-5 karmaJoined Nov 2023


I think one should not ignore kidney donations

In the statement you're replying to, I meant "ignore whether someone has donated a kidney when evaluating how strongly to weight that person's opinion of which charities one should support [and focus on the numbers]."

Kidney donations would also be more likely to increase donations to live-saving interventions than animal welfare or AI safety interventions

I don't know why you would think this. It seems silly to me to think about donating a kidney in terms of what kind of aggregate charitable response it would provoke. It just seems really unlikely that anyone has any good reason to think it would do anything one way or the other.

Or put it this way: the amount of extra charity you should expect is the amount one randomly selected human would perform over the course of 5 years. This is because what you've actually done is bought some person 5 extra years of life, and maybe they'll give to charity in that period, but also maybe not. Basically, if you think donating kidneys is +EV for charity, you really need to look into having children. You could easily generate hundreds of life-years that way. Plus instead of having a risky surgical procedure, you have sex with someone. It's clearly a dominant strategy.

I think one should not lie, but that most people would be happy with me doing it if it was in that context

I disagree. I think people would think you were crazy. Like the whole idea is crazy, so people who knew that was your plan wouldn't ask your opinion about which charities are good.

I think this violent tone is very inappropriate.

It's my honest reaction, so I think it's a bad policy to go around concealing it. I would regard pressuring people to donate organs as among the most objectionable sort of abuse & exploitation you could possibly do to another person. I would feel very angry at someone who I knew was doing it. I would feel the urge to use violence against them. I might or might not actually do it, but the urge would be there. If someone else used violence against that person, I'd feel like it was deserved and wouldn't judge the violence-user very harshly (all else being equal).

The fact that you consider my tone inappropriate suggests that you don't instinctively condemn the idea as strongly as I do. Like, I feel like if I were to say that I would have the urge to use violence against a rapist, fewer people would regard that as inappropriate. I'm not saying this to condemn you. I'm saying that if some action which you hypothetically might do would make other people angry enough to use violence against you, that's generally something you want to know. You shouldn't be critical of someone for telling you ahead of time what to expect. That person is providing something of value to you.

Keep in mind what I said about the screening. The hospital panel asks people whether anyone is pressuring them to donate. Obviously, the panel does this because if someone were pressuring the donor, that would be grounds to reject the donation. The medical profession views pressuring donors as unacceptable. This is probably a sign that as individuals, they view it as something deeply wrong and which makes them angry. It is also a sign that it is something that actually happens and that they need to actively guard against it.

To be clear, I'm not threatening to punch anyone over the internet. But I think that if some conduct would make us angry enough to potentially use violence, there has to be some responsible way to let other people know this fact. Especially when (as seems to be the case here) it's not transparently obvious that those other people already know.

I think the far more important claim from the post (for an EA forum) is that the author says that Open Philanthropy is funding low-quality science, because they're either doing a bad job of exercising oversight, or they're intentionally producing disingenuous propaganda. Either of these options suggest they are not worthy of EA support.

You might not agree with this. I'm not sure I agree with this (except insofar as I agree with the author about the quality of the paper), but I don't think it's appropriate to just pass over it in silence.