Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 01:07:03 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 10:24 PM 7/9/01 -0400, Eliezer wrote:
> >Suppose churchgoers did live longer. So what?
> Oh Eliezer, what's wrong with you today? It's obvious. This scientific
> empirical fact is telling us something really informative about the
> ontology of the universe and our place in it.
> God must be (prematurely) killing and sickening or otherwise maiming the
> disbelievers. Or maybe just allowing them to suffer, rather than fixing
> them up, so that they'll give themselves a good shake, the godless bastards.

Ah, of course. The null hypothesis, in the absence of other knowledge
about human psychology, is essentially neutral with respect to whether
religionists would be expected to live longer. The non-null hypothesis
says that God might be expected to look favorably upon religionists
(though only the Chosen Religion, one assumes?) and therefore, if correct,
this research result constitutes a very small but real Bayesian push
toward religion.


Still think it's massively, grotesquely outweighed by the other evidence,

Also, if the researchers weren't theological wimps, they'd have dared to
ask *which* religion lived longest, instead of trying to do a broad-based

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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