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Author Topic: I just don't like religion
kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
In my case, evidence, judgment and "intuition" all lead the same direction.

Under Tres's definition, judgement is the sum of evidence and intuition, so that should be removed from the list. And then we come to that good old question: What dang evidence?
You could say "experience" rather than "evidence" if you choose.
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King of Men
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If it is internal to your mind, I class it as intuition. In any case, whatever name you give it, you have yet to say what it is. In fact, you have danced around the subject in a really rather remarkably evasive way.
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MightyCow
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I agree that instinct or intuition are important elements of human cognition, but they're just not reliable. Especially in the face of reasoning and accumulated evidence.

They're absolutely important in split second decisions. But so is the practice "Better safe than sorry." Erring on the side of caution is fantastic for personal safety, but it doesn't give us a lot of useful information.

Most of us aren't in a split second, life or death choice when it comes to our religious beliefs, so it's really rather pointless anyway. Not only is intuition unreliable, but it isn't even necessary when musing on the reality of a deity or the most important book to base ones life on.

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Dagonee
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quote:
They're absolutely important in split second decisions.
And in situations where one can't gather all the relevant information (split second decisions being a subset of that).
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King of Men
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quote:
In math, one can take the time to prove the intuited result. Unfortunately, a lot of decisions have to be made when there either isn't time to perform that proof or where there is no way to resolve the question solely with reasoning and evidence.
I think it is fair to say that questions about the ultimate nature of the universe do not fall into that category. I think you are being misled a little by the usual meaning of 'intuition', which is not the sense in which it's being used in this thread; I think 'intuition' is here a shorthand for 'a deep conviction without external cause', such a kmb's statement that she has "always known there was something".
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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
They're absolutely important in split second decisions.
And in situations where one can't gather all the relevant information (split second decisions being a subset of that).
If there's adequate time to accumulate and examine evidence, I think this turns from "intuition" into "guessing."

Intuition is valuable in split second choices because it's better than nothing. It's not very useful in situations where one can't gather all the relevant information, because it's just a refusal to say, "I don't know" or a fancy name for "I just feel like it."

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Dagonee
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quote:
It's not very useful in situations where one can't gather all the relevant information, because it's just a refusal to say, "I don't know."
I disagree. I have imperfect knowledge about the stock market. In making investment decisions, I rely on evidence, the expert opinions of others, and intuition. It's true I don't know. But it's also true I have to choose to act or not act.
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MightyCow
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Intuition has been shown to be a very unsuccessful way to invest, as it fails for most people.

It just comes down to "having a good feeling", and we can examine the facts to show that most people's intuition about investing, and most other things, turns out to be wrong.

Why then, should we rely on intuition when it's so notoriously bad?

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Dagonee
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quote:
Intuition has been shown to be a very unsuccessful way to invest, as it fails for most people.
You need to add the word "alone" after "intuition."
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
It's not very useful in situations where one can't gather all the relevant information, because it's just a refusal to say, "I don't know."
I disagree. I have imperfect knowledge about the stock market. In making investment decisions, I rely on evidence, the expert opinions of others, and intuition. It's true I don't know. But it's also true I have to choose to act or not act.
And how well do naive investors, who don't know any facts about investing do with their intuition?

Pretty badly I bet.

Perhaps the usefulness of one's "intuition" is proportional to how much of the relevent facts and reasoning they already know?

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King of Men
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Well, that's just the point: People who rely on [evidential factors X] plus intuition can be shown to do worse than people who rely on X alone. Intuition makes you do worse whether or not you use other evidence in addition.
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Dagonee
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quote:
And how well do naive investors, who don't know any facts about investing do with their intuition?

Pretty badly I bet.

Is that your intuition on the matter? [Wink]

quote:
Perhaps the usefulness of one's "intuition" is proportional to how much of the relevent facts and reasoning they already know?
Which is perfectly compatible with what I've been saying.
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Dagonee
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quote:
People who rely on [evidential factors X] plus intuition can be shown to do worse than people who rely on X alone. Intuition makes you do worse whether or not you use other evidence in addition.
Cite? And, specifically, examples where X is known to be incompletely available to the person in question.
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King of Men
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I don't know the original source, but will you accept as common knowledge that market-indexing funds do better than actively managed funds?

