In my opinion it seems to make sense that different animals have different levels of consciousness… maybe given by the fact that humans consciousness has evolved….? Probably? So there are different levels of suffering. Insects are probably next to not conscious at first glance thats what it seems like to me.
I feel like in section 6... the part about being desperate... first of all im not sure if EA is even inetrested in reaching more people, but it should at least do whats right, and not lead people to unhealthy ideas or extremes. Being desperate about the world is not healthy i dont think. We aught to enjoy life, and be well rounded individuals(whos uniqueness is allowed to flourish!). I feel most people would argue that while, yes, we are altruists who believe in dedicating a career to doing the most good, it doensnt imply torturing yourself or literally taking on the suffering of the world, or beleiving that you dont deserve to enjoy life.
At the same time, I can so very much so relate. Perhaps the truth of caring(how aught we to treat others and why?) stems from empathy. I had a period of a few months in my life where i was meditating and contemplating and such alot on empathy. Empathy would ground me in my social interactions. Remind me of perhaps the right way to treat other people(when your fully absorbed into being empathetic it takes alot out of you... I feel the best balance is feeling love, for people, and for the wonder of your existence, with hints of a certain type of empathy here and there).
Anyways, in those months were i was deep diving into empathy and mindfulness, there was this one moment that I still think about from time to time. I Would imagine that i was somebody starving or being tortured and imagining being in the most pain ive ever been in. Dying. And i was like ok this is not my imagination this is real and happening to so many people out there. I am being tortured and starved and dying from disease. And maybe im misremembering here or just trying to sound dramatic but i associate that time to when i decided i would do whatever it took to help the most people i could with my career. But I dont believe(i should do more reasearch on this of course) this is sustainable to constantly be reaching out and imagining what it is like to be everyone you interact with. And to constantly be taking on the pain of others. I believe that sometimes we should suffer(also how does this relate to the story of christ and what jordan peterson teaches?) like for example when studying and researching and getting good grades when you are confident you want them. There is also sacrifice invloved, like think of all the joy i am giving up by not persuing to be a musician, but instead to focus on ai safety? Where the math can perhaps be gruelling at times?
So i can relate to the idea of wanting to sacrifice your whole life to want to help as many people(or, translated, solve the biggest problems in the world from a longtermist perspective) as you can.
We need to be careful about using this kind of language as a community. Ive noticed it elsewhere, and it could lead people to think that EA are extreme, and thus not relevant to the everyday person. Which, I believe as a movement (that is successful) we would need to be relevant to the everyday person no? Theres this part of me that feels EA wants to be too safe, and maybe comfortable staying in that niche extreme territory. Or maybe EA is generally just for a niche audience so to speak. I am going to end this with a question. Is EA trying to reach the majority of people? Do we beleive that most people should think in these ways about the world? Like generally caring about civilization in an intelligent manner? Generally caring about the suffering or injustices that happen worldwide? Caring about sustainability? Caring about how we coordinate and cooperate as a civilzation? For the longterm as well(which i feel is contrasted in my mind by the idea that we need to develop and adapt to challenges that come up to civ as we go)