Churches and religions are some of the best examples of truly longterm institutions and we should learn from them.

EA feels over-optimised toward people who are persuadable by graphs, papers, calculations and carefully balanced evidence presented to them by strangers on the internet.

But these are not always the most successful ways to reach out to people. None of the above were needed for major religions to grow and flourish over thousands of years.

EA could explicitly copy the blueprints of successful religions as a way to reach more people and last for many generations.

I have the ‘good parts’ of Christian churches as a possible model here. EA should consider investing in physical infrastructure with open-doors and events for all age ranges throughout the year. There should be rituals around important life events: people should have EA-aligned weddings and funerals. There should be singing and activities for kids, and outreach in the local community. Whatever is non-harmful that is working for religions, EA should consider copying.

This need not result in compromised epistemics; the direction can still be set by the cool-headed moral vanguard and their various sacred texts and EV calculations, but physical doors could be flung open to wider participation beyond the typical EA crowd.




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I don't think you're gonna make a religion by having the agenda set top-down by cool-headed moral vanguarding. You need to be unhinged enough to go into a cave and hear voices. 

A related idea is to incorporate EA ideas into existing religious institutions.  I'm involved in such a project.

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