Strictly factual question

by Eliezer Yudkowsky May 25 2016 updated May 25 2016

A "question of strict fact" is one which is true or false about the material universe (and maybe some math) without introducing any issues of values, perspectives, etcetera.

A strict question of fact has an answer determined solely by the state of the material universe, and sufficiently straightforward math, in a clearly understandable way - none of our uncertainty about this question is about definitions, values, or viewpoints; we are just wondering which quarks go where.

Questions of strict fact:

Questions not yet of strict fact:

Why the second group aren't yet questions of strict fact:

(*) At least, this is a straightforward question so long as we don't poke too hard at the nature of [ what-if counterfactuals]. In most real-life situations, the question "What happens if I turn on this blender with a fork inside?" is something that has a sufficiently straightforward material answer for us to say that it's just a question of material facts.