15Joined Oct 2017


I know that this is probably about clearly illustrating the emotional impetus behind one viewpoint, but I can't get on board with people going "fuck that shit" at difficult tradeoffs.

The reason you’d want to help someone else shouldn’t change if I make you aware of some additional people somewhere which you’re not capable of helping.

Interestingly, Eliezer claims here that that is precisely what caused the change in his case:

If my mem­ory serves me, I con­verted to av­er­age util­i­tar­i­anism as a di­rect re­sult of be­liev­ing in a Big World.

That's from more than ten years ago. I'm unaware if that is still his position.

It feels like there really is a sense in which someone who mugs a person vs someone who could have prevented it but walks away deserve different amounts of punishment. In which case, this is not at all an inconsistency.

Increasing the demand for meat does feel like I'm taking an action to cause the murder of animals, moreso than continuing with my life is causing poor people to remain poor and sick.

In the other direction, there really is a sense in which you "earned" your money (despite your privileges), and it really is a huge ask to give it up.

I'm not sure how to formalize the spectrum from merely complicit to primary cause, or even whether it's just a legacy of thinking in terms of property rights and should be done away with, but I'm not as sure as I used to be.

Either way, I don't think people should shy away from simultaneously holding strong views on veganism and moderate views on donating on these grounds.