Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

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Gio
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Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

11 Jun 2019, 11:13

It happens quite often: you study a particular subject, evaluate all the variables with your utmost care, make up your mind in the most logic way of thinking and then come to a conclusion based on solid arguments. And when you finaly present this conclusion to your peers, you stumble across a complete lack of consensus.

Why is that? why is it that we, albeit theoretically equaly capable and reasonable people, tend to diverge in so many matters of discussion? Religion, politics, sports, economics, tastes, music, relevance, hobbies, humour: aside of a handful of matters that are easily provable by mathematics, consensus seems to be a somewhat rare occurence for complex topics of our everyday human life.

Given any two people with equaly capable and healthy minds, from which you would expect an equaly solid reasoning to be present, a lack of consensus after a solid debate seems to suggest that the evaluation of the very same available evidences may still lead to vastly different conclusions.

As a programmer, and from our limited knowledge about the inner workings of the brain (and how it has been translated to our theories about Artificial Neural Networks) i would say that this is actually to be expected: While inputs can be the very same, the sets of weights in complex neural networks of equal density are indeed vastly different. From this, it leads that two people, albeit having completely different worldviews, can still function the same and experience our world in equaly reasonable ways while maintaining diverging opinions on a multitude of matters.

What are your thoughts on this topic, do you consider those that have diverging opinions to your own are just being "less reasonable"? Do you think that your argumentation skills and the arguments themselves can lead the vast majority of people to change their minds by the means of a new debate? And do people with similar views tend to stick together in such a way that consensus is only possible in particular groups?

On the other side, if not a debate, what could possible cause someone to change their views overtime? And are these particular instances of changes in views a valid indicative that the triumphant side is "more rational"? And what about those that chose to not pick a side at all, is that a better reasoning or just a lack of wit?

:beer:
Today i know that i simply don't know a lot of things, but this one thing i know: that when i was sixteen, i most surely knew EVERYTHING
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nnnik
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

11 Jun 2019, 11:58

All views are subjective - humans lack the ability to make objective statements. We might come to the conclusion how a specific concept is modeled and resolve all the variables - but we could still disagree on how to weight the variables in the final conclusion.
Humans are limited in the amount of things they can consider when making a judgment.
During an argument people can forget the points that the opposing party has made.

Lastly human creatures are social creatures. To our species its apparently more important to establish a somewhat functionial social hierarchy than observing and remembering the actual reality we live in.

Simply put: we are evolved monkeys on a floating rock that learned to walk, use tools and cooperate successfully. Do you suddenly expect us to grasp the very fabric of reality?

I try to understand what people try to say and understand where they are coming from and see what they see, understand their underlying motivation when really arguing. Then I try to judge whether it's a valid concern or not. At least that's what I try to most of the time.
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

12 Jun 2019, 20:42

@Gio Allow me to see this as a feedback of the symptomatic discussion "Gods don't exist. Dot.". So, what happened there? An unscrupulous emphasis on freedom, what is more using an obsolete metaphysic of freedom... A prejudicial nihilification of other's speech by subsuming it summoning ideal types of fallacies... As I see it, it seems that, from those who really appear to be involved in the discussion, only gregster is doing fine.

Let's say that this statement: "Gods don't exist. Dot." unveils at the same time that it hides another one: "The unconscious doesn't exist. Dot." - if so, shouldn't have it been stated with a little more of uneasiness and punctuated with an insincere jubilation?
If it were the case, I would appear to be the first who clearly fell (by a complacent emphasis on the conscious "subject"...) into what which should be considered as a trap. A trap since, the first statement - unlike the second one with "unconscious" - could be seen as comfortably positioning itself to alleged and "self-evident" "differences" (non-believer vs believer, in particular) which could be seen as preventing a community of values, the principle of the mutual recognition of something critical and obvious to serve as a basis for the discussion; that is, as preventing the emergence of differences that make a difference.

Allow me to quote you, nnnik, with subtle changes; paradoxically to underpin your argument and to suggests avenues specifically for these three questions asked by Gio:
Gio wrote:
11 Jun 2019, 11:13
On the other side, if not a debate, what could possible cause someone to change their views overtime? And are these particular instances of changes in views a valid
indicative that the triumphant side is "more rational"? And what about those that chose to not pick a side at all, is that a better reasoning or just a lack of wit?
>>> To our species its apparently more important to establish a somewhat functionial social hierarchy than observing and remembering the actual reality we live in.
Simply put: we are evolved monkeys on a floating rock that learned to walk, use tools and cooperate somewhat unsuccessfully. Do you suddenly expect us to not to grasp the very fabric of reality?