I don't understand why the incomplete availability matters, kmb presumably has access to the same evidence that I do.

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Dagonee
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quote:
I don't know the original source, but will you accept as common knowledge that market-indexing funds do better than actively managed funds?
Absolutely. But I won't accept as common knowledge that the difference is just intuition. I'll agree that there are some funds that are "managed" by someone with no more than a really strong feeling. But that doesn't mean that intuition isn't a net plus when used correctly.

(I'm assuming you agree that evidence and reason can be used incorrectly, too.)

quote:
I don't understand why the incomplete availability matters, kmb presumably has access to the same evidence that I do.
Do you consider that evidence complete?
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King of Men
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quote:
I'll agree that there are some funds that are "managed" by someone with no more than a really strong feeling. But that doesn't mean that intuition isn't a net plus when used correctly.
It does mean, though, that there is clearly nobody within finance who is using intuition in this correct manner, whatever it may be; if there were, their fund would do better than market indexing. This in turn suggests to me that no such correct mode exists.

quote:
Do you consider that evidence complete?
I don't think I understand the relevance. "All the evidence there is" may not be complete, but you can't do any better by adding non-evidence like intuition.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
But that doesn't mean that intuition isn't a net plus when used correctly.

Great.

How do you determine if you are using it correctly?

quote:
(I'm assuming you agree that evidence and reason can be used incorrectly, too.)
Sure. And when you do, other people catch you. They tell you that you are missing important data, or have wrong data, or your reasoning is faulty.

How does someone point out to you that you are using your intution incorrectly?

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Dagonee
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quote:
It does mean, though, that there is clearly nobody within finance who is using intuition in this correct manner, whatever it may be; if there were, their fund would do better than market indexing.
There are many, many funds doing better than market indexing. I'm not making the claim that this is because of intuition, but your premise here is wrong.

quote:
I don't think I understand the relevance. "All the evidence there is" may not be complete, but you can't do any better by adding non-evidence like intuition.
You have yet to demonstrate this to my satisfaction.

you don't have to, of course. But it's not a proven conclusion by any means.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Great.
How do you determine if you are using it correctly?

That's a separate question from whether intuition can be used correctly.

quote:
Sure. And when you do, other people catch you. They tell you that you are missing important data, or have wrong data, or your reasoning is faulty.
But not necessarily in any meaningful time frame.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Great.
How do you determine if you are using it correctly?

That's a separate question from whether intuition can be used correctly.
You assert that intuition can be used correctly.

You therefore must have a method of determining if intuition is being used correctly.

So what is it?

Oh, let me guess. Your intuition tells you whether or not someone is using their intuition correctly.

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King of Men
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quote:
There are many, many funds doing better than market indexing. I'm not making the claim that this is because of intuition, but your premise here is wrong.
Well, here we get into statistics. Can you show that there are any funds who have consistently done this over

a) Five-year periods
b) Ten-year periods
c) Twenty-year periods?

The null hypothesis here is that how well a fund does in any given year is essentially random around the market, and that you will therefore find that 1 in 32 funds do well over five-year periods, 1 in 1024 over ten years, and so on. Can you show this null hypothesis false?

Edit: Actually there would be more than 1 in 32 over the five-year period, because the year and the five-year are obviously correlated, so the simple coin-toss analysis above is incorrect. But the principle is the same: Can you show that the market does not behave like a bunch of coin tosses?

quote:
You have yet to demonstrate this to my satisfaction.
That's what the funds example is for. But a caveat first: Will you agree that whatever our conclusion about intuition as applied to funds, is also applicable with high (not total) confidence in other fields like religion? Because if we're going to come out of this with you saying, kmb-like, that the methods of science just don't apply to religion, then I won't bother going in.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Great.
How do you determine if you are using it correctly?

That's a separate question from whether intuition can be used correctly.
You assert that intuition can be used correctly.

You therefore must have a method of determining if intuition is being used correctly.

Actually, it might just be his intuition tha's telling him such a method exists. In that case I don't know how he knows that he is using his intuition correctly for this question unless of course he is intuiting it. In which case...
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TomDavidson
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In all fairness, there have been several studies done which show that "gut feelings" can be very, very effective.

Their effectiveness rises with:
1) the complexity of the decision;
2) the inverse of the time available;
3) and the expertise of the decider.

