Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good Cognitive Citizenship

From: - diavlogs:

Will Wilkinson: … there's a lot of other things that I think people would call values that I think imply epistemic laziness. So the value for conformism, for example: people don't think of the value as being conformism, people think of it as” I want to fit into my local community. I want to have the access to the sources of meaning that all the people around me draw from him and if I actually learn about logic or decision theory and deploy it in my everyday thinking then I might end up alienating myself from the things I really do care about that really are values to me.”

So it might be the case that a certain kind of conformity which implies not thinking very hard...I mean not thinking very hard might be instrumental to being able to maintain your commitment to whatever the local norms are. So by saying to people that, “you have a responsibility to be a good cognitive citizen,” that has implications that if you are a good cognitive citizen you might have to give up some of the sources of meaning that, you think, make your life worthwhile.

Eliezer Yudkowsky: Well to be sure rationalists, pardon me: someone undergoing the transition to rationality from a supernaturalist – or non-naturalist base is going to lose some of what they thought were their sources of meaning. The question is, “do they get it back and is it better afterward?”

…So, to put it bluntly: someone who believes that morality comes from God is going to lose their god and get back an improved morality…