Thanks for reading :beer:
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Gio
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

13 Jun 2019, 10:44

@A_AhkUser, That topic has been recently closed, so i rather not make any direct comments on the subject of that discussion (this topic is not an extension to that one).

But you may have pointed an interesting fact about debates in general: strategies and behavior. If a debate draws two opposing sides around a particularly complex subject, it is somewhat common that both sides will cleverly attempt whatever moves they think will put their own side at an argumentative advantage. These "strategies", even if applied alongside actual argumentation, can often be dissociated from the actual argumentantion itself and may include (but are no limited to): the use of fallacies, shiftings of focus in the debate, making excessive compliments about arguments from another member of their own side (or diminishing valid arguments of the other side), excessive verbosity or even filibustering, the spreading of fake news, and etc.

For that specific reason, i think that debates are usually more productive when correctly organized and mediated (and even then, only if the two sides are willing to abide to certain rules).

___________________

On another note: It turns out that we, as humans, do seem to have this inate tendency to seek a consensus amongst our peers. However, this will to seek a consensus can be overshadowed by this idea that the consensus should come by matching our own values (and not the values of others). This may have an intricate relation with the will to "estabilish a somewhat functionial social hierarchy" as mentioned by @nnnik.

Could there be even greater resistence to accept the views of others when hierarchy (or rather an attempt to emphasize it) is present?
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

14 Jun 2019, 03:14

Gio wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 10:44
Could there be even greater resistence to accept the views of others when hierarchy (or rather an attempt to emphasize it) is present?
Adding semi-imaginary and ever branching power structures at this early stage would be a bit pointless since then you can just reach a conclusion that will effectively mean nothing and no one will bother to correct as the logic will be too convoluted to prove or disprove anything, not least the power structures themselves.

Instead, do you think the scale of the lack of consensus between 2 equal people you set in OP was fair?
How much would 2 people have to disagree with each other that it would feel like an anomalous behavior not attributable to just having different perspectives due to invariably different experiences and knowledge irregardless of their genetic makeup and/or knowledge?

I'd say with fair certainty that you and me probably agree on at the very least 90% of things if we started to list everything we know and think starting from things like "What key on the keyboard is the 'space' key", "Is -[10:200]C too cold or not?" or "Where does the poopoo go and why isn't it you shirt pocket?". I'm fairly confident that the list of things we agree on far outweighs the list of things we don't agree on and now that I'm thinking, it's probably way higher than 90%. Is it then reasonable to focus on the, ~0.01% that will be left? Sure, it makes for a nice curiosity, but hardly a fundamental law of human beings then.

Another aspect of the things you listed is that they're almost entirely abstract which means that even the most minute detail can change how you compile it into a fully fledged idea/concept/abstraction. How are you supposed to be objective about something that in it's very nature is the polar opposite of objective?

So, equally reasonable minds will be equally reasonable even if they don't realize it and get stuck on the minutiae when concepts are scaled inappropriately and not according to their objectivity.
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Gio
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

14 Jun 2019, 17:20

I just happened to watch a video on economics today and the very question of this topic was brought up (from 01:10 to around 06:00). Here is the link in case anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcXtYXUCOMY&t=110s

@John, you seem to have misunderstood this topic a little bit. I don't know how exactly you come up with these percentages for "number of possible objective matters vs abstract matters", but the importance of this phenomenom of "reasonable dissent" (i just came up with this term, don't take it as an estabilished term) is clearly present in our everyday life at all times. It is very common for people to disagree on important matters, and when this happens, it is also common for both sides to feel that they are individually holding onto the "most reasonable" or even "only reasonable" position (even thought they are probably not).

