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Hey Spencer, really enjoyed these posts. I found it insightful to mentally separate out actions related to mimicry, instinctive behavior, habits, and other sources from actions actually connected to intrinsic values, loosely defined as values that stand the test of thought experiment. On a personal level, the simplicity and lightness of the philosophy resonate with me. 

I'm curious about the downsides of valuism. In your opinion, what are some good critiques against valuism? My initial thoughts: 

  • It's a subjective, individual life philosophy that doesn't set a stake in any area: 
    • This might be a feature given the diversity of minds and the difficulty in 100% proving aspects of moral realism. 
    • It is interesting and potentially concerning that a valuist can be anything, eg a terrible person that would like to make the world suffer. The focus on effectiveness in this context isn't ideal. 
  • In a similar vein, it's plausible that spreading valuism can lead to unintended outcomes because of the focus on individualism: 
    • Culture, mimicry, etc may lead to better collective and societal outcomes in some contexts. Valuism emphasizes personal interpretations of value which can be conflicting between individuals and societies. 

Other than these angles - what would be good reasons for a person to explicitly say they're not a valuist? It seems daunting for someone to disclaim pursuing intrinsic values, so I'd like to understand a plausible situation better.