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I, like probably most reading this, am someone who strongly values reason and believes that helping others is a good thing.

This is why many people choose to 'join' EA: They find EA somewhere, think that the ideas make sense and seem true, presumably because it aligns well with their values and consider it right. The reason-based approach makes sense to them.

But isn't the procedure similar for following any community? Imagine I am looking for meaning, so when I stumble upon a guru which aligns with (some of) my values, I integrate myself into that community. Similarly so for political parties, a football club, a weekly art gathering, etc.

I might as well have different beliefs and values. So these questions follow:

Does EA seem like the right movement to me because there is something inherently right about EA, or just because EA fits my initial values and beliefs? In other words, is EA just built on the belief in potentially arbitrary assumptions (e.g helping others is good), or is there actual substantiation for these assumptions?

I'm curious to hear thoughts about this, I might dig much deeper into this and potentially create a post for the Red Teaming Contest. There seems to be a lot more to be said and I've already got some ideas, but I wanted to find out whether this would be fruitful.

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