I don't think it makes much of a sense to present or contest any "absolute numbers of possible matters" that would fall into this cathegory of "abstract" matters, but since you did give examples of sentences where sound people are likely to agree due to "objectivity", let me give you some examples on things we are likely to find different opinions (all opinions being based on different rational arguments):

On congress: Should the country spend more on military? (yes, because the countries defenses are important / no, because others areas are in need of resources)
On religion: Should a person visit the church? (yes, because they need salvation / no, because they are investing time to listen to a man)
On lifestyle: Should we avoid drinking coffee? (yes, because it can affect your sleep / No, because it can give you more energy)
On a marriage: Should we have chicken or beef for dinner tonight? (Beef, because we ate chicken yesterday / Chicken, because it is cheaper and we are on a budget)
On beliefs: Do aliens exist? (Yes, because there are trillions of planets / No, because so far we have no uncontested video recording of an alien)
...

:arrow: The aims of this topic is to discuss why people hold onto these thoughts that if reason is what has taken then to their current belief systems (or to actual conclusions based on them), then it would also follow that other belief systems (and the conclusions based on them) are necessarily "less rational".

We have some hypothesis in the table already. One of them: The human beings input varying weights to every available evidence, and that is essentially what forms their many different belief systems and the premises they hold. Thus, some form of reason is always in place even when conclusions differ (therefore the answer to the topic would be that indeed, equaly reasonable minds CAN think differently, and that thus, for most discussions on complex matters, no side can individually claim to be the only reasonable side).

If reason is related to the ability of correctly concluding something based on a set of premises (as in avoiding paralogisms and other errors of the "process of reasoning"), and if the individual sets of premises in every person do vary according to "neural network constitution" (or even a huge bank of personal life experiences alongside possible stochastic neuronal connection formation processes), then the conclusions of the individuals can indeed vary wildly from human to human while all of them are essentially equaly rational (i.e.: there is nothing wrong in their reasoning process).

The process of reasoning alone CANNOT convince every individual and form something like a "globaly rational consensus" in every matter. Arguments from other people do seem irrational to us: any conclusions drawn by another individual will have followed THEIR premises, therefore it will be in clear contradiction to a perfect reasoning based on OUR own premises, and therefore, the conclusions of others will always seem at least slightly irrational to us (even though these conclusions are completely rational to them).

To believe that an ultimate and perfect rational answer exists to all these complex problems of everyday life is to believe that there exists an ultimate and perfect set of premises. To believe you can have such answers yourself is to believe that a limited brain can actually house this set. To believe that rational consensus could be brought from such answers is to believe that all humans could also house this same particular perfect set of premises at the same time.
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nnnik
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

14 Jun 2019, 23:37

no, because they are investing time to listen to a man
is that really the best reason you could come up with to not visit church?
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

15 Jun 2019, 05:37

Yesterday I thought about AI with the following thought experiment.

Google and Facebook are given the same task and each design their own "AI".
One of the tasks is that both "AI's" have to communicate with each other about their found solutions.
In the end they should spit out a common solution.

For universal applicability I have in my mind the current limitations of Artificial Intelligence - as the absolute Creator dependence left out, have a reasonably good language and thus communication skills supplemented.
From which complexity of the question will two emotionless intelligence find no common answer? And what about three or more AI's?

In humans, decisions are based on one's own reality, and that's why we often do not get the same results.
If now 2 or more artificial systems can agree on one answer for all answerable questions, then they have found the only universal reality?
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

15 Jun 2019, 08:10

AIs (neural networks) don't come up with the same solution if you design it once, program it once and then train both of them on the same data if the initialization contains a random component. AIs are highly individual beings.
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

15 Jun 2019, 09:47

Yes, and now make them agree their solutions. My idea isn't done for AI's existing at now. I'm not genious. I tried to construct a smiling theorem like this from Alan Turing.
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

15 Jun 2019, 15:00

(I really need to stop with such fussy writing; I barely understand what I wrote above... :? :terms: Sorry)


- Should our country (USSR) spend more or less on military?
- The most important thing is that we stay in power! Regarding your question: difficult to say; for historical reasons, our country is characterized by the militarization of the State. In a more or less thoughtful and consistent way, we reinforce this reality. For this very reason, the military-industrial complex, a vital sector in our economy, that is, ultimately, our economy itself, should be overhauled if we decide to substantially modifying investment towards it. The political instrumentalization of the obsidional complex, justifying to the people our military expenses and, ultimetly, our ideology to the detriment of their own material well-being, would also have to be reconsidered - what is more, in the context of a sovietic-american condominium, on which a certain international statu quo depends. Remember: The most important thing is that we stay in power!: the actual economic crisis rendered attempts at reforming the bloated Army impossible; with an unpaid military personnel, we expose ourselves to a coup d'état...

