[extropy-chat] Re: Faith-based thought vs thinkers

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 23:30:48 UTC 2006

On 1/30/06, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <sentience at pobox.com> wrote:
> You're conflating empirical propositions with moral choices, mixing up
> probability theory and decision theory.  Perhaps you are confused
> because English uses the same word "believe in" to indicate both your
> hypotheses and your ethics.

This is why I said it is important to state a definition of the word
"faith", because it is a rather fuzzy word. The definition I said I was
using is "belief in the absence of evidence", which my comments fit by the
normal use of the English word "belief". You seem to be using the definition
"belief in empirical propositions contrary to the evidence" (for example
creationism, or the belief by some of James Randi's correspondence in their
psychic powers even after a test produces a null result); I do not advocate
that sort of faith.

I *choose* love and life and laughter, beauty and goodness.  I also
> choose truth.  I strive to attain the map that reflects the territory;
> to believe based solely on evidence, and to abjure any shift of credence
> whatsoever which is not based on evidence.  For you cannot draw an
> accurate map of a city by sitting in your living room and having great
> faith in your doodles.  You must go outside and walk down streets, and
> keep your eyes open, and look around, and make lines on paper that
> correspond to what you see, and resist the temptation to draw in a few
> extra lines just for fun.


- Russell
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