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Rationality Quotes Thread September 2015

I think (with the caveat that I've read a lot but not all of the sequences) that it is Yudkowsky's position that religions are specific manifestations of a whole cluster of more general failures of rationality, and that once someone truly internalises all of the best techniques for separating probable truths from probable untruths, it will be more-or-less impossible for that person to remain religious (unless, of course, they are sitting on a mountain of evidence in favour of the existence of one or more gods which has not been made available to the rest of us), and that it will be obvious that the specific claims of religions are false.

So yes, there is not much in there that explicitly rebuts the god hypothesis, but probably the closest thing to what you are looking for is Raising the Sanity Waterline, which lists the ideas that ought to make discarding religions into one of the low-hanging fruits of any attempt at upgrading one's rationality.

Effects of Castration on the Life Expectancy of Contemporary Men

Sorry to be a terrible pedant, but isn't it 'orchiectomy' rather that 'oriechtomy'?

Discussion of Slate Star Codex: "Extremism in Thought Experiments is No Vice"

A million dollars is a lot more zero-sum than not killing someone - if I give you a million dollars I lose a million dollars. To make the analogy more accurate, you'd need to stipulate that Joe will kill me if I don't kill him.

Also, I don't think it's fair to ignore the fact that for most people, not killing someone is vastly easier to do at non-self-destructive costs. I appreciate that this is a quantitative argument rather than a categorical counterargument, but if we have atheists who base their sense of morality on a vague consequentialism that they can't quite fully articulate, that's still no worse than Robertson's (presumed) divine command theory, and they should be able to make such such arguments without being accused of hypocrisy for not also advocating actions that would score much worse under their vague consequentialism.

Meetup : LessWrong Scotland

Dang, my first reasonably local one and I'm away in England that weekend. Well, hopefully next time.

Meetup : Glasgow (Scotland) Meetup

It's only a little less faff for me to get to Edinburgh than Glasgow, but I have far more people I can stay the night with there, so please keep me posted.

Meetup : Glasgow (Scotland) Meetup

I exist. I'm actually more east coast, but it looks like attempts to set up an Edinburgh meet-up have fizzled out, so if I can make it to a future Glasgow one, I would be keen to come along.