibition didn't require lying.

Well, consider how the latter turned out. Prohibition involved making false statements (they might not technichally have been lies only because some of the people making them believe them) about how much of the contry's crime was caused by alcohol. Some counties even sold off their jails after prohibition passed, figuring that without alcohol there'd be no crime so there would be no need for it.

Open Thread Feb 16 - Feb 23, 2016

What might be the cause of the perceived difference between the atheists/nontheists in Europe and in the USA?

Where in Europe? Richard Dawkins is from England and organized things like the infamous atheist bus campaign.

Also numerous European countries used to have atheist militants, of the priest-killing or at least send-priests-to-labor-camps variety.

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