Ancient Greece's Negativity Towards Lust

I now think you’re right about this.

He wrote several arguments and you wrote several separate replies.

If you set e.g. X = Greece topic and Y = biased mental state, then doesn’t it work how you want? Using two variables instead of one is compatible with your characterization.

Huh? I thought right now we were focussing on this one single claim of anon44’s that I claim to have refuted.

He said you were biased and made several arguments for that.

If we take it as a given that anon44’s claim about my mentality is wrong, how could any of his claims that I’m biased make any sense?

Like, if I think that someone made a mistake, don’t I need to have some mental model of how his attitudes / dispositions / ideas caused his mistake before I can know that he is biased?

and if my mental model of that person is demonstrably wrong, it doesn’t prove he isn’t biased, but it does proved that he’s not biased in the way that I say he is.

Why would we take it as a given that his overall position is false? Doing that during a debate is called begging the question or assuming the conclusion. The thing I was temporarily granting, as a given, for the sake of argument about something else, was that each of your rebuttals was correct, and that each of anon44’s arguments for bias was incorrect. It doesn’t follow from the refutation of every pro-bias argument that you’re not biased (in the particular way in question). His specific conclusion could still be right due to a different reason that he didn’t give yet or doesn’t even know. So you were wrong to make the impossibility claim that you made, and your followups contained logical errors.

You said it was impossible you were wrong about X being false. I took you to mean given some premises that did not include “X is false” but now you want to take “X is false” as a given (but you didn’t say that earlier, and it makes the whole thing pointless – you’re now arguing that, on the premise not-X, then X is impossible).

By his “claim about my mentality” I think that you think I meant his entire argument that I’m biased, which I agree would be begging the question. What I actually meant by the “claim about my mentality” was the thing I was referring to earlier several times, how he claimed I was on the defensive and argumentative etc. E.g.:

I agree.

edit: I made significant changes to this because I missed the parenthetical part of your statement

In my head, I think that the “in the particular way in question” part of being biased was defined so as to also include the mentality that supposedly caused me to be biased, in addition to just the way that the bias manifested itself in errors. So I was saying something tautological (I don’t have this mentality, therefore I’m not biased in that particular way) rather than something false.

Bold italics added by me

I think saying something like: I think you have a bias here would be enough to warrant the question anon44 asked.

I thought anon44’s original message clearly showed that they thought you had bias. Some relevant quotes from anon44’s message that I think show they thought you had bias:

you got defensive against a perceived threat

This shows bias and defensiveness

You left out slaves and criminals because they didn’t fit your point.

You didn’t provide anything like a fair summary of your source. You had an agenda

Making biased errors like these is common but makes it difficult to have productive discussions or to think effectively about decisions in your life.

I think bias was pretty relevant. So asking if you had a process for judging bias also seems pretty relevant.

Bias seems like it would taint everything someone writes, because everything they write would go thru the filter of their bias. So if someone has bias I think it would be relevant to everything they write.

I think there is more to say about bias and how if you reply to their bias, it seems like it would by proxy reply to everything they wrote, but I’m blanking on how to say that. It seems like responding to someones bias would respond to everything they wrote.

You could review the conversation, see what else you now agree with or want to revise your position on, make trees to try to better understand what happened, state remaining disagreements, etc.

PS Don’t make substantial edits to your posts. If you change your mind, you can edit in a small note, but new ideas should go in a new post, and older ideas should not be hidden from view after being posted.

Also, don’t manually type in quotes instead of using copy/paste. FAQ - Critical Falliblism

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I still agree with my central claim,

if “in the way that anon44 alleges” is interpreted how I meant it. Anon44’s theory of the manner in which I’m biased includes his theory about my mentality at the time of writing (that I perceived a threat – an attack against my own culture – and that it put me on the defensive), and I refuted his theory about my mentality in 4 ways (assuming I’m telling the truth), so his theory about how I’m biased is wrong. That doesn’t mean I’m not biased, but it does mean he has not provided a sound theory of how I am biased.

In hindsight, all I would change is that I’d change my wording to be less ambiguous in a few places, and I’d delete this part

since I no longer agree with it.

