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Pros/cons of funding more research on whether psychedelics increase altruism?

by nonzerosum1 min read21st Jun 20192 comments


Mental HealthIntelligence and neurosciencePsychedelics

Argument against: making more people altruistic doesn't necessarily make them more effectively altruistic.

Argument for: seems promising to increase altruism, and altruism can then lead to the desire for effective altruism.

It seems like psychedelics could be medically available in the next few years (MDMA and psilocybin).

What do you see as the pros/cons of EA funding more research on whether psychedelics increase altruism? Seems both nice from a direct benefit perspective (a world full of more altruistic and prosocial people seems nice!) as well as towards "promoting effective altruism."

Search for "altruis" on these pages here for low-quality evidence of promise: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0269881117731279 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5367557/ https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080703/full/news.2008.934.html

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Some of the discussion on the Cash prizes for the best arguments against psychedelics being an EA cause area post relates to this.

In particular, Greg Lewis & I debate the merits of funding more research here & here.

(I'm planning to reply to Greg's latest on that second thread, haven't gotten around to it yet.)