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So there is an argument that says rational people, working within the world of rationality and under the laws of math and logic will draw the same conclusions about something **assuming every single thing they know about anything is exactly the same!** Well poppycock for them! Cause it's soooooo often that two humans know exactly the same thing about something, and have exactly the same resources to draw on to define the world. *****rrrrroooollllssss eyes better than the best teenager*.
I am endlessly surprized at how many people in pesuedo-academics (ie., thunderfood, the amazing atheist, and many at less wrong) really think that there is *a* rational answer to any problem if you merely think about it enough, and that this answer can be explained to anyone else who is rational and they will either agree with you, or they are not rational enough.
I don't know if it's a socialized "gender" thing, or just one person vs. other people, but it *seems* to me, women are less likely to fall into this fallacy (we have plenty of our own, of course). Or I just don't read enough women in psuedo academics.
It's basically the same way as saying that if you take a calculator and type 2 + 2 you'll get 4, and if you take a different calculator that works the same way you'll also get 4. It's a methodology thing because in principle, if you get the right evidence communicated, Bayes' Theorem should converge no matter what the priors (i.e., previous beliefs) actually are - providing they're not 100.00%.
Except it's nonsensical. As rational as we might be, humans are not mathmatical robots, and "rationality" is not math. Nor is it formal logic. It's a weighing of ideas, sure, but it can never be something every person shares. In fact, the way our brains work, you could yourself face the exact same puzzle 4 different times, and get different answers. Simply because that is how brains work.
Only if there are at least four different ways to put the puzzle together.
Generally, there are far more than 4 ways to put a puzzle together. The fact that the act of putting it together informs the final understanding or result, you will always be drawn into a world where nothing is "predictable", no matter who shares what information.
Rationality is not math. there is no one answer to a problem even if people had the exact same set of facts. You are still different human beings, with different brains and different synapses.
True, outside of mathematics most problems have more than one solution. One exception is jigsaw puzzles, which have only one solution, although there are many different ways to reach it.
Still, I think the general concept that "agreeing to disagree" is a pitiful cop-out. You wouldn't have the conversation "I think gay people should be allowed to marry" "Well I think that's against God's law so they shouldn't" "Okay, that's your opinion, I respect that, let's agree to disagree". No. One of those is just wrong.
This is why I dislike debate. Two sides shouting at each other. How productive. Contrast with science where you have one side: science. And you have one solution: reality. Can you apply that method to "non science" areas (What's the best tax level? Should we have a death penalty?)? It's not easy, but neither should it be considered impossible and dismissed as even worthwhile trying. Sometimes it produces non-intuitive answers, such as when Yudkowsky said that from a utility perspective it would be preferable to torture one person for 50 years over 3^^^3 people getting dust in their eye - because it causes less net suffering overall. It's counter-intuitive compared to how we've evolved to think, but it's the result of a method.
Now, there are sometimes more than one solution. I know in modelling kinetic data with more than two processes this happens a lot. But you can compare the solutions in other ways, focusing on the "right" one. You don't just "agree to disagree" because two people used the same modelling method from different starting guesses and got two different answers with similar R2 - you bang on it again and again until you're right.
It works for simple problems, but once you get into really complex questions, it starts to break down.
Don't expect too much from Armondikov on this. Clever as he may be in other circumstances, he has been drinking too much Yudkowskian kool-aid to get that the evidence can sometimes be tricky and not easily interpreted in a simple formula. It would be so much better if everyone (especially those stupid AI researchers and physicists who don't see what a genius Yudkowsky is) just agreed with whatever Yudkowsky says. Oh, and if you don't donate to the Singularity Institute even though you have heard of it, the singularity might torture you forever!