Davit Jintcharadze

Operations Lead @ Leaf
90 karmaJoined Pursuing a graduate degree (e.g. Master's)Working (0-5 years)London, UKdbcoach.co.uk


Operations Lead at Leaf (part-time), trainee psychotherapist & beginner coach offering discounted services (dbcoach.co.uk). Founded EA Georgia, and now I am living in London, UK. 


I find it particularly challenging to know what is the most 'effective' or 'rational' in this situation. To me, it seems that a relatively good thing to do personally for myself is to raise awareness in my circle about the amount of suffering and death facing Palestinians right now. 

I was thinking that it would be easier to talk to relatively more rational or empathetic people, or to people in countries where free speech is generally considered a given right - such as the UK and the US. But so far, I feel quite weirded out by bringing up the Palestinian side of the argument in both of these countries and Western Europe in general because I find people on this issue to be incredibly biased, consciously or subconsciously. 

I am recognizing that there is bias on the Palestinian side as well and that some people in the movement (by no means all) do not condemn Hamas and the October 7th attack. But I do think that the pro-Israeli bias is much more prominent. There are particular groups of people who I found especially pro-Israeli without considering enough opposing evidence to their opinion, and it becomes confusing and hard to talk to people from these specific groups.

By no means do I want to generalize this to all members of the group, but I think certain cultural views predispose people to bias to one side of the argument to the point that there is less room for rational review of evidence available. An obvious group I couldn't communicate with are some of the Evangelical Christians in the US, who use spiritual rather than empirical justifications. A less obvious group is many Germans, who tend to be sensitive towards antisemitism and Israel due to their country's despicable past but do not extend the same level of empathy towards Palestinians. This is a particularly challenging bias that applies sensitivity to a certain group rather than sensitivity towards the extent of 'bad things' that can happen to another group. Another particularly challenging hypocrisy I encountered is people who would be 'pro-peace' and oppose sending arms to Ukraine or hesitate from publically denouncing Russia (the Israeli government famously didn't send any weapons to Ukrainians) but would deem it problematic to stop sending arms to Israel. 

That being said, I understand that someone's background is not a unique contributor to their views or biases. I know many Israelis who have quite moderate stances on the current situation, but also many now-Israelis from my country and elsewhere from the former USSR who have one of the most extremist views I have ever encountered.

The point is, it seems to me that with some people no amount of evidence would change their opinion about Palestine even if they are relatively rational otherwise. It makes me wonder how much can be done. 

I want Israel to exist and keep being an innovative and forward-thinking country, but without recognizing and fixing crimes against humanity there is no room for advancement. I also think all hostages should be released unconditionally, but I also attend pro-Palestine marches because I don't think anything can ever justify 14,000 + innocent victims being murdered. I condemn any justification of the October 7th attacks, precisely because people who suffered from these attacks have nothing to do with Israeli colonialism at large. Any attempt to justify this to me is as troubling as justifying any other horrible event and is not very compatible with EA values.   

It's a very interesting topic you are bringing up. Recognizing how many interpretations of the scripture there can be and that my thoughts on this are not very organized, I want to bring up two points:

- Re impartiality. As other people mentioned already, Samaritan was perceived as 'other', 'foreigner', or 'an enemy'. But also in other parts of the scripture, when Jesus is asked about his mother and brothers waiting for him, he replies that his brothers and mother are 'here' [referring to his extended group of disciples]. Similarly, his actions are not constrained by his family but often are directed towards more 'foreign'' and 'enemy/immoral' parts of society.
-Re geographic proximity, which I think is a bit more valuable point here: Jesus's disciples receive instructions to go around the world, often in comparatively remote regions of it in relation to Judea and borders of the Roman Empire, and to preach Christianity. Preaching Christianity is perceived as a good thing that leads to salvation as per Bible, and persuading others in Jesus's teaching is perceived as a good thing to do. So, by specifically going to remote parts of the world to 'do good', you can make an argument that the scripture shows care for geographically remote people.

I do agree it would be a bit of a stretch to include longterm and care for temporarily remote people. 

Thank you for writing this Megan. I don't even consider myself liberal or left but it is quite exhausting, as a community builder, to explain to friends, colleagues at work, and the fellowship members, that EA is a method of thinking and a goal of doing the most good and not shady billionaire schemes, self-promotion, and justifying lack of sensitiveness with rationality. So there is not much epistemic value to my comment but I just wanted to express that I am tired as well. 

That would be even more effective. I imagine the cost of an event outside of a capital of a Southern European/Eastern European country <  cost of an event in the capital of these countries < cost of an event in US, UK, Western Europe & Nordics in the capitals.  And this is just taking Europe alone. 

I  think this is something worth calculating, but I think we should consider that there are several people, who, for various visa-related issues, don't make it to UK/US conferences or who feel less incentive to travel due to other reasons (for instance if you have a full-time job outside of EA it can be tricky to ask for a day off at times) so it can make it seem like conference-goer EAs are mostly from the UK and the US. I don't know how seriously has this option been considered before. While I know these two countries have bigger EA populations, I wonder if traveling to a cheaper country and having the same conference conditions is better than traveling within the same country and having fewer resources available. I don't know if in terms of distance traveled someone from Utah would care significantly whether the conference is in SF/DC or Mexico City, or whether someone from England/Wales cares whether the conference is in London or Porto/Riga/Rome/Prague. I live in London and I feel like there are several cheap flights to other European countries from here, and flights within Europe are generally affordable at times. 

It seems like a good solution to consider would be to host a few/several EA global events/conferences/other events in countries with cheaper operating costs. There are several countries that are cheaper than US/UK and are still extremely safe and accessible for several people (if anything, some other countries have more liberal visa conditions that would cut down visa spending costs as well). Money spent per person could go long way in other countries and you wouldn't need to compromise funding people who could benefit from the conferences but can't afford them otherwise. 

This is a valid consideration, however, one could argue that if we were to give victims the option to opt out of the specific consequence that might have been crucial in preventing future wrongdoings by the same person or other people, then perpetrators would think they can still carry on with their behavior. Especially if the victim decides to opt the perpetrator out of all serious consequences. It also could be the case that victims that are affected by what happened to them psychologically might not be able to make an informed judgment of consequences at that very moment,  as we know everyone has their own time frame of processing the wrongdoing that was done to them. 

I think it is largely due to the fact that a woman tried to share her personal experience and a lot of people with a very vague understanding of the sorts of pressures females face from men decided to comment in not the very kind way. Calling someone who is talking about her very unpleasant experience a 'bigot' and seeing only comments about polyamory in a situation where women are made feel uncomfortable is plane sad to be diplomatic. 

Couldn't agree more. Expanding EA to a non-Western context comes with all kinds of considerations and changed messaging. I have found that in a middle-income country like mine people during the fellowship are pretty accepting of the idea that there are some more high-impact careers than being a doctor, but few participants pointed out that that is too general of a statement and depending on what kind of doctor you are you could make a higher or lower impact. For example, in Georgia we had only dozen or less of highly trained epidemiologists to they proved useful during the fight with COVID, even for future infectious pandemics this seems to be an area of medicine worth investing into. 

Load more