The more familiar you are with a given sort of decision, the more likely your gut feeling about something is going to be right. Interestingly, as the complexity of that decision rises and the time available to you to decide falls, you will reach a point -- assuming that you are sufficiently familiar with the subject -- when your gut feelings will actually be more effective than your conscious analysis.

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MightyCow
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Ironically, my gut feeling is that all this gut feeling stuff is B.S.

I just blew my own mind.

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rollainm
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I have a gut feeling this debate is going nowhere. Intriguing, though. [Smile]
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T:man
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424 posts and the debate is going nowhere. someone needs to bring it now-here.
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Threads
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Professional poker players use intuition all the time. For example, they can consistently do better bluffing than game theory would say is possible because they can get "reads" on other players.
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MattP
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I don't think reading players counts as intuition any more than interpreting spoken words is intuitive. It's simply a learned ability to interpret subtle signals transmitted visibly or audibly (heck, maybe even through pheromones) by other people.
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TomDavidson
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For my part, I think a learned ability to interpret multiple complex, subtle signals is intuition. That might not be what most people mean by the word, though. [Smile]
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MattP
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Yup.
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MightyCow
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The problem with that analogy is that poker players get direct, repeatable evidence of the outcome of their intuitive guesses, so that they can develop more accurate intuition (if we insist on calling it that, rather than just a subtle skill of reading people).

With religious intuition, there is no correlated evidence with the intuition - if there were, it would be something which could be demonstrated, and it has consistently not been.

So if we go with TomDavidson and MattP (and possibly Threads)'s idea that intuition can be a learned ability, religious intuition must fall outside this definition, since there is no way to learn it.

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
I don't think reading players counts as intuition any more than interpreting spoken words is intuitive. It's simply a learned ability to interpret subtle signals transmitted visibly or audibly (heck, maybe even through pheromones) by other people.

Then what is intuition other than instinct?

EDIT: Would it be fair to say that intuitions are abilities that are learned subconsciously? I don't see how to remove the "learning" part from intuition and still avoid calling it instinct.

Just so we don't get hung up on definitions, my definition of learning does not require consciousness. I could describe many statistical algorithms that "learn" in a meaningful manner but that are not intelligent.

In case it helps, I would describe "understanding" as the feeling that accompanies learning.

EDIT2: with "feeling" obviously requiring consciousness.

[ July 12, 2008, 12:55 AM: Message edited by: Threads ]

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
I don't think reading players counts as intuition any more than interpreting spoken words is intuitive. It's simply a learned ability to interpret subtle signals transmitted visibly or audibly (heck, maybe even through pheromones) by other people.

Then what is intuition other than instinct?
That's just it - reading a player isn't instinctive. No one is born with the ability to discern a bluff and good poker players learn this skill over many years of playing the game and studying their opponents. It may come easier to some people than to others, just as some people seem to have more innate capacity for expression through language or music, but ultimately it's a fairly mundane and measurable phenomena.
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MattP
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quote:
Would it be fair to say that intuitions are abilities that are learned subconsciously?
I think that's a reasonable definition, but I don't think that's necessarily what the religious "intuition" being described here is.

The "reading cues subconsciously" sort of intuition can be tested. For instance, you could put a shield in front of a player to obscure his face and see if the other player plays better or worse. With a little creativity it's possible in principle to determine and measure the cues that the poker player is responding to.

[ July 12, 2008, 01:47 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
Would it be fair to say that intuitions are abilities that are learned subconsciously?
I think that's a reasonable definition, but I don't think that's necessarily what the religious "intuition" being described her is.
That's probably true. I would add that I think the term "religious intuition" is a misnomer. I could probably categorize all non-religious examples of intuition as resulting from conscious learning, subconscious learning, or instinct (allowing for definitions of intuition that differ from my own). I would be surprised if religious intuition could be funneled into any of those categories.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
Would it be fair to say that intuitions are abilities that are learned subconsciously?
I think that's a reasonable definition, but I don't think that's necessarily what the religious "intuition" being described here is.

The "reading cues subconsciously" sort of intuition can be tested. For instance, you could put a shield in front of a player to obscure his face and see if the other player plays better or worse. With a little creativity it's possible in principle to determine and measure the cues that the poker player is responding to.

But what might be called "intuition" can also be muddied up by other things, like wishful thinking, and prejudice.

