Strong upvoted, I made a graph with it for a paper I intend to use for my summer research project and quickly found other papers I was unaware of which I expect will be helpful.
I thought Open Phil's Criminal Justice Reform efforts would include work in this area and it seems they've done some research into this. Some links from a quick google for interested persons:
That 11,000 children died yesterday, will die today and are going to die tomorrow from preventable causes. (I'm not sure if that number is correct, but it's the one that comes to mind most readily.)
TLDR: Very helpful post. Do you have any rough thoughts on how someone would pursue moral weighing research?
Wanted to say, first of all, that I found this post really helpful in helping crystalize some thoughts I've had for a while. I've spent about a year researching population axiologies (admittedly at the undergrad level) and have concluded that something like a critical level utilitarian view is close enough to a correct view that there's not much left to say. So, in trying to figure out where to go from there (and especially whether to pursue a ... (read more)
I'm mostly using "person" to be a stand in for that thing in virtue of which something has rights or whatever. So if preference satisfaction turns out to be the person-making feature, then having the ability to have preferences satisfied is just what it is to be a person. In which case, not appropriately considering such a trait in non-humans would be prima facie wrong (and possibly arbitrary).
I'm familiar with the general argument, but I find it persuasive in the other direction. That is, I find it plausible that there are human animals for whom personhood fails to pertain, so ~(2). [Disclaimer: I'm not making any further claim to know what sort of humans those might be nor even that coming to know the fact of the matter in a given case is within our powers.] I don't know if consciousness is the right feature, but I worry that my intuitive judgements on these sorts of features are ad hoc (and will just pick out whatever group I a... (read more)
Yes! It's much more conducive to conversation now, and I've changed my vote accordingly.
To actually engage with your question: I personally find (1) to be the most motivating reason to adopt a more vegetarian diet since I'm more compelled by the idea that my actions might be harming other persons. Regardless, (1) and (2) are both grounded in the empirical observations. (and both of which are seriously questionable in how much of a difference they make in the individual case: see this and the number of confounding factors in veg diets causin... (read more)
"(3) The ethical argument: killing or abusing an animal for culinary enjoyment is morally unsound"
I'm understanding abuse as being wrong by definition, a la how murder is by definition a wrongful killing. (3) seems to transparently be a case of arguing that something that is wrong is thus wrong. But, I agree, this by itself wouldn't warrant downvoting so much as how the generally dismissive tone of the writing came off as assuming some moral high ground, e.g. "to accept that this being with no identity, little conceivable intellect... (read more)
Down voted for question begging in the way you phrased the "ethical argument," and descriptions like "the mere desire of taste." [Edit: I changed my vote based on changes made.]
In that case, it seems plausible that you (and your coworkers) will do more and better work if you're not just ascetically grinding away for decades (and if they aren't spending time around someone like that). Perhaps, a good next step is to shadow/intern with/talk to people currently doing these jobs to learn what they look like day to day?
I don't think I can give much specific advice, but it doesn't seem like you're putting much of a weight on what you want to do. For instance, it seems like you're somewhat disappointed that 80k advised against working in AI ethics. If so, I'd suggest maybe applying anyway or considering good programs not in the top 10 (most school rankings seem to be fairly arbitrary in my experience anyway) with the knowledge that you might have to be a little more self-motivated to do "top 10" quality work.
Alternatively, it might be the... (read more)
I'm not sure I understand your objection, but I feel like I should clarify that I'm not endorsing consequentialism as a sort of moral criterion (that is, the thing in virtue of which something is right or wrong) so much as I take the "effective" part of effective altruism to imply using some sort nonmoral consequentialist reasoning. As far as I understand (which isn't far), a Catholic moral framework would still allow for some sort of moral quantification (that some acts are more good than others or are good to a greater degree), e... (read more)
You're right. What I was trying to get at was that I presume Catholics would start with different answers to axiological questions like "what is the most basic good?". Where I might offer a welfarist answer, the Church might say say "a closeness to God" (I'm not confident in that). Thus, if a Catholic altruist applies the "effective" element of EA reasoning, the way to do the most good in the world might end up looking like aggressive evangelism in order to save the most souls. And that if we're trying to convin... (read more)
Tl;dr the moral framework of most religions is different enough from EA to make this reasoning nonsensical; it's an adversarial move to try to change religions' moral framework but there's potentially scope for religions to adopt EA tools
Like I said in my reply to khorton, this logic seems very strange to me. Surely the veracity of the Christian conception of heaven/hell strongly implies the existence of an objective, non-consequentialist morality? At that point, it's not clear why "effectively doing the most good" in this man... (read more)
I've spent some time seriously trying to convince a devout Catholic friend of mine about EA. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that EA and the Church have value systems that are almost directly at odds. I mean, that if you take seriously their value system, the rational course of action isn't EA. At least, not in the manner meant here.
My understanding: Essentially, the Church already has an entrenched long-termist view. It's just that the hugely disvaluable outcome is a soul or souls spending eternity in hell (or however long in purgato... (read more)
I started quantitatively "upskilling" almost a year ago exactly after eschewing math classes for.. a while. I spent this past academic year taking the calc series. Now working through MITOpenCourseware's multivariable this summer to test out of it when I get to AC.
Contingent on testing out, it should only be two math classes/semester to meet the requirements.
Do you recall which Facebook group/page? I searched the "Effective Altruism" group for keywords like major/college but didn't find anything.
Thanks for the class suggestion. I'll look into what they offer on that.
Thank you, I've actually read that article before. I asked here because there seem to be all kinds of factors which would confound the usefulness of the advice there, e.g. it might be tailored to the average reader/their ideal reader, limitations on what they want to publically advise.
I figured responses here might be less fit to the curve and thus more useful since I'm not confident of being on that curve.