Re: SOC: Tractatus Theopoliticus (was: Is vs. Ought)
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 22:22:27 -0800

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote:
> Damien Broderick wrote:

> > >the more I think
> > >about it, the more I wonder if I'm asking the right questions.
> > Not before time, Grasshopper.
> ...but rest assured that I still know, as I've known for the last five
> years, that everyone else's views on this subject are shot through with
> logical flaws. I can't ever recall someone saying to me: "You know, I
> don't claim to know the ultimate answers on this subject, but your
> answers are obviously wrong because..." Everyone who says I'm wrong
> claims to know all they need to know about morality. Even you, Damien.

Non-sequitur in the paragraph. What are the logical flaws?

And category error, or level error. I can believe I know all there is to know about objective morality -- there ain't no such beast -- but not believe know everything about practical morality, in the sense of not knowing the best thing to do in all situations. Even with a simple and personal definition of "best thing", let alone one trying to balance everyone's different desires.

A lot of liberal thought, at least the version I got from Hayek, is not about acting on the Right Answer but about trying to cope with the probability that you don't have the Right Answer, not to mention the probability that there isn't one.

> Where's the courage to build a philosophy based on discovering morality,
> instead of claiming to have it? Where is the spirit of science? Where
> is the quest for truth?

Cf. Richard Posner, or _Law and Economics_, or related writings.

Where's the humility of a 21 or 22 year old who admits he only cares about AI stuff? Where's the curiosity to find out what might be hiding in writings on law and economics and philosophy of which you seem to have no clue?

-xx- Damien Raphael Sullivan X-)
(The other Damien, these days.)
(Hey, Eric's posting again. Maybe the stars are right for another Old Fogey Backlash... nah, probably can't be bothered.)