Existential security is a stable state of negligible existential risk.

Reaching existential security is the first stage in a grand strategy of human development proposed by Toby Ord in his book The Precipice, to be followed initially by the long reflection and ultimately by the full realization of human potential.[1] This first stage may itself be decomposed into two substages: first, reducing the most pressing existential risks and second, virtually eliminating all future risks. Reaching existential security thus involves both avoiding immediate failure and making eventual failure impossible. Ord refers to these substages as preserving and protecting humanity's potential, respectively.[2] The substages may also be characterized in terms of the temporal scope of the risks involved: while preserving humanity's potential aims at reducing short-term existential risks, protecting humanity's potential aims at reducing long-term existential risks.

Further reading

Aird, Michael (2020) What is existential security?, Effective Altruism Forum, September 1.

Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, ch. 7.

existential risk | long reflection | longtermism | vulnerable world hypothesis | Trinity

  1. ^

    Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 189.

  2. ^

    Ord, The Precipice, pp. 189–191.

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