It has been quite a while since the deadline I set for answering JT Eberhard’s questions after my conversion. One of the reasons for the delay is that I turn out to be terrible at spacing commitments or estimating how much free time I had. (Getting overwhelmed after my announcement and telling everybody “Contact me again in two weeks” was a bad idea).
But the other, content related problem is that, based on these questions, JT and I (and atheist!me of say, six months ago) have a lot of different first principles.
So when I settle down to write a post replying to:
3. You undoubtedly have a logical proof of some sort for a moral lawgiver. What is it?
I realize I probably have to write a whole series just to explain why that’s not the standard of proof I use for anything outside of, well, math. And then I think of spending a whole week just on epistemology, when I still have posts outstanding for the LessWrong Retreat and the Sondheim Symposium (which are both more interesting to me, since they involve futzing around with new ideas) and I put it off. Gevalt.
And, as much as I don’t want to spend all my writing time on this, I can recognize that it’s a lot harder to follow unless it’s a giant coherent series (or a book). But I’ve been letting the great be the enemy of the good, so I’ll take a quick and dirty crack at this one. Meet me back here tomorrow, after you’ve read these:
- Map and Territory discussion on Less Wrong
- plus Qualitatively Confused
- Eve Tushnet’s piece on metaphysical backsliding
- skim non-euclidean geometry
- skim Ptolemaic astronomy
- Optional: Flatland and Sphereland.
I swear I’m not trying to Courtier’s Reply, but this will make my life a lot easier if I’m not recapping things that are better written elsewhere. And, unlike in the Courtier’s Reply, I’m not making you read theology (i.e. stuff written on the topic we’re fighting about). I think most atheists will be interested in the material covered in these links. (And, fair warning, the LessWrong Sequences have strange attractor properties that are only a little weaker than those of TV Tropes).