I stop here - I could go on for hours. I will just remember that in politics, choices have to be made (even if often it is without saying so openly and facing them as such). Ultimatly, I don't see diverging "opinions" to my own as "less reasonable", I see them as choices and, as such, they are nothing more that the indication that I myself made and make choices, that is an indication of my tragic and unjustifiable freedom, that is as a possibility to choose the choice I am.

That being said, as I see it, John's reply is, on the contrary, highly relevant.
Let's take the pragmatist conception ot truth as reading grid (that is here, do not think "to think" as separated from "to act" somehow and its consequences). Once done, one is led to ask: why this focus on heterogeneous initial "subjective" states, supposed to retrace the lack of consensus - while de facto consensual collectives, conceived here as unity of "action", appear to always be irreducible emergences, actually transcend given dissensions? And it is not so much that, at the root, reasonable minds act not so much differently (at least not as differently as you might assume from their declarative dissensus) but rather that their act do not correspond to what they say when it is really question to do crucial - and especially collective - choices.
That's how I understand the comment:
John wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 03:14
So, equally reasonable minds will be equally reasonable even if they don't realize it and get stuck on the minutiae when concepts are scaled inappropriately and not according to their objectivity.
To go even further here:
Gio wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 17:20
On religion: Should a person visit the church? (yes, because they need salvation / no, because they are investing time to listen to a man)
An authentic believer will practically solve the equation: he/she goes to the church, lights there a candle, pray few minutes the Most High and go back deal with his worldly concerns: the candle will continue to pray instead of her/him.
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

15 Jun 2019, 16:04

And in a possible future we meet at the battlefield and shoot each other because of this vital sector we have in our powerful contry's. Please wear a sign of Autohotkey on the battlefield and I did'nt shoot you and you! What a fuck!
To help each other is more vital! Militariziation is death from birth to end! And all because some people want to see their state-legalized crime protected.
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

15 Jun 2019, 16:49

Frosti wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 16:04
So that there is no ambiguity: I made the cynical politician speak. My goal was to show that each choice is choice of the finitness. The militarization is actually a political problem; which must in any case be denounced - and it begins with the refusal of the common, pious explication: 'the country's defense'.
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

17 Jun 2019, 13:18

There is a clear hardship in estabilishing rational communication with our peers and still being correctly interpreted by them, but i would like to point out that everyone that joined this discussion has made at least one excellent contribution to the debate, and i would like to thank you all by quoting the sentences i liked the most:
nnnik wrote:
11 Jun 2019, 11:58
All views are subjective - humans lack the ability to make objective statements. We might come to the conclusion how a specific concept is modeled and resolve all the variables - but we could still disagree on how to weight the variables in the final conclusion.
Humans are limited in the amount of things they can consider when making a judgment.
During an argument people can forget the points that the opposing party has made.
A_AhkUser wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 20:42
the principle of the mutual recognition of something critical and obvious to serve as a basis for the discussion
John wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 03:14
So, equally reasonable minds will be equally reasonable even if they don't realize it and get stuck on the minutiae when concepts are scaled inappropriately and not according to their objectivity.
Frosti wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 05:37
In humans, decisions are based on one's own reality, and that's why we often do not get the same results.
If now 2 or more artificial systems can agree on one answer for all answerable questions, then they have found the only universal reality?
:beer:

__________________


On another note, if humans do have this characteristic of reaching different conclusions while thinking in equaly rational ways, could this actually be something good? I mean, pick any particularly smart person you can think of, such as Albert Einstein. If we (humanity) had had two Einsteins, would we be better off than having had an Einstein and an Edson?

Could it be that as a species, considering that our individuals have access to limited resources (i.e.: limited neural network size, or limited lifetime or just limited life experiences), the differences between individuals work out to our benefit in allowing us a better chance of tackling different complex problems in a better way?

And in the end, suming all this up, could there be a case for defending that the following possibly common human trait is actually an intellectual flaw?

During an argument people can forget the points that the opposing party has made.