Maybe a poker player has observed many women players not playing well because they were too cautious, has observed good women poker players, forgotten those observations, and combined with a prejudicial distain for the talents of women poker players, this player would have an "intuitive" sense that the women he's playing with are going to make certain kinds of mistakes.

So then we have a definition of "intuitive" which is "facts and reasoning which one can't articulate". And maybe they can't articulate them because they are only unconsiously aware of the facts they are using, like subtle body language, or reasoning that they don't understand, or don't want to admit to, like a belief women are always too passive, and therefore, will be too cautious at playing poker.

But if the player is playing against a top-level female player, his "intuition" that tells him that she will play badly will mislead him. He would be better off training himself to consciously understand the body language signals he is looking for, following the outcome of her betting and body language and hand result, then trusting his biased intution.

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Threads
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While conscious understanding may ultimately be preferable to intuition that doesn't mean that intuition should be discounted. It can be very difficult to beat your intuition with conscious analysis in situations like reading body language.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
While conscious understanding may ultimately be preferable to intuition that doesn't mean that intuition should be discounted. It can be very difficult to beat your intuition with conscious analysis in situations like reading body language.

But intuition has so much other stuff in it, like wishful thinking, and prejudice. If you lay out your reasons and facts rigorously, then you can spot if you've jumped to a conclusion that wasn't warrentyed becuase of your biases. Or at least, someone else can see it better than you can.

Lets take our poker player. He is playing against a black player, who's betting and hands show that he is cautious, who doesn't take risks often, who usually backs down when another player acts aggressively.

Then our poker player gets dealt a good hand, raises, and the black guy raises too. Our player's "intuition" tells him that the other player is bluffing.

Well, is his intuition telling him that becaue of slight differences in the other player's body posture? Or because the player really wants to believe that his hand is the best, because he's lost the last few hands, and needs to win one? Or because he thinks that black people in general bluff a lot becuase black people always want everything without having to work for it?

He's a human being. His intuition is necessarily clouded by this kind of stuff.

So in this case, the player intuition is disagreeing with what the evidence tells him, it's very likely that his intuition is disagreeing because it's drawing on the kinds of prejudices and bad heuristics that humans are prey to. And maybe 1 out of a hundred times, it's the unconsciously picked up observations that are in the right, but the other 99 times, the human prejudices and bad heuristcs will lead you wrong.

That's why intution is unreliable.

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King of Men
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Once again, I think the poker analogy is a bit off from the question I was asking, namely, how does [fill in theist] know that her "always known there was something" is accurate? There can certainly be no body-language cues involved!
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Once again, I think the poker analogy is a bit off from the question I was asking, namely, how does [fill in theist] know that her "always known there was something" is accurate? There can certainly be no body-language cues involved!

I'm a theist.
.......^....=[SPACE]

I don't know if my knowing is accurate.

But I rather like this one:
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

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Starsnuffer
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Oh my god. (heh, I so truly wish that was not a cultural saying, due to its implications)

I think to say that intuition cannot be helpful is a blatant lie, otherwise, why would we have it, it would have been evolutionarily selected against. Our intuition(in the definition of, things that you do without having to thoroughly analyze any evidence to reach your conclusion) is our subconscious ability to measure statistical probabilities and therefore arise at a course of action. This is developed through instinct, such as a baby's tendency to not breathe underwater a little bit, somewhere along the line that baby thought "man, I feel like this water is a bad idea" or more importantly, didn't think that, and tried to not inhale water because it felt like that was the thing to do. In the same way a hunter may decide the risk of hunting a potentially deadly boar outweighs the alternative risk of his family starving since it's been a hard winter without directly measuring the calories expended per day, calculating how much energy and nutrients are likely to come from the killing of the boar, and decide whether it is worth it. He can only rely on his gut feeling, and his gut feeling MUST be pretty good, otherwise that wouldn't be his gut feeling. The combination of evolution and learning through experience has combined to let him know that "I can probably kill that boar, and that will probably be, on the whole, beneficial to my family."

Intuition, by necessity, must be beneficial in these circumstances, where data is unattainable. This carries the caveat, however, that the circumstances the intuition is being used in must also be such that they could be appropriately responded to by ancient habits, and partially by ones own upbringing(you might have decent intuition regarding stocks (this might mean knowing that getting hard facts is the best way to invest) if your father was a stock broker).

