SiebeRozendal comments on What consequences? - Effective Altruism Forum

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (10)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: SiebeRozendal 02 January 2018 01:48:26PM 0 points [-]

I take Greaves' distinction between simple and complex cluelessness to be in the symmetry (just as you seem to do). However, I believe that this symmetry consists in that we are evaluating the same consequences following from either an act A, or a refraining of act A. For every story of long-term consequences happening from performing act A, there is a parallel story of these consequences C happening from refraining to do A. Thus, we can invoke a specific Principle of Indifference, where we take the probabilities of the options to be equal, reflecting our ignorance. Thus, P(C|A) = P(C|~A), where C is a story of some long-term consequences of either performing or refraining from doing A.

In complex cases, this symmetry does not exist, because we're trying to compare different consequences (C1, C2, .., Cn) resulting from the same act.