Edenist Whackjob responds to ESR’s post killing the Buddha.
“Sanity is measured by the ability to recognize evidence that your beliefs are wrong, and to detach yourself from them in order to form improved beliefs that conform to reality and better predict your future experiences.”
This in itself presupposes a certain… not belief, but rather attitude: that you are a rational creature, ie that you are using your faculties and cognition in order to optimize your physical survival and long-term happiness. Otherwise, what is the point of conforming to your reality. If your basic attitude to life is solipsism and narcissism, ESR’s attitude above is going to sound like death.
I think this is the key thing to fix first.
Comment on Big problem in Aeolitalk
Well-put, as always.
Let me take a moment to be explicit about this because it keeps coming up in debate: I believe the natural universe is rational (more to the point, “mechanistic”), whereas I do not believe I am a rational actor, though I am capable of being rational in the service of irrational purposes.
If you believe you are primarily a rational person (that is, a member of homo economicus), this alone is proof that you are scientifically ignorant, oblivious, and truly delusional to a degree that you probably can’t comprehend. You are a clever silly at best, but silly in any case, and if you refuse to acknowledge this you will never become an adult, mentally.
You are probably also an aspie if you’re reading this, so I must inform you that you have a choice. You can shut off your brain and become a reductionist, which is our instinctive love for closed systems as a vice. Or you can realize your birthright as an oversensitive aesthete and fuel your brain with truth-as-beauty.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
I believe there is a supernatural reality that influences our mechanistic universe (injecting energy into our otherwise closed system) in irrational, nonmechanistic ways. One of these ways is the “divine spark” known as consciousness which is carried by all people who are not philosophical zombies. This spark is very weak but it can produce large effects by setting self-reinforcing mechanistic processes in motion, like nudging a snowball down a hill.
Generally, most of the complaints regarding my cognitive preferences boil down to this: I’m not afraid of being wrong. Don’t misunderstand, I hate being wrong even more than I love being right. Incorrect opinions are like business failures: you should be having them as often as possible, learning from the mistakes, and improving. Induction is antifragile. I make it my business to be wrong at least five times before breakfast, because anything less means I’m not trying hard enough.
And if I’m gonna be a poseur I might as well eat lunch at the table with the student government kids, although a bullet would be quicker.