Does EA need an underpinning philosophy? Could sentientism be that philosophy?

byJamieWoodhouse4mo27th Mar 20196 comments

1


Humanism commits to evidence and reason and grants moral consideration to all humans.

Sentientism goes a step further and explicitly grants degrees of moral consideration to all sentient beings (most animals and potentially sentient AGIs / aliens).

As such - Sentientism seems to have much in common with Effective Altruism: evidence, reason and broad moral compassion.

I'm very interested in feedback on this philosophy and whether promoting it might be a useful EA initiative.

I've written a short essay on sentientism here: https://jamiewoodhouse.com/the-philosophy-that-could-save-the-world . Versions have also been published in Free Inquiry and Areo magazines.

We're building an online, global community on the topic here https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism/ . All are welcome, whether or not the term fits personally. We have people from 30+ countries there so far. EAs, philosophers, activists, policy people, writers, but mostly interested lay-people like me.