Tag Archives: argumentation

The problem with probabililities without models

Scott Alexander writes in defense of probabilities without models. I denied the possibility of this before, also in the context of Scott’s steel-manning of Yudkowskyanism, but back then the focus of the discussion was slightly different. So this is a … Continue reading

Posted in Arguments, Math | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Assumptions behind a curtain

This is basically an overly long response to a recent blog post by Scott Alexander. It’s not very interesting outside of that context, so read that first unless you did so already. Also, most of this is further simplification of … Continue reading

Posted in Arguments | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Models as filthy water

[I was planning on this main metaphor before that other filthy water metaphor shook the Catholic blogosphere. Absolutely no reference intended.] When journalists asked Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war German chancellor, why his foreign office had so many employees who … Continue reading

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Oversimplification by Catholic cardinals and atheist bloggers

Atheist blogger JT Eberhard has a piece accusing the Catholic Church of supporting the Pinochet regime in Chile. This is somewhat surprising given the conventional wisdom is that the Chilean Catholic Church under Cardinal Silva basically ran what little internal … Continue reading

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Confusion and the Morning After Pill

About two months ago the German bishops made the news with a statement on the Morning After Pill and rape. I was dissatisfied with basically all sides’ knee-jerk reactions but also too busy to explain lots of details. So  here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Marriage: The natural type and the social institution

Internet discussions about controversial issues often quickly degenerate into rather unpleasant shouting matches.  While this problem has some sources outside of itself, it is also self-reinforcing.  If the discussion is dominated by people who enjoy shouting matches, even slightly nonstandard … Continue reading

Posted in Armchair philosophy | Tagged , , | 3 Comments


A continuation of last week’s dialogue. […] Matthew: Likewise, it will be the damnation that’s bad, not the life. Simplicio: So you think a good life outweighs damnation? Matthew: No, just like you don’t believe an otherwise good life outweighs … Continue reading

Posted in Socratic dialogues | Tagged , | 6 Comments

In divided roles

Matthew, whom we know as a member of the  St. Hypotheticus drinking and nerdery club, is talking with a college friend. Simplicio: So Matt, when are you coming out atheist? Matthew:  Huh? Simplicio: Come on, you don’t really believe in … Continue reading

Posted in Socratic dialogues | Tagged , | 7 Comments

The counter-productiveness of mockery

Second in a series about doubt, rationalization, being mean while debating, and a problem with the empirical assessment of the effectiveness of arguments. In my last post I explained how I used to struggle with my faith a lot more … Continue reading

Posted in Arguments | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

My crisis of faith

I’m aware that my continuously starting new series’ and then letting them linger unfinished for ages is getting ridiculous. But I can’t help myself. This new series is about doubt, rationalization, being mean while debating, and a problem with the … Continue reading

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