I must say, this anxiety is what happens when people adopt Utilitarianism as a moral philosophy instead of the actual goal of EA - to donate a certain % of first world incomes in an effective way. The jump to “maximise utility always” is one that can only lead to paralysis, anxiety, and nihilism, as many more capable than me have pointed out.
Thanks for sharing. This is an example of why naive utilitarianism can be harmful. EA needs to more clearly adopt a framework with duties of care, and personal rights. I dare call it “common sense ethics”.
I would add that having children in the West is a huge net good on society, even if that means fewer shrimp have their welfare improved. (We can think about EY’s argument on hiccups here)
The economy is a positive sum game, meaning children add more than they take, and there simply would be no wealth to distribute otherwise. If we think on a long enough time horizon, the only way to improve everyone’s welfare significantly is by having more children in productive areas.
Agreed. The “KPI” here should be welfare, not deaths.
Salmon is a carnivorous fish which means that choosing salmon instead of live carp could cause more animals to die.
This is more or less irrelevant if those deaths cause no suffering.
Still, very interesting analysis. Thanks for sharing OP.
I completely agree with this. As a (Americans read: neo) Liberal that thinks the Green movement does far more harm than good, some of the political campaigning I’ve seen EAs do really puts me off and makes me question the entire movement. SBF’s lobbying of politicians in the US is another example of egregious misuse of funds.
Until those checks and balances are in place, we should be focusing on directing funds to the most impactful causes. That should be the beginning and end of EA in my opinion. Politics is almost never the best ROI approach to anything, using EA’s own methodology to calculate impact. There will of course be exceptions, but I find it hard to believe any amount of money will be better spent trying to influence a government as opposed to buying malaria nets.
We also need to avoid thinking and framing our actions as a group identity. It’s to be expected that people come to different and opposing conclusions even within a movement with clear stated principles. As such, political action shouldn’t be done in the name of the group as a whole.
I very much doubt the reason it’s won’t be made privately available is due to Pfizer thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. More likely it’s down to sufficient stock being available in the NHS for the cohort that will be receiving it, and the government not wanting to add more demand, which would increase the cost per dose for the NHS.
It’s perverse, but a likely consequence of the Beveridge style universal healthcare system used in the U.K.
Happy to have a new significant contribution from Peter Singer, but disappointed to read that this will further fuel the fallacy that meat production contributes to climate change due to cattle belching.