Epistemic status: feeling the love

This Valentine's Day, I'm donating the cost of a date night to Family Empowerment Media (FEM) and would love you to join me! 🥰

What better way to celebrate love than promoting family planning to prevent unintended pregnancies?

Family Empowerment Media (FEM) is an evidence-driven nonprofit committed to eliminating maternal deaths and other health burdens from unintended pregnancies. FEM produces and air radio-based social and behavioural change campaigns on family planning to empower women and men who want to delay or prevent pregnancy to consistently use contraception.

Read more about FEM

Visit FEM's website


Join me in donating to FEM here: https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/fundraisers/grace-valentines-day




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Thanks Nathan!! The success of your fundraiser with Émile has got me super excited about trying to do more fundraisers! 

Though I think mine was uniquely successful because it took "energy" from the vibes between Émile and I. I think we can do more fundraisers but I imagine it will be hard to replicate.

How much is "the cost of a date night"? I want to donate but am blocked by my brain's refusal to decide on an amount 😅

I donated 100USD :) Which is about 140AUD (which is the cost of a fancy dinner and drinks out here in Melbourne)

Thanks! I just donated $50 (Which makes this sound funny but your reference point helped!)

Thanks Grace, donated!

Thanks Megan! Happy Valentine's Day!

Hi Grace, thanks for the incredible work your team does at GWWC!

It seems plausible that we may be underestimating the implications of total/low critical level and non-person-affecting views in population ethics on the morality of preventing unintended pregnancies. These longtermist views don't seem to imply much moral difference between preventing a future person from being born and ending a person's life today.

In that regard, perhaps encouraging donations to other charities which empower women, girls, and families, such as the Fistula Foundation and GAIN's Salt Iodization Program, would be more appropriate?

[disclosure: I work for a family planning organisation (MHI), these views are my own].

It’s eminently reasonable to hold philosophical views that call into the question the work of an organisation such as FEM.

I worry though that it’s somewhat against the spirit of EA and worldview diversity to suggest that donations to other charities may be more appropriate based on views that are not consistently shared across the community?

Is there not the risk of a double-standard here given people with person-affecting views may view donations to a good number of longtermist projects as a harmful misallocation of resources by prioritising future lives over present ones?

You raise a fair point. There's an analogy to the debate within the community about whether or not we ought to only provide vegan food at events. The point I raised is similar to a proposal that we veganize the food provided at some EA event, and you're making the reasonable objection that this constitutes an imposition on the non-vegans in the community.

As in the vegan food debate, the best solution is one where we don't gratuitously cater to or unreasonably impose upon any group in the community.

Regarding worldview diversity, it seems that the Fistula Foundation and GAIN are charities which empower women and girls with greater moral robustness across the diversity of philosophical perspectives held within the community.  At first glance, recommending them seems to me to be more inclusive of worldview diversity.

Regarding the risk of a double standard of longtermism over neartermism, I'm not saying "hey, let's forget about neartermist interventions and instead raise money for a center where academics speculate about ways to prevent the extreme suffering of AIs one trillion years in the future". The Fistula Foundation and GAIN are still neartermist charities very much in keeping with the post's theme.

Hi Ariel,

I agree with Ben below that there are a variety of plausible worldviews from which you could make decisions about giving to highly effective charities, and that being open to the variety of worldviews within the community is important.

I think both of the charities you've suggested are also great - but that doesn't diminish my excitement for what FEM does. I selected FEM specifically for Valentine's Day because it's focused on family planning - but I very well may pick some other organisations that empower and support women in other ways in the future.

[this comment, post and fundraiser are all done in my personal capacity]

I think a useful context for the above comment is that the same user wrote this post advocating for "voluntary abortion reduction" as an EA cause area.

Imagine if there was a post encouraging composting on the forum, and Brian Tomasik wrote a comment pointing out that well-meaning efforts to compost can potentially be quite harmful, under moral views where we care about insects.

And then someone replied to Brian's comment, "Some useful context is that Brian is the guy who wrote that post saying EAs should actually care about bugs!"

Sure, I guess that's relevant, but if I read that reply to Brian, I would read a connotation that "we should ignore this guy, because has different values on moral circle expansion than we do". (Not saying this is your actual intention, but I feel that it could be read that way.)

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