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Carl_Shulman comments on My Cause Selection: Michael Dickens - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Carl_Shulman 17 September 2015 04:09:38AM *  3 points [-]

Why does value pluralism justify reducing the importance of the far future? It seems unreasonable to me to discount the far future and I find it very implausible that beings in the far future don't have moral value.

Others think that we have special obligations to those with whom we have relationships or reciprocity, who we have harmed or been benefited by, or adopt person-affecting views although those are hard to make coherent. Others adopt value holism of various kinds, caring about other features of populations like the average and distribution, although for many parameterizations and empirical beliefs those still favor strong focus on the long-run.

(EDIT: I'd also add that even if I'm fairly confident about a 100-1000x effect size difference from inside an argument, when weighting donations I should take the outside view and not let these big effect sizes carry too much weight.)

Right, sounds good.

Comment author: MichaelDickens  (EA Profile) 17 September 2015 04:33:30AM 2 points [-]

I find all those views really implausible so I don't do anything to account for them. On the other hand, you seem to have a better grasp of utilitarianism than I do but you're less confident about its truth, which makes me think I should be less confident.

Comment author: MichaelDickens  (EA Profile) 17 September 2015 04:36:17AM 1 point [-]

On his old blog Scott talks about how there are some people who can argue circles around him on certain subjects. I feel like you can do this to me on cause prioritization. Like no matter what position I take, you can poke tons of holes in it and convince me that I'm wrong.

Comment author: RyanCarey 17 September 2015 01:41:00PM *  4 points [-]

The fact that Carl points out flaws with arguments on all sides makes him more trustworthy!