Narration: "Against neutrality about creating happy lives"

by D0TheMath1 min read10th Jul 20211 comment

12

Population ethicsAudio
Frontpage

Original post by Joe Carlsmith


Podcast Description

Narration by: The Girl Reading This

Editing by: Garrett Baker

(Warning: spoilers for the movie American Beauty.)

“Once for each, just once. Once and no more. And for us too, once. Never again. And yet it seems that this—to have once existed, even if only once, to have been a part of this earth—can never be taken back. And so we keep going, trying to achieve it, trying to hold it in our simple hands, our already crowded eyes, our dumbfounded hearts.” – Rilke, Ninth Elegy

Various philosophers have tried hard to validate the so-called “intuition of neutrality,” according to which the fact that someone would live a wonderful life, if created, is not itself reason to create them (see e.g. Frick (2014) for efforts in this vicinity). The oft-quoted slogan from Jan Narveson is: “We are in favor of making people happy, but neutral about making happy people” (p. 80).

I don’t have the neutrality intuition. To the contrary, I think that creating someone who will live a wonderful life is to do, for them, something incredibly significant and worthwhile. Exactly how to weigh this against other considerations in different contexts is an additional and substantially more complex question. But I feel very far from neutral about it, and I’d hope that others, in considering whether to create me, wouldn’t feel neutral, either. This post tries to point at why.


Subscribe to the podcast if you'd like more narrations of particularly interesting forum posts.

Anchor link to podcast page: https://anchor.fm/ea-forum-podcast

RSS feed: https://anchor.fm/s/62cbeec4/podcast/rss

If you are interested in narrating posts yourself, editing, organizing, or anything else which could help with production, sign up using this form. Alternatively, you can comment on this post, or simply message me or @david_reinstein if perchance you dislike filling out forms.

Also listen to David's podcast Found in the Struce (RSS), where he narrates, and adds additional commentary to interesting EA Forum posts.

12

1 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:46 PM
New Comment

Thanks for doing this!