kbog comments on What consequences? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 28 November 2017 06:10:14AM 0 points [-]

It's worth noting that long-run consequences doesn't necessarily imply just looking at x-risks. A fully fleshed out long-run evaluation looks at many factors of civilization quality and safety, and I think it is good enough to dominate other considerations. It's certainly better than allowing mere x-risk concerns to dominate.

But this objection only highlights the difficulty presented by cluelessness. In a very literal sense, a physician in this position is clueless about what action would be best.

I don't think this is true. Killing a random baby on the off chance that it might become a dictator is a bad idea. You can do the math on that if you want, or just trust me that the expected consequences of it are hurtful to society.

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 29 November 2017 04:24:05AM 0 points [-]

Intuitively, I completely agree that killing a random baby is socially harmful.

The example is interesting because it's tricky to "do the math" on. (Hard to arrive at a believable long-run cost of a totalitarian dictatorship; hard to arrive at a believable long-run cost of instituting a social norm of infanticide.)