Okay, sure.

You seem to have seen my older drafts because of your comment about not manually typing in quotes, but for the record:

A rough summary of what I wrote (from memory) is that I missed your parenthetical qualification

and so I wrote a post asking if you saw this

and if so why you had ignored it.

edit: oh also, there was an even earlier version of the post (that I changed very quickly) where I had assumed that you thought I didn’t understand the logic that refuting pro-bias arguments doesn’t imply lack of bias, and I quoted two earlier things I wrote, as evidence that I do in fact understand that principle.

You think

Do you have a process for judging bias?

is “vague” (bold added)?

I tried to engage with what you wrote by identifying where we disagree and asking a question about that. I read your post as largely admitting that you were biased (but without understanding what you were confessing). Your reports about your experience are largely what I expected in advance while writing my first post about your bias. You clearly interpret the same information differently than I do, so I tried to begin discussing that. The thing I did not expect in advance was that you would be unwilling to answer the first question asked in the discussion. You’re posting in Unbounded but immediately tried to call something out of bounds (irrelevant) rather than engage with it. You were dismissive, uncurious and uncharitable about it.

I could explain more, but you seem unpleasant to talk with and I don’t see what value you have to offer me if I continue. There’s been no indication that you know anything relevant that I could learn from, you’re bad at logic (e.g. the “couldn’t possibly have been biased” issue), and you have a hostile, arrogant attitude towards people trying to helpfully explain things.

you’re bad at reading if you read the thread and still think this

edit: this is a low-quality comment and I regret writing it. I wrote it in a rage. I don’t think I’m bad at logic, I think I established that the alleged logic errors were errors in the way I was communicating

Yes. I think everyone has some processes for judging bias, and since you’re asking me if I have a process, I assume that you mean something more specific by “process” than what I have in mind, but you didn’t explain.

This sounds really interesting. FWIW I don’t think I would have reacted negatively if you just wrote something like that originally.

Don’t rage post at this forum. It’s really not OK. You should stop way before rage – e.g. if you’re tilted or defensive enough to consciously notice.

You’ve also multiple times now tried to base points on assuming you already won the debate and established your conclusion. You do this way too early when you should expect the other person has more counter-arguments.

Regarding the logic debate, would you try to explain your point more clearly using syllogisms or trees?

PS Post edit history is publicly visible via the orange pencil.

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I apologize to @anonymous44 for being hostile / uncharitable towards him.

I agree that it’s really not OK. I will strictly observe this rule in the future.

Some of the other stuff in this thread also triggered me, in a way that I consciously noticed, and to an even greater extent than you’d probably guess based on my posts alone.

I’m going to take a break from CF for two weeks, partly because of this and partly because I have a lot of work-related things going on right now.

Okay, I’m back.


I think that what caused the confusion in this thread was that I was modeling my mind as if it is just a single, unified process, rather than being a conflicting collection of ideas and processes. In reality, obviously it’s the latter that is true. This error is basically rationalism: I implicitly believed that my conscious thought was all there is to my mind.

If even one of those mental processes in my head is biased, then I am biased. All I did in my “refutation” of anon44 was I showed something like: some of my mental processes don’t think the things that anon44 alleges. It could still be the case that other theories in my mind do think in the ways the things anon44 alleges, in which case I would be biased in the way he alleges, and I didn’t even come close to refuting that. In fact, I now believe anon44 was on to something.

This error also caused my belief that I was being accused of lying, because if I have a single mental process then it’s basically impossible to honestly mis-identify it.


I was being uncharitable here. Anon44 obviously means an explicit and organized process, like the flow charts for doing arithmetic problems that ET talked about in this thread, or like the process for combatting bias (in a different context) described here.


Something I asked myself was: even if it WAS true that anon44 was slandering me or whatever I thought, why would I get so tilted about it? Either he has pointed out a genuine error in my thinking and I should be glad, or else he is mistaken and I shouldn’t care.

I believe I’ve identified the key philosophical error I was making that was causing me to get so angry, but I don’t want to explain it publicly.

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