SiebeRozendal comments on The person-affecting value of existential risk reduction - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: SiebeRozendal 17 April 2018 02:55:20PM 1 point [-]

You're implicitly using the life-comparative account of the badness of death - the badness of your death is equal to amount of happiness you would have had if you'd lived.

I have heard surprisingly many non-philosophers argue for the Epicurean view: that death is not bad for the individual because there's no one for it to be bad for. They would argue that death is only bad because others will have grief and other negative consequences. However, in a painless extinction event this would not be bad at all.

This is all to say that one's conception of the badness of death indeed matters a lot for the negative value of extinction.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 17 April 2018 05:37:00PM *  0 points [-]

Ah good point! Yes, I didn't mention this for some reason, although I should have. Indeed, if (like me) you're sympathetic to the person-affecting views of population ethics and Epicureanism about the badness of death, then the only reason to reduce X-risk would be to reducing the suffering to currently living people during their lifetimes. In short, X-risk would not be much of a priority of this combination but that's basically pretty obvious if you hold this combination of views.