Is this dark arts and if it, is it justified?

I’d like the opinion of Less Wrongers on the ex­tent to which it is ap­pro­pri­ate to use Dark Arts as a means of pro­mot­ing ra­tio­nal­ity.

I and other fel­low as­piring ra­tio­nal­ists in the Colum­bus, OH Less Wrong meetup have started up a new non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, In­ten­tional In­sights, and we’re try­ing to op­ti­mize ways to con­vey ra­tio­nal think­ing strate­gies widely and thus raise the san­ity wa­ter­line. BTW, we also do some origi­nal re­search, as you can see in this Less Wrong ar­ti­cle on “Agency and Life Do­mains,” but our pri­mary fo­cus is pro­mot­ing ra­tio­nal think­ing widely, and all of our re­search is meant to ac­com­plish that goal.

To pro­mote ra­tio­nal­ity as widely as pos­si­ble, we de­cided it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to speak the lan­guage of Sys­tem 1, and use graph­ics, nar­ra­tive, metaphors, and ori­en­ta­tion to­ward prag­matic strate­gies to com­mu­ni­cate about ra­tio­nal­ity to a broad au­di­ence. Some ex­am­ple are our blog posts about gain­ing agency, about re­search-based ways to find pur­pose and mean­ing, about dual pro­cess the­ory and other blog posts, as well as con­tent such as videos on eval­u­at­ing re­al­ity and on find­ing mean­ing and pur­pose in life.

Our rea­son­ing is that speak­ing the lan­guage of Sys­tem 1 would help us to reach a broad au­di­ence who are cur­rently not much en­gaged in ra­tio­nal­ity, but could be­come en­gaged if in­stru­men­tal and epistemic ra­tio­nal­ity strate­gies are pre­sented in such a way as to cre­ate cog­ni­tive ease. We think the ends of pro­mot­ing ra­tio­nal­ity jus­tify the means of us­ing such light Dark Arts—al­though the meth­ods we use do not con­vey 100% epistemic ra­tio­nal­ity, we be­lieve the ends of spread­ing ra­tio­nal­ity are worth­while, and that once broad au­di­ences who en­gage with our con­tent re­al­ize the benefits of ra­tio­nal­ity, they can be ori­ented to pur­sue more epistemic ac­cu­racy over time. How­ever, some Less Wrongers dis­agreed with this method of pro­mot­ing ra­tio­nal­ity, as you can see in some of the com­ments on this dis­cus­sion post in­tro­duc­ing the new non­profit. Some com­men­ta­tors ex­pressed the be­lief that it is not ap­pro­pri­ate to use meth­ods that speak to Sys­tem 1.

So I wanted to bring up this is­sue for a broader dis­cus­sion on Less Wrong, and get a va­ri­ety of opinions. What are your thoughts about the util­ity of us­ing light Dark Arts of the type I de­scribed above if the goal is to pro­mote ra­tio­nal­ity—do the ends jus­tify the means? How much Dark Arts, if any, is it ap­pro­pri­ate to use to pro­mote ra­tio­nal­ity?

Edit: After read­ing the com­ments, I see that this is not cross­ing into real Dark Arts ter­ri­tory in the tra­di­tional sense af­ter all. I wasn’t sure how LessWrong would per­ceive things, so thanks for your feed­back!