:arrow: Shouldn't we all be looking to the arguments of other sides as if they are probably right in some way? Shouldn't we just be making bigger efforts to try and identify which, among the many meanings that can be conveyed to those words, would make the most sense?
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

17 Jun 2019, 15:14

Frosti wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 19:06
Sorry, this was not against you!
Well, I hope! :D
Frosti wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 16:04
Please wear a sign of Autohotkey on the battlefield and I did'nt shoot you and you!
Actually, there's at least one consensus: ahk is the best scripting language that has ever existed! :lol: :superhappy:

@Gio It is at the very least naive to consider the difference only in its positive aspect (a specific gender difference, for example - and to repoliticize just a bit the problematic -, can be at the origin of ignominies and inequalities).
Besides, one have to be careful on making the difference a weal: it will be at least enthusiastic. Actually, one could notice that to understand in this way the difference, one would have to take the point of view of the whole, of some kind of big Organism - a somewhat reassuring thought: as an organ in a big Organism, each life is somewhat justified: I am an stomach, you are a liver, another one is a heart - which together serve to the Whole, the Progress. My freedom as choice is not a injustifiable tragedy because it becomes diluted in the Whole. The difference appears to be in this case inessential.


Cheers
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Re: Can equaly reasonable minds think differently?

20 Jun 2019, 19:35

Gio wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 13:18
There is a clear hardship in estabilishing rational communication with our peers [...]
Gio wrote:
11 Jun 2019, 11:13
[...]from our limited knowledge about the inner workings of the brain (and how it has been translated to our theories about Artificial Neural Networks) i would say that this is actually to be expected: While inputs can be the very same [...]
Gio wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 10:44
If a debate draws two opposing sides around a particularly complex subject,[...]
For that specific reason, i think that debates are usually more productive when correctly organized and mediated [...]
(my italic)

"Peer to peer" has been transposed unaltered in French ("pair à pair" is, from my experience, very little used).
Yet all of a sudden I'm now surprised that programmers find nothing to complain about the lack of consideration on technical devices, systems, facilities, infrastructures and how they are collectively socialized and individualized.
I have trouble to figure it out things clearly here but I will try to go further.

@Gio It seems to me that you don't take into account the fact that inputs are coded. I have in mind here not only the irreducible linguistic aspect of the world we're living in, but the fact that one are increasingly producing, consuming, sharing, exchanging reproductible digitalized meaningful structures (such as .ahk scripts, mp4 videos, gif pictures etc.) on the let's say network.
- Facebook, for example, does not appear to be also one of the largest consensus factories ? (e.g.: produced, consumed, shared and exchanged aestheticized banners with quotes of writers, sages, scholars etc. where everyone-that-is-no-one could accept, identify itself, revive a tragically evanescent desire to love etc.).
- Also, in contrast, is it not true that venal media like binary oppositions, easy to grip, more telegenic?
You're talking about the brain, the "neural network" Gio - to be honest, I have almost no idea what this is about: my knowledge here, unfortunately, is almost equal to zero. At first sight, this sounds to me - and my so french obsession with freedom - like a dispossession: mind "is" simply a thing, housed in a skull box. But, precisely, if I look at it a second time more carefully, I can't help but see this merely neural network paradoxically as a jealously guarded ownership, possession - rather than an actual and tragically lived, negated somehow and with faith, alienation.
Yet, as I suggested above, knowledge, memories are also nowadays on the outer network (on wikipedia, travel pictures on one's google drive etc.).
Actually, one could ask: this merely neural network, even modified by adding to it a mysterious random component to make it look like, I don't know, the epicurean clinamen - is it someone's network, or, better, the one we - and especially: digital natives - are actually?
In this lies all the bad faith of neurological scientism as I see it: its dispossession actually hides a reassuring possessiveness for a coddled brain, microcosm, purportedly housed in my skull box. It would also hides in this case, and more importantly, the real dispossession which is at stake (I would say dispossession for better or for worse, undoubtedly).
As an example, instead of quoting from your memory a book that you read long time ago and that almost no one will bother to read nowadays, didn't you rather link to illustrate your idea a recently added video on youtube which many have perhaps compulsively added to their own accumulation of possessive bookmarks to "look at it later"?
So, what I'm trying to say here is that it will be very difficult to explain consensus and dissensus if we want to explain them from neural networks.

Thanks for reading.

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