337 karmaJoined May 2015



Among the many things I've tried, this has been one of the most useful.

PS: Among the other many things I've tried, one I would not give up is "Sabbath rest" (and I don't move it to some other day of the week depending on circumstances -- it's just a strict rule of no work from dawn-to-dawn or midnight-to-midnight on Sunday). One side effect of this is that it 'gives me permission' to occasionally 'overdo' work during the week since a minimal and basic amount of rest is guaranteed, come what may.

oh dear. Thanks for spotting this - really appreciated. We'll add the correction.

Hm, hard question.

Personally, I would think:

-- If we don't radically expand our concern and love relative to the status quo, we are not following the teachings of Christ

-- It's hard to see the specific kind and strength of impartiality that utilitarianism recommends in the Bible (but this doesn't mean, as I said in the first point, that the status quo is OK)

The post is really nicely structured and written. 

However, to me the key debate is not whether it's possible to have growth while (1) protecting the planet  and (2) eradicating poverty. The question is how probable it is. I have generally found the arguments by the degrowth people quite convincing that it is in many ways improbable. 

However, strictly speaking, the question is not even how improbable it is but the comparative question whether it is more improbable than having degrowth while (1) protecting the planet and (2) eradicating poverty. And this, I find even more improbable.

In other words: we should not just examine how growth makes poverty-eradication-cum-protecting-the-planet hard, but we should equally carefully examine how degrowth makes it hard -- and probably even harder.  

I have been looking for a while now for good literature that provides arguments or evidence how reducing growth in rich countries would hurt/benefit the poor.

I agree that Hickel doesn't seem very trustworthy on this. I have looked a bit at the degrowth/post-growth literature and haven't found detailed, convincing engagement on this question. 

I've also looked elsewhere but I still don't know what literature to rely on -- despite its being such a core and straightforward question. Any advice on what to read on this would be appreciated.

I quite agree with this, particularly since there is a straightforward explanation why Christian scripture would not have focused on people far away in time and space: there were fewer technological possibilities for affecting people far away than there are today. [Edit: I now realize this point appears in footnote 2]

I do find it noteworthy that on the one occasion where Jesus was asked whom to count as a neighbour, he deliberately expands the circle and asks listeners to think about whom they can be a neighbour to.

Is there a typo in the first sentence - should it say impartiality rather than partiality?

I love this post. 

BTW, note that there have been two entries on closely related themes for the Cause Exploration Prize: here and here.

I think it is curious that effective altruism doesn't talk more about friendships or, more broadly, relationships. As far as I understand, relationships are a key determinant of happiness. Also, relationships are one of the first things that come to mind when objective list theorists try to explain to hedonists what might matter in addition to happiness. Relationships thus seem important.  

They also seems neglected: I can remember few deliberate policy interventions aimed at promoting good relationships. It might be such a cross-cutting and vague issue that it simply didn't occur to many that the broad goal of promoting good relationships merits intense attention.

It's a bit harder to see how it's tractable.  


There was something interesting I observed about myself: I have tried replacing reading the news by reading more relevant articles a number of times -- and I have failed just as many times. This made me realize that reading the news fulfils a certain purpose in my daily life and it is not information consumption. Rather it is: winding down, entertainment, etc. I usually read the news when having lunch. And when I tried intentionally reading something valuable (yes, I am thoroughly convinced that reading the news is hardly valuable) didn't deliver the same kind of reprieve.

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