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New study on choice blindness in moral positions

I don't like either presidential candidate. I need to say that before I say this: using current rather than past political examples is playing with fire.

-2siodine10y
I completely agree with you; there shouldn't be any problems discussing political examples where you're only restating a campaign's talking points rather than supporting one side or the other.
Share Your Anti-Akrasia Tricks

I appear to be unable to delete my comment.

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Measuring aversion and habit strength

I can't really tell whether this is me failing to appreciate some aspect of human experience, or just that the way people tend to do things is stupid.

I wonder the same about myself all the time. Sometimes I feel less..., uh, "human" (?) for it. At those times, I ask myself, "would you rather be doing X?" and the answer is invariably that I would not. I seem to be happier for not doing these things because when I give in and do them, I get bored or annoyed.

Costs and Benefits of Scholarship

Not to belittle KLF's achievements, but is that really the best example you can come up with?

2David_Gerard11y
I doubt I'd call popular culture an important problem. (And I was, fairly clearly I thought, talking about pretty much the entire decade, not just two guys at the end of it.) Except possibly as a threat. It is one that involves moderate quantities of money sloshing back and forth. But, more importantly, undue influence. Most recently, it got its hooks into things that actually affect [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Economy_Act_2010] the rest of the world [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement]. I submit that understanding how an industry that small can punch so ridiculously far above its economic weight may be useful. (Not that PM/crit is fully up to that task yet, and I'm greatly disappointed by that, but it's the right direction.) As my comment notes, it's not something to bother with unless you're interested already, but Luke's invocations of straw postmodernists do come across as declaring ignorance as social signaling rather than as saying something that helpfully places these fields in their contexts.
Costs and Benefits of Scholarship

I have studied two of the items on his list extensively: theology and literary theory. And I agree that they are worse than worthless.

Here's your evidence: what significant problems have these fields ever solved?

0David_Gerard11y
Well, if you wanted to succeed in pop music in Britain in the 1980s ... [http://lesswrong.com/lw/4sn/costs_and_benefits_of_scholarship/3qls]
Rationality Boot Camp

I too would be interested in doing this next year.

Positive Thinking

I too have noticed this. In fact, most of your post could have been written about me.

0Swimmer96311y
Would you mind explaining how? I would like to see more of other people's observations, since mine are likely to be biased.
The annoyingness of New Atheists: declaring God Dead makes you a Complete Monster?

I actually didn't want to. It was more of an overwhelming evidence deconversion. But I was willing to look at that evidence because I had a strong desire to be a defender of light, to boldly face the philosophical abyss of unbelief--- for God.

Yet there was a key difference somewhere between what I did and what I see a lot of believers do. I read enemy texts, not just friendly texts on enemy ideas. Why did I, in that frame of mind, do that? That might be the thing to figure out and then articulate, as you put it.

The annoyingness of New Atheists: declaring God Dead makes you a Complete Monster?

No, you're right about that. They're not rejecting logic. They use it (selectively). They're just saying "I reject logic" as a tactic to stopsign any arguments in which they get cornered.

I like the idea of getting them to want to accept my beliefs. That's a rather large task though, isn't it? I'm not quite sure how I managed it myself. Sure, now I look back and say, "what a dreadful and frustrating perspective that was in comparison", and now the beauty of what we might achieve without a god, and the natural world, are overwhelming, but how to get that across?

1TheOtherDave11y
My general answer to that question is here [http://lesswrong.com/lw/3sb/the_annoyingness_of_new_atheists_declaring_god/3cft] . In this specific context, I would recommend thinking carefully about what made you want to change your beliefs, assuming you did want to. If you can figure that out and articulate it, you may find that other people in the same position you were in will react to it the same way.
The annoyingness of New Atheists: declaring God Dead makes you a Complete Monster?

That's a rather good point. I suppose I assumed that everyone (on some gut level) endorses logic, that it was just my failure to communicate my point clearly, not that they were viewing logic as external in the same way they did the other evidence.

Yet, I don't see where to go from here. Without getting some sort of commitment to logic, anything I say using any methodology can be rejected for no reason.

Perhaps I ought to use scriptures to show that God endorses logic? Hmm. What a twisted path that is.

4TheOtherDave11y
If they really are rejecting logic in its entirety, as you suggest, then they have insulated themselves from being forced into accepting conclusions they don't want to accept simply because they follow from premises they've previously accepted, so any attempt to convince them that depends on that sort of force will simply fail. It seems to follow that, if you want them to accept your beliefs, you will have to induce them to want to accept those beliefs. All of that said, I'm somewhat skeptical that this is actually what they've done, although of course I don't know the people you're talking about.
The annoyingness of New Atheists: declaring God Dead makes you a Complete Monster?

As a former theist myself, I have found that the most effective strategy is to argue with them from within their worldview and by their own rules. The reason for this is that they (in my experience) flatly reject any evidence external to their religion.

So, rather than discussing the existence of God, assume God exists and then point out that if God were a human, we'd call his motivations needy and depraved. Rather than bringing up outside savior myths which influenced the gospel writers, assume that the gospel is divinely inspired and then point out that i... (read more)

1Desrtopa11y
Have you known this method to ultimately result in theists changing their religious views, and not just their views on logic?
1ata11y
That is true in my experience. I find it somewhat frustrating that I have to argue by picking apart the Bible and defending evolutionary biology instead of by talking about reductionism and Kolmogorov complexity, but the former is what seems to work. (Quoting myself from elsewhere: "I find that deconversions begin more often from a person noticing some internal absurdity in their beliefs than from having the problems in their epistemology explained to them. It’s only once they find they can’t run away from some counterexample to their beliefs that they are willing to consider why such a counterexample is allowed to exist.")
9TheOtherDave11y
This comment puzzles me. You have found that the most effective strategy, if you actually want to convince people of the truth of your position, is to argue from within their worldview and according to their rules. So far, so good... this is also my experience, of both theists and nontheists alike. You have found that some people dismiss "logic itself," which you find (understandably) frustrating. Given those two findings, the natural conclusion seems to be that the most effective strategy for convincing those people is to give up arguing from "logic," discover what it is they are using instead, and argue from whatever that is. Instead, you seem to ignore your own first paragraph and try to convince them using the selfsame "logic" that they dismiss. Why do you expect that to work?