philgoetz

Posts

Sorted by New

Topic Contributions

Comments

The Phil Torres essay in Aeon attacking Longtermism might be good

Re. "Few of us would unhesitatingly accept the repugnant conclusion":  I unhesitatingly accept the repugnant conclusion.  We all do, except for people who say that it's repugnant to place the welfare of a human above that of a thousand bacteria.  (I think Jainists say something like that.)

Arriving at the repugnant conclusion presumes you have an objective way of comparing the utility of two beings.  I can't just say "My utility function equals your utility function times two".  You have to have some operationalized, common definition of utility, in which values presumably cache out in organismal conscious phenomenal experience, that allows you to compare utilities across beings.

It's easy to believe that such an objective measure would calculate the utility of pleasure to a human as being more than a thousand times as great as the utility of whatever is pleasurable to a bacterium (probably something like a positive glucose gradient).  Every time we try to kill the bacteria in our refrigerator, we're endorsing the repugnant conclusion.

Leverage Research shutting down?

Today, their website says people can apply to be a fellow for 2021. No mention that I see of shutting down.