The argument being made is that intuition, when added to indisputable evidence must necessarily bring down the level of conclusion made. I assert that this is not true. Let us use atomic theory as our example, or the kinetic molecular theory. This theory states that stuff is made of little tiny bits, and those tiny bits wiggle around a lot. My intuition says "objects behave as though they are singular large objects. objects only wiggle if they are hit. I doubt that everything is truly made of lots of little bits, and I doubt that they are consistently in motion." My experience with evidence says: many reputable sources have made reliable arguments demonstrating that there are lots of little bits in lots of different things. I have seen a picture of Cesium atoms in a reliable book, I feel the book is reliable because every part of it I have ever seen tested, or tested myself, was true. This would imply that cesium, at least, is made of lots of little bits. I doubt that there would be a vast collaborative effort to deceive me into thinking that the world is made of tiny bits because 1. that would be nigh impossible 2. I see no benefit for anybody in it 3. people tend to do things because there is benefit in it for themselves 4. I assert that they do things for which there is benefit for themselves on the grounds that people complain about going to work, yet still go very reliably. I have seen experiments where volume of gases decreases as temperature decreases, as expected by the KMT. I have seen the famous "brownian motion" experiment, which would be supported by the KMT.

I now rationalize my intuition that "Stuff is solid, and stationary" with the data that "Stuff is really made of lots of little bits that interact with each other, and wiggle around." Based on the fact that I have seen no evidence suggesting that things are, in fact, solid and stationary, while I have seen overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Evidence that explains chemical reactions including geology, that explains brownian motion, that explains hot air balloons, and the adiabatic cooling of compressed gases and mountain air. I conclude that my intuition offers nothing of value to the situation (except how to deal with "stuff" on a basic, ancient, day-to-day, basis, which is it's purpose) and therby conclude that Stuff is made of atoms, and atoms wiggle about.

So, even though I assessed the value of intuition in this case, I found its contribution ineffective at explaining the nature of matter, and therefore relegated it to its rightful place of common sense. The assessment of intuition did not inherently make my conclusion worse, if anything, it reminded me that it seems to me that stuff is still solid, and I should not try sifting the atoms of steel rod through my hand (though I grant, this same information could be more accurately obtained through thorough tests), and therefore enhanced the overall worth of my conclusion by enriching it with day to day practical information that i can use when an understanding of atomic theory and kinetic molecular theory is not "what the doctor ordered."


I feel that the same process must be undergone for all assertions, though we are forced often to decide, The entirety of humanity is probably not playing a cruel trick on me, and therefore, I accept that new elements can be created through nuclear fusion, or [insert incredibly well supported, but time-inhibitively impossible to support by yourSELF assertion]. That is to say, I feel that an assertion that God informs you that cows are sacred, for example, and should be allowed to roam freely in the cities must be supported by 1.Your intuitive sense of what will happen if you allow cows to wander and 2.The evidence of what happens when cows are allowed to wander, and then you must decide whether your belief that God has some issue with your cooping of cows is well founded, or whether the risk of spreading disease from cows freely in the city outweighs the unapparent wrath of god.

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MightyCow
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Starsnuffer: I think you're confusing the issue. Your examples in the first paragraph don't seem like intuition at all. The baby example is instinct - there's no thinking involved. The hunter example is desperation - the hunter needs to eat or his family dies, so he takes a known risk.

Besides, evolution doesn't have any way of selecting for intuition which is always correct. The best it can do is select of intuition which allows survival and reproduction, or against intuition which directly limits survival and reproduction.

Most of the intuition we've been talking about has no survival or reproductive quality to be selected against. You can think your instinct tells you magical elves live in your underpants all day long, and it's not going to prevent you from having 30 kids, even though it's 100% wrong.

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Starsnuffer
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I was saying, with the hunter example, that it wasn't a long, thought-out process about whether it would be better to wait for some other prey to hunt that would be less dangerous versus how much more his family could potentially survive without more food, it was instinct that decided at what level that risk was acceptable.

