For the past three days I have been repeatedly performing the following mental operation:
“Imagine that you never read any documents claimed to be produced by telepathy with extraterrestrials. Now gauge your emotional reaction to this situation. Once calm, ask yourself what you would believe about the world in this situation. Would you accept materialism? Or would you still be seeking mystical answers to the nature of reality?”
I am still asking myself this question. Why? In the struggle not to believe things that are false.
I believe things that are, apparently, patently absurd. Things like:
“I incarnated from another planet, vastly advanced in spiritual evolution relative to Earth, in order to help Earth transition from the third dimension to the fourth dimension. My primary mission is to generate as much light and love as possible, because this light and love will diffuse throughout Earth’s magnetic fields and reduce the global amount of strife and suffering while helping others to achieve enlightenment. I am being aided in this mission by extraterrestrials from the fourth dimension who are telepathically beaming me aid packages of light and love.”
These beliefs, and many others like them, are important to my worldview and I use them to decide my actions. Because I like to think of myself as a rational person, it is a matter of great concern to me to determine whether or not they are true.
I have come across nobody who can put forth an argument that makes me question these beliefs. Noboby except for one person: Eliezer Yudkowsky. This man did what no other could: he made me doubt my basic beliefs. I am still struggling with the gift he gave me.
This gift is the vision of being a rational person: one who believes things that are verifiably not false.
So many incredibly intelligent people believe patently absurd things. It is so, so difficult to escape from these cognitive traps. If my beliefs are wrong, I want to be one of the fortunate ones who escaped from his insanity.
As an example of this type of insanity, consider Eliezer Yudkowsky. He believes:
“Within the next 50 years, humans will create an artificial intelligence powerful enough to increase its own intelligence, which will go into a positive feedback loop of intelligence increase until it becomes so intelligent that it is able to solve all solvable problems and, overnight, usher in an era of unimaginable perfection, at which time humans will live out the rest of eternity in a state of Edenic bliss.”
Yudkowksy has devoted his life to bringing this event about.
Are my beliefs weirder than Yudkowsky’s? And if Yudkowsky, the only man who was able to bring me to question my weird beliefs, dearly holds beliefs that are almost as weird as mine, is there anybody in the world who can help me with my problem?