Peter_Hurford comments on An Argument for Why the Future May Be Good - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 20 July 2017 05:51:25PM 14 points [-]

One concern might be not malevolence, but misguided benevolence. For just one example, spreading wild animals to other planets could potentially involve at least some otherwise avoidable suffering (within at least some of the species), but might be done anyway out of misguided versions of "conservationist" or "nature-favoring" views.

Comment author: JJacobson 21 July 2017 11:05:19AM 3 points [-]

This is what I am most concerned about. There is likely that there will be less suffering in those areas where humans are the direct cause or recipient of suffering (e.g. farmed animals, global poverty). I think it is less likely that there will be a reduction in suffering in areas where we are not the clear cause of the suffering.

I don't think wild-animal suffering will be solved somewhere along the line of our technological progress because of the above. That said, I do think the continued existence of humans is a good thing because without humans, I'm fairly confident that the world existing is a net negative.

Comment author: Ben_West  (EA Profile) 30 July 2017 07:38:53PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, I think the point I'm trying to make is that it would require effort for things to go badly. This is, of course, importantly different from saying that things can't go badly.

Comment author: Ben_West  (EA Profile) 16 August 2017 09:27:41PM 0 points [-]

I'm curious if you think that the "reflective equilibrium" position of the average person is net negative?

E.g. many people who would describe themselves as "conservationists" probably also think that suffering is bad. If they moved into reflective equilibrium, would they give up the conservation or the anti-suffering principles (where these conflict)?

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 17 August 2017 01:33:41AM 0 points [-]

I don't know, but I would guess that people would give up conservation under reflective equilibrium (assuming and insofar as conservation is, in fact, net negative).