The whole point of comparing the rigorous analysis to intuition is to show how flimsy intuition is, but how it cannot be said to be necessarily negative in even complex cases. If you feel like thinking that god says no contraceptives, and proceed to have 30 kids, you obviously did not do a very good job of looking at the reasoning behind doing so, because it's very likely that you are unable to support 30 kids, and I would say that it is cruel and thoughtless to bring people into the world who cannot be satisfactorily supported, all because you're an idiot and felt like it. That is a wonderful case of saying you think it's a good idea(intuition) is pretty well shot down by the reasoning that the decrease in standards of living for your entire family make it a bad idea(reasoning).

In the stock market example, though, if the evidence for buying two potential stocks points to no conclusive winner (as in, no reason to believe one will yield more money in the desired length of time than the other) intuition can come into play and say 'well I think computers have a better future than joe's hobby shop' and then invest in the computers, based on the intuition. But that is not to say that one can claim his intuition to be a reason to fly in the face of statistics, data and buy what appears to be a stock with less potential "because he felt like it."

I feel that intuition, when it comes to complex modern problems, particularly those for which there are good explanations, has little place. In terms of providing an explanation for God, I feel intuition has more of a place, but I still feel that the vast, crushing evidence of God(s)' implementation through history, as well as the fact that there are simpler (would "more parsimonious" make sense here? instead of simpler?) explanations for things prescribed to god than imagining that there is a God, suggests that there is no logical reason to assume the existence of a God of any sort, while many reasons exist to doubt its existence. In the face of analysis, I say that the intuition for god's existence is disproved(as far as we can tell for now).

And yeah, I don't see much evolutionary potential in the conception of a God, except maybe some tribal comraderie, or something

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Starsnuffer:
This is developed through instinct, such as a baby's tendency to not breathe underwater

That's a hard wired behavior. It has nothing to do with making unconscious calculations.

quote:
In the same way a hunter may decide the risk of hunting a potentially deadly boar outweighs the alternative risk of his family starving since it's been a hard winter without directly measuring the calories expended per day, calculating how much energy and nutrients are likely to come from the killing of the boar, and decide whether it is worth it.
He's not directly counting, but he is estimating. And he's estimating chances of success, based on the data he's already got.

Do you really wish to argue that, as a rule, desparate people make good choices?

When people lose large amounts in Vegas, does that makes them less likely to lose more money in the same fashion? Or are people induced to risk their house in the hopes of regaining their savings?

How well do you think that risk turns out for most people?

Here's the problem with all this intuition touting...for every story you can come up with of someone ignoring the available facts, and going with their intution, and making out well, there's a whole casino of people felt the same way about what their intuition was telling them, and lost big.

And for every person who did use their intution to their benefit, there's someone else who made the same decision, but is able to explain the reasoning and facts behind it.

quote:
He can only rely on his gut feeling, and his gut feeling MUST be pretty good, otherwise that wouldn't be his gut feeling.
But that's what every person who makes a stupid decision based on their gut feels. That the evidence is wrong, and they are right.

quote:
Intuition, by necessity, must be beneficial in these circumstances, where data is unattainable.
If you are going to stretch the meaning of "intuition" to cover every circumstance where we aren't 100% sure, then you are saying that we use intuition for everything. Which is kind of a dumb definition.

The question is, when one doesn't know the answer 100%, which is most of the time, and reason and evidence say one thing, and one's intuition, which is really one's biased memory of facts, plus heuristic logical patterns which are often faulty, and prejudices, with possibly a smattering of subtle observations and unconscious associations thrown in, which is more likely to be right?

quote:
The argument being made is that intuition, when added to indisputable evidence must necessarily bring down the level of conclusion made.
No, perhaps one in a a hundred times, intuition will be right, and available logic and evidence wrong.

But the other 99% of the time, rejecting reaosn in favor of ones biases and prejudices and bad logic is wrong.

Sticking with the 99% method is the sounder option.

quote:
I now rationalize my intuition that "Stuff is solid, and stationary" with the data that "Stuff is really made of lots of little bits that interact with each other, and wiggle around." Based on the fact that I have seen no evidence suggesting that things are, in fact, solid and stationary, while I have seen overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
What you have is overwhelming evidence that there is a very large class of situations in which the model of "stuff is solid" allows you to correctly predict what stuff will do. The mistake is in letting your intuition tell you that your model is applicable in all situations.

