AnneWissemann comments on Notes on not dying - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: AnneWissemann 23 November 2015 07:11:24PM 2 points [-]

(Commenting on this very old post because no one else seemed to have made the point, which I think is important to mention here to prevent a failure mode.)

I agree with the general point made. The specific examples in this post made me uncomfortable, though.

I'd emphatically warn against disregarding personal enjoyment in a calculation like this. Mental health is crucial to doing good and too often disregarded. In fact, I'd be careful with seeing every part of your life as instrumental to The One Goal of saving the world. It makes a lot of sense to do so from a philosophical viewpoint, but it's disregarding the fact that we're humans with meaty brains not built to internalise that kind of viewpoint to the deepest core.

If you're feeling like you're making a sacrifice, I recommend you stop doing the thing that made you feel that way. Chances are you're more susceptible to burnout than you think you are.

That said, it can still make sense to avoid very dangerous activities or substitute them with less dangerous ones. It's also possible to frame this in terms of personal motivations instead, if one prefers that (e.g. "I really don't want to go skiing because I might fall and break my leg, which would be very painful. I'll go hiking instead.").