Mind Projection Fallacy Fallacy

From: Elian Judice (elian.judice@gmail.com)
Date: Wed Aug 16 2006 - 10:43:35 MDT

> Philip Goetz wrote:
> > Michael Anissimov wrote:
> >
> > If I copy the most benevolent person I know, then they will be
> > bevolent, no matter the environment. Humans are flexible - they
> > adjust. Someone won't automatically turn evil just if they're placed
> > in a slightly different environment.
> So you think goodness and evil are inherent, objective, context-free
> properties of people?
> Consider some dark-age hero like King Arthur. What they had to do, to
> be good, was to form a strong military, and kill lots of neighbors,
> and then impose stability through a dictatorship. Hitler or Stalin
> would have been considered great heros in the dark ages. Change the
> context, change the benevolence.

I am inclined to agree with you, Philip.

In associated news, I would like to be more informed about how to
determine precisely when using the Mind Projection Fallacy is also a
fallacy and when it's not, if important at least to SL4 discussion.

One of my more immediate responses was to think that the opinions of
benevolence and risk are instances of MPF (about whatever), in the
same way the opinion that ice cream is good is an instance MPF (about
whatever). This can lead to understanding MPF as merely a sly tool for
arbitrarily subjectifying feelings one might subjectively view as
trivial and objectifying feelings one might subjectively view as
nontrivial. Cut out that middleman of technical pomposity and one's
left with the real technical task of how to continue objectifying
one's whims while avoiding a sort of reductio ad absurdum.

Surely this kind of attitude is mistaken. But why exactly? Or else the
question: What is the mechanism to avoid the Mind Projection Fallacy?

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