MichaelPlant comments on Ethical Reaction Time: What it is and why it matters - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: rohinmshah  (EA Profile) 12 March 2017 04:05:33AM 4 points [-]

My main question when I read the title of this post was "Why do I expect that there are ethical issues that require a fast reaction time?" Having read the body, I still have the same question. The bystander effect counts, but are there any other cases? What should I learn from this besides "Try to eliminate bystander effect?"

But other times you will find out about a threat or an opportunity just in time to do something about it: you can prevent some moral dilemmas if you act fast.


Sometimes it’s only possible to do the right thing if you do it quickly; at other times the sooner you act, the better the consequences.


Any time doing good takes place in an adversarial environment, this concept is likely to apply.

Examples? One example I came up with was negative publicity for advocacy of any sort, but you don't make any decisions about ethics in that scenario.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 13 March 2017 10:13:51PM 1 point [-]

I agree with Rohinmshah. I can see how reaction time could be important but I don't think you demonstrated this is actually the case.

One case I can think of where you'd have to give a time-pressured ethical view is debating, but I'm not sure how high stakes that really is.

Comment author: Gentzel 13 March 2017 10:56:51PM 3 points [-]

I just added some examples to make it a bit more concrete.