Wiki Contributions


Might stopping miscarriages be a very important cause area?

I think what you're saying is basically right, and it's an important topic to discuss further.

This is more of a technical point, but I don't you need to worry about whether a miscarriage or abortion kills a human. Rather, you the relevant question is whether the being killed matters. (My own intuition isn't very strong that beings very early in development matter morally a lot, but I recognize that many people have the opposite intuition and I'm a bit moved by arguments based on potential (like from Don Marquis), and I'm willing to assign a probability to their views being right given this.)

This post by Michael Huemer has some interesting and relevant numerical comparisons that include abortion and miscarriage. https://fakenous.net/?p=225

From time to time, I think about exploring this topic in greater depth, trying to understand the potential effects of different interventions (e.g., potential for new forms of birth control to reduce number of unintended fertilizations, potential for different kinds of interventions - like better economic support - to reduce the frequency of the choice of abortion, and I'm not sure what for miscarriage but you list some good ideas worth exploring), but I haven't ever gotten further than adding to a notes file. If you or someone else reading this is interested in exploring this area further, I'd be interested in collaborating. The collaboration would help me find motivation.

Thanks for your post!

What Small Weird Thing Do You Fund?
Answer by jasonkNov 25, 202113

I don't think it counts as weird, but we've donated to and plan to continue donating to Agriculture Cellulaire France (https://agriculturecellulaire.fr/) and The Modern Agriculture Foundation (https://www.modern-agriculture.org/).

These are both relatively small organizations in the cell ag space that I think are doing interesting things and have a lot of potential. I think they're getting overlooked by other donors.

How should longtermists think about eating meat?
Answer by jasonkMay 17, 202048

I worry that longtermism can be used to justify, or rationalize (depending on your view), too much. Imagine turning back the clock to when many of the things we consider morally wrong and abhorrent were more commonplace and were widely accepted: sexual harassment, marital rape, human slavery, etc., and sticking one's neck out in opposition to any of them would at least cost some social capital if not more.

Does the longtermist in any of these contexts really not have any obligation to engage in any costly opposition to the wrongs because it would detract from their longtermist projects? It seems it would require an awful lot of confidence in the longtermist's ability to affect the future to argue so. And it feels terribly convenient for the longtermist to argue they are in the moral right while making no effort to counteract or at least not participate in what they recognize as moral wrongs.

My view can be boiled down to this: First, we should be wary of arguments that tell us that doing things that we believe to be wrong are fine to do. Second, we should think hard about how much certainty we have about our ability to have longterm effects.

A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

This is interesting and I look forward to reading more.

A more negative reading of this information would suggest that the issue may not be lack of fundraising skill within the organizations but rather that many of the interviewed ACE selected charities don't get the funding they want because most people, or the donors the charities care about, don't agree with ACE's or the CEOs' self-assessments that the charities are worth funding. That is, these folks may not donate for reasons having to do with the organizations not because of lack of relationship building, marketing, etc.

It's a different sort of concern and suggests a different line of research inquiry, but may be worth keeping in the back of one's mind.

Is being vegan the most moral option when it comes to eating animal products?

You'll get a different answer if your moral system doesn't equate morality with minimization of animal suffering.

Regan's and Francione's rights-based theories are worth looking at as alternatives, for example.

Resource Generation: Inheriting-to-give, for systemic change

I don't know but I sent their info@ email a message to ask. I'm curious as well. If I get a response, I'll post it.

And Giridharadas does argue that the wealthy have undue influence on policy and further that the kinds of philanthropy the wealthy engage in doesn't actually affect the unfair systems that helped make them wealthy to begin with and that perpetuate inequality.

Is promoting veganism neglected and if so what is the most effective way of promoting it?

What do you think? What're your views on its neglectedness and the most effective ways of promoting it?

The Moral Circle is not a Circle

On the subject of recognizing the moral worth of animals, Subhuman: The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals by TJ Kasperbauer offers a good summary of issues. In particular, he argues that there are psychological processes at work that humans frequently use to distance themselves from animals that are different than what they apply to humans, though there are cases of overlap too.

Fwiw, I didn't find anything particularly actionable in the book. But I do think he argues well that different approaches to motivating people to morally care about animals (namely, welfarism and abolitionism) are both premised on moral psychological beliefs that we don't have very much empirical evidence to help adjudicate.

The Happy Culture: A Theoretical, Meta-Analytic, and Empirical Review of the Relationship Between Culture and Wealth and Subjective Well-Being

Thanks for the link.

Did they have any suggestions for possible interventions based on these findings? Do you have any?

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