But you don't need "intuition" to tell you that catching a flying baseball will work. You've got lots and lots of evidenc e that you can do just that.

quote:
The assessment of intuition did not inherently make my conclusion worse, if anything, it reminded me that it seems to me that stuff is still solid, and I should not try sifting the atoms of steel rod through my hand (though I grant, this same information could be more accurately obtained through thorough tests)
You disregarded your intuition in face of conflicting evidence. How can you argue that a mental route you rejected help you come to your conclusion?

What you are saying is like saying that a book about a ficticious city helps you navigate through London, because it reminded you that you can take subways to get through town. Or you have a book of made-up spells, and sure, starting fires with matches works and casting spells doesn't, but the book reminded you that fires are hot, so it was helpful.

quote:
I feel that an assertion that God informs you that cows are sacred, for example, and should be allowed to roam freely in the cities must be supported by 1.Your intuitive sense of what will happen if you allow cows to wander and 2.The evidence of what happens when cows are allowed to wander, and then you must decide whether your belief that God has some issue with your cooping of cows is well founded, or whether the risk of spreading disease from cows freely in the city outweighs the unapparent wrath of god.
BUt then we are right back to where we started...If one's intution agrees with the evidence then there's no problem. But when one's intuition disagrees with the evidence, a number of people seem to be bending over backwards to say that it's a good idea to disregard the evidence in favor of the intuition, even though intuition is derived from a lot of stupid and wrong things.

Consulting one's own prejudies and biases and imperfect memory and faulty heuristic thinking is simply not a recipe for getting things right. No one has yet sucessfully argued against the obvious point, yet people keep insisting that it's a good idea to allow all that stuff to trump reason and evidence.

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bootjes
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Intuition critcizers:

I am curious: How do you choose your friends? And how did you chose your partner for life (if you have one).

[ July 13, 2008, 05:47 AM: Message edited by: bootjes ]

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
Here's the problem with all this intuition touting...for every story you can come up with of someone ignoring the available facts, and going with their intution, and making out well, there's a whole casino of people felt the same way about what their intuition was telling them, and lost big.

Saying that most people use intuition incorrectly does not imply that intuition is unreliable. Poker players can test their intuition by following it and seeing if it is correct. Obviously a lot of poker consists of reasoning and facts but good intuition gives the true pros an edge.

quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
And for every person who did use their intution to their benefit, there's someone else who made the same decision, but is able to explain the reasoning and facts behind it.

I doubt this is true of every situation. For example, there are police officers who are particularly adept at recognizing shady behavior and I doubt that they could tell you the specific algorithm that they use for doing so. If they could then they should be able to tell other officers so that all police officers become as good as they are. That doesn't happen in practice.

quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
But you don't need "intuition" to tell you that catching a flying baseball will work. You've got lots and lots of evidenc e that you can do just that.

But you need intuition to catch the baseball. Catching a baseball requires complex calculations that nobody consciously performs on the fly.
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King of Men
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One more time. I am using 'intuition' as a shorthand description of kmb's "I have always known". I wish to know why she believes that this is reliable knowledge. It has nothing to do with poker, catching a ball, or other everyday uses of the word 'intuition'.
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Threads
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We know that.
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
One more time. I am using 'intuition' as a shorthand description of kmb's "I have always known". I wish to know why she believes that this is reliable knowledge. It has nothing to do with poker, catching a ball, or other everyday uses of the word 'intuition'.

My question was there for a reason. My knowing of God looks like the knowing that you use when you love someone.

Getting friends, falling in love doesn't involve research (we don't want take our friends/lovers through a battery of psychology tests before we decide to give them our trust and love)

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bootjes
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For more understanding about religion:
(that is if you are trying to understand religion, and not trying to convert me to atheism)
For the record: I have no need to convert you at all. Just trying to get close to (no, maybe not even close but maby just a little further in the direction of) an answer to the unaswerable question: why do people believe in God?

The term Numinosem describes the feeling I mean and is one of the reasons why I think religion is important. I agree with KoM, this has nothing to do with poker, (or other decisions where reason is the better judge.) It has to do with perspective on life itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numinosum

A Dutch writer "Tjeu van den Berk" has written a book about the numinosum and interviewed a lot of people (writers artists, scientists) and they all agree on the importance of this experience. He states that the numinosum is not per se a religious thing. Religion however is a good instrument to come close to it.

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