Comment author: aaronhamlin 09 August 2017 06:41:24PM 0 points [-]

Given that these all seem to connect with aging issues, I wonder how open the EA community would be to tackling aging as an illness. The foundation that focuses on this is the SENS Foundation (http://www.sens.org/). Aubrey deGrey is the leading figure behind this focus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvWtSUdOWVI).

Comment author: concerned_ 09 August 2017 10:24:15PM 0 points [-]

I'm open to it, but I'm not convinced SENS is actually effective.

Comment author: concerned_ 28 June 2017 06:17:13PM 0 points [-]

What probability would you assign to a China brain being conscious?

Comment author: Austen_Forrester 15 March 2017 02:17:01AM 2 points [-]

It's the only negative utilitarianism promoting group I know of. Does anyone know of others (affiliated with EA or not)?

Comment author: concerned_ 16 March 2017 11:37:18PM 1 point [-]

Another pro-NU org: http://preventsuffering.org/

Comment author: inconvenient 15 March 2017 07:13:29AM *  3 points [-]

I really don't like how you are accusing people without evidence of intentionally promoting violence. This is borderline libel. I agree that someone could take their ideology and use it to justify violence, but I see no reason to believe that they are intentionally trying to "entice" such actions.

Indeed, must focus on the battles we can win. There are two traps. One is to make false accusations. Currently, few negative utilitarians are promoting terrorism, and we should not make accusations that would suggest otherwise. Two is to stir up controversy. Telling negative utilitarians that they are terrorists could inflame them into actually behaving in a more hostile manner. It is like when people say that naming "radical islamic terrorism" is necessary to solve the problem. Perhaps, but it would be more useful to engage cooperatively with the religion of Islam to show that it is a religion of piece, and the same for utilitraianism.

The safe position that we should expect EA leaders to vigilantly oppose is not to promote values whose adoption would lead to large-scale terrorism. This is the hill that we should choose to die on. Specifically, if negative utilitarians believe in cooperation, and they believe that value-spreading is important, then they should be cooperative in the values that they spread. And this does not allow for spreading values that would lead to actions that are overwhelmingly repulsive to the vast majority of ethicists andd the general population on an astronomical scale. EA leaders must include CEA.

Comment author: concerned_ 15 March 2017 05:14:41PM 0 points [-]

I agree 100%.

Comment author: Austen_Forrester 15 March 2017 02:17:01AM 2 points [-]

It's the only negative utilitarianism promoting group I know of. Does anyone know of others (affiliated with EA or not)?

Comment author: concerned_ 15 March 2017 03:18:26AM 3 points [-]

Many antinatalists who are unaffiliated with EA have similar beliefs. (eg, David Benatar, although I'm not sure whether he's even a consequentialist at all.)

Comment author: Austen_Forrester 15 March 2017 02:03:18AM -1 points [-]

I know they don't actually come out and recommend terrorism publicly... but they sure go as far as they can to entice terrorism without being prosecuted by the government as a terrorist organization. Of course, if they were explicit, they'd immediately be shut down and jailed by authorities.

I promise you this – all those who endorse this mass termination of life ideology are going to pay a price. Whether by police action or public scrutiny, they will be forced to publicly abandon their position at some point. I implore them to do it now, on their volition. No one will believe them if they conveniently change their minds about no-rules negative utilitarianism after facing public scrutiny or the law. Now is the time. I warned CEA about this years ago, yet they still promote FRI.

I actually respect austere population-control to protect quality of life, even through seemingly drastic means such as forced sterilization (in extreme scenarios only, of course). However, atheists don't believe in any divine laws such as the sin of killing, are thus not bound by any rules. The type of negative utilitarianism popular in EA is definitely a brutal no-rules, mass killing-is-okay type. It is important to remember, also, that not everyone has good mental health. Some people have severe schizophrenia and could start a forest fire or kill many people to “prevent suffering” without thinking through all of the negative aspects of doing this. I think that the Future of Humanity Institute should add negative utilitarian atheism to their list of existential risks.

Anti-spirituality: Doesn't have anything to do with NU or FRI, I probably should have left it out of my comment. It just means that many EAs use EA as a means to promote atheism/atheists. Considering about 95% of the world's population are believers, they may have an issue with this aspect of the movement.

Comment author: concerned_ 15 March 2017 03:07:30AM 8 points [-]

Of course, if they were explicit, they'd immediately be shut down and jailed by authorities.

I really don't like how you are accusing people without evidence of intentionally promoting violence. This is borderline libel. I agree that someone could take their ideology and use it to justify violence, but I see no reason to believe that they are intentionally trying to "entice" such actions.

Comment author: Austen_Forrester 15 March 2017 02:03:18AM -1 points [-]

I know they don't actually come out and recommend terrorism publicly... but they sure go as far as they can to entice terrorism without being prosecuted by the government as a terrorist organization. Of course, if they were explicit, they'd immediately be shut down and jailed by authorities.

I promise you this – all those who endorse this mass termination of life ideology are going to pay a price. Whether by police action or public scrutiny, they will be forced to publicly abandon their position at some point. I implore them to do it now, on their volition. No one will believe them if they conveniently change their minds about no-rules negative utilitarianism after facing public scrutiny or the law. Now is the time. I warned CEA about this years ago, yet they still promote FRI.

I actually respect austere population-control to protect quality of life, even through seemingly drastic means such as forced sterilization (in extreme scenarios only, of course). However, atheists don't believe in any divine laws such as the sin of killing, are thus not bound by any rules. The type of negative utilitarianism popular in EA is definitely a brutal no-rules, mass killing-is-okay type. It is important to remember, also, that not everyone has good mental health. Some people have severe schizophrenia and could start a forest fire or kill many people to “prevent suffering” without thinking through all of the negative aspects of doing this. I think that the Future of Humanity Institute should add negative utilitarian atheism to their list of existential risks.

Anti-spirituality: Doesn't have anything to do with NU or FRI, I probably should have left it out of my comment. It just means that many EAs use EA as a means to promote atheism/atheists. Considering about 95% of the world's population are believers, they may have an issue with this aspect of the movement.

Comment author: concerned_ 15 March 2017 02:57:25AM *  4 points [-]

However, atheists don't believe in any divine laws such as the sin of killing, are thus not bound by any rules.

I think your gripe is with consequentialism, not atheism per se. And don't forget that there are plenty of theists who do horrible things, often in the name of their religion.

I think that the Future of Humanity Institute should add negative utilitarian atheism to their list of existential risks.

The X-Risks Institute, which is run by /u/philosophytorres, specializes in agential risks, and mentions NU as one such risk. I don't whether FHI has ever worked on agential risks.

It just means that many EAs use EA as a means to promote atheism/atheists.

It is evident that the majority of EAs are atheist/irreligious, but I am not aware of any EA organizations actively promoting atheism or opposing theