Cradarc wrote:Okay so my choice of the word "whim" was not good. How about "volition"?
I don't think that helps things, since switch-pullers also don't think you can kill people just because you have a volition to kill people.
Cradarc wrote:it should be something that people are actually inclined to accept as true, and shouldn't be something with obvious counterexamples.
"People" = who? I'm not a person? If I find a single other person on the planet that agrees with me, that makes people.
Seeing as how this is a discussion, I would think that the goal would be to appeal to principles that most people would find plausible, or perhaps the people you're talking to. The usual idea is that, if you have a belief, P, that most people don't think is plausible, you come up with some things that most people do think are plausible, and show how those things lend support to P. Instead, what you're doing is taking a belief that nobody thinks is plausible, and then cooking up "reasons" for that belief which are no more plausible than the original belief. And, along the way, saying lots of absurd stuff about what people with opposing positions think ("Switch-pullers think they can kill people whenever they will to kill people").
Cradarc wrote:Why shouldn't the very low bar that you're setting for discussion also apply to the Flat Earth Society?
It can, which is why they exist and can make a logical argument for it. It's just that when it comes to the shape of the earth, everybody here (I think) share the same position. So it is common ground.
You can't force someone to make the same fundamental assumptions as you. There's no logical reason why your assumptions are superior to theirs. It's a matter of faith. Every person lives with some fundamental assumptions which they deem "correct". Everything else they believe in then builds off those assumptions. One can be fully convinced that one is right while still conceding that there is no logical basis for thinking that.
Is reality a simulation? We don't know, but most of us assume it is not and build knowledge off of that assumption.
Above, you contemplated that the bar for a good argument need be no higher than that the argument appear convincing to the person actually making the argument. Here, you say that the belief in a round earth is no more reasonable than a belief in a flat earth, but is instead distinguished by a matter of faith.
When you find yourself saying such things, perhaps it is time to reconsider your standards for what counts as a good reason for belief.