I can see where your key feedbacks are coming from, i think what you are proposing is definitely valid and should definitely layered on top of saving lives. But i think it's not easy, even such a thought movement such as Effective Altruism has only been recently gaining traction. It's a luxury and privilege to think of helping others on the scale that EA or other multi-laterals can do and often it's a decision to weigh the immediately value accretive decisions such as saving lives over more specific treatments. But i as definitely agree with the validity of your points as a forward looking initiative
For example: There are things we currently do not know about human psychology, some of which bear on how inclined we are toward peace and cooperation. Perhaps Steven Pinker is right, and violence will continue its steady decline, until one evening sees the world's last bar fight and humanity is at peace forever after.
Once we start thinking along these lines, we open various cans of worms. If our x-risk reduction effort starts far "upstream", e.g. with an effort to make people more cooperative and peace-loving in general, to what extent should we take the success of the intermediate steps (which must succeed for the x-risk reduction effort to succeed) as evidence that the saved world would go on to a great future? Should we incorporate the fact of our own choice to pursue x-risk reduction itself into our estimate of the expected value of the future, as recommended by evidential decision theory, or should we exclude it, as recommended by causal? How should we generate all these conditional expected values, anyway?
My beliefs is that teachings and information dissemination can only go so far to make people more cooperative and peace loving. The final limitations we face are the fundamental human conditions that we are born with, and of course, if if we set out to improve and enhance the base fundamentals attributable to our biological conditions based on a concept of positive value creation benchmarked to the fundamental human conditions since the Big Bang, i believe that these should tend to magnitudes of infinity and a near zero concept of our physical vessel will be ideal for humanity.
The way i would think of the dilemma between EDT and Casual theory would be that, we have as humans, thrive since the origin as a result of cooperation and more importantly, a love for ourselves and those around us, and that i think people generally don't die, even from having too much of a good thing.. but too much of a bad thing, on a balance of probability kills more than the former.
Thank you, i will be happy to hear all of your comments on this
Dear all, thanks for starting this thread, this is one of the most worrying problems that i have been pondering about for the past few years.
1. I believe that although empirically speaking, Pinker is probably right to say that individuals would be less likely to cause harm as much as possible to the world and that the logical conclusion would be that we focus more effort to counter malicious group. However, i believe that a unskilled single individual with the highest concentration of capacity (known to the world as we know it) has even more potential to have the intensity characteristic of the x-risk event that a group or a nation of individuals could be.
2. My own belief that the world is static in condition, and that violence will continue on a steady decline trend unless intervened with, as Pleasure is always harder to generate than pain and that people can eventually have the incentive to cause pain to others to generate pleasures ("utility") to themselves.
My thoughts on the dilemma:
I think it's always good to have a better estimate of the likelihood of the x-risk presented by individuals, but i wish to think that we should always have developed enough intensity to deal with the higher potential of x-risk event. I.e, if the nuclear switches (when triggered), will cause an x-risk event, will we have developed enough intensity (advanced technology or preventive measures) to stop that occurrence then?
Thank you all very much, it's been a highly pleasurable and very thoughtful read
Thanks Tom and greetings to everybody here at EA.. i'm really amazed that there could ever be a group that holds such values.. values that represents the best of us as human.. i'm Wei Lun, an undergraduate living in Singapore who has had the opportunity to challenge myself at some of the high stakes level.. and that has shaped my core belief of how human lives should be.. as unbelievably as thisseems.. i feel and love people tremendously.. to the point that i have embarked on a career path to eventual large scale value creation to positively impact people's life through ventures which i believe can disrupt industries (i work in a acquisition intermediary capacity ). I have long wanted to go to places which holds such values and beliefs.. and Canada was where i felt could embrace such principles.. and as such.. i have started some initiatives which i hope could eventually allow mw to get there.. it's an amazing piece.. aarongertler made a good point about the emotional force.. but i will think the poetry's abstraction was a perfect touch to put us to feel through other's capacity.. thank you all very much for showing me that what i always believed in has a place in this world.. i would love to chat and hear about some of your beliefs and experiences..