THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Tag Archives: philosophy

The Invisible Nation – Reconciling Utilitarianism And Contractualism

[Attempt to derive morality from first principles, totally ignoring that this should be impossible. Based on economics and game theory, both of which I have only a minimal understanding of. And mixes complicated chains of argument with poetry without warning. … Continue reading

Misperceptions On Moloch

“Human values (‘Elua’) mean hedonism and free love and namby-pamby happiness, and I’m not on board with that.” (example) Are you a human? If so, congratulations. Your values are human values. As I wrote loooong ago in the Consequentialist FAQ: … Continue reading

Ground Morality In Party Politics

My name sounds a lot like Scott Aaronson’s and I get confused for him a lot. I try to encourage this confusion, since it can only increase people’s opinion of me. So let me propose a tool for investigating morality … Continue reading

You Kant Dismiss Universalizability

I. Like most right-thinking people, I’d always found Immanuel Kant kind of silly. He was the standard-bearer for naive deontology, the “rules are rules, so follow them even if they ruin everything” of moral philosophy. But lately, I’ve been starting … Continue reading

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Fermat’s Last Stand: Soundtrack and Adventure Log

Two years ago an impromptu role-playing group put on a very successful Dungeons and Discourse adventure, complete with several musical numbers. Last week, we completed our first sequel to that adventure, Fermat’s Last Stand. Below is the log and twelve … Continue reading

I Myself Am A Scientismist

I. “Science can tell you about rocks and molecules and stars. But what kind of science can tell you about the deepest recesses of the human soul?” I hear this a lot, and I want to answer “Psychology! It’s this … Continue reading

The What-You’d-Implicitly-Heard-Before Telling Thing

G. K. Chesterton, whom I praised yesterday, is also famous for the argument of the “truth-telling thing”: “This, therefore, is, in conclusion, my reason for accepting the religion and not merely the scattered and secular truths out of the religion. … Continue reading

Ambijectivity

The statement “Mozart’s music is better than Beethoven’s” is usually considered a subjective opinion. But this statement has the same form as “Mozart’s music is better than the music of the three-year old girl who lives upstairs from me and … Continue reading

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Utilitarianism for Engineers, Part II

You know how it’s impossible even in principle to compare people’s utilities and so utilitarianism is a pipe dream that can never possibly work? Well, I just learned Tufts has a searchable public database of utilities for various health outcomes. … Continue reading

Proving Too Much

The fallacy of Proving Too Much is when you challenge an argument because, in addition to proving its intended conclusion, it also proves obviously false conclusions. For example, if someone says “You can’t be an atheist, because it’s impossible to … Continue reading