Irrationality in Rationalists, "Religions and cults" for the rational and atheistic?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by aaqucnaona, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    I stumbled upon LessWrong a long time ago and until recently didnt bother to look into it much. It seems like a good source for learning about rational thinking, but I looked into it a bit more and the thing is, this guy is the primary author there. There are some good posts on rationality, but its also a big proponent of "the singularity" and this has been criticised. Some even say that it is a personality cult of the author. The author of these amazingly well thought posts on Less Wrong also seems to be uncharacteristically irrational or downright childish. So is he a partially rational but intelligent man with delusions of grandeur? Does the site and its articles have any value at all? And are futurists and singularitarians mostly wacks? What am I to make of all the criticism?

    What really struck me as odd was that there is a forbidden topic on the site. And the topic is the "Roko's Basilisk" which is considered so harmful even in its mention than any allusion to it is banned. Aside from the fact that the assumptions on which this Basilisk is based are very contrived and that it is essentially pascal's wager reskinned, it seems nonsensical that we should be its target any more than our Homo Erectus ancestors would be. It seems awfully like a gambit for money to the institute he has co-founded which hasn't submitted any papers for peer review despite being a research institute.

    The reason this OP is so haphazard and peppered with links is because I have no clue whatsoever who is right here and moreover, I dont know what to do to evaluate such situations. Is there some basic methodology of investigative journalism or something similar that can be used here? Moreover, these are long posts about complex topics that I do not understand and am in no position to evaluate. Therefore, I must ask for your help to try and make some sense of this. How to handle such topics where the people seem to be rational or scientific but may not be? I tripped once in similar conditions when I had become a new ager and want to make sure I am not making another mistake.
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  3. Rav Valued Senior Member

    Have you ever noticed how smart some philosophers are? Occasionally I am confronted by a particularly complex argument and I literally need to sit there and grapple with it for 15 minutes. Sometimes an hour. Sometimes a lot longer. And when I do finally understand I'm often floored, and humbled, by the intellect that devised it. Sometimes the degree of insight almost seems superhuman to me.

    But then I'll manage to go and get myself floored and humbled by someone else, who is very effectively refuting the argument that I had just been so impressed by.

    In other words, one of the biggest insights that I've ever had is that even the most logical argument, presented in the most impressively eloquent and authoritative fashion, doesn't necessarily contain any actual truth at all, even if (and possibly even especially if) you find it wholly convincing.

    Such is life, and I honestly find it to be somewhat comical

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  5. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    All this rational rubbish is for the public, as the higher you go up in society the more bizarre thought becomes.

    Most people know absolutely nout, and its astounding what you learn in your journey of life.

    I always believe at the very top of our world, the highest part of the hierarchy, these people believe some very weird things, and know them. The people at the bottom know absolutely nothing of this stuff.

    The amount of stuff hidden from the public is astounding i would think, and probably only like 5-10% of the truth ever gets to them about the world and how it works.

    On what op is talking about, i have learned in life, that people find out absolutely weird things, that to others seem totally bizarre. So i have not looked into the site or people op is talking about, but i would say only listen to people you resonate to and the information. But never become there sheep.

    In my life i try to not dictate what others think, and try to just give out information as like seeds and see how it goes for others. I think in this stuff people should not dictate to others, but should just plant seeds and let others minds try and understand it.

    My attitude is you lot take anything i write how you want. I know myself people only know something they are ready to know. If someone says something or writes something and your not ready for it, does not matter if its truth they will just deny it, and ignore it. So try and tell me people stuff like planting seeds of knowledge, and let them find there own understanding of it.
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  7. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    I know what you mean. But how does one assess such things? What methods to use?

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