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jmckeown comments on Descriptive Population Ethics and Its Relevance for Cause Prioritization - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: jmckeown 15 April 2018 08:21:41PM *  0 points [-]

Imagine you could create a new world inhabited by X humans living in a utopian civilization free of involuntary suffering, and where everyone is extremely kind, intelligent, and compassionate. In this world, however, there also exist 100 humans who experience extreme suffering. What’s the smallest value of X for which you would want to create this world?

The 100 suffering humans could, at a stretch, describe a particularly unfortunate group of early Homo sapiens (say 100,000 years ago) stuck in an inhospitable place and niche. If this new world also contains other species of animals and plants then even if X is zero, I would think it good to create such a world. The existence of the other species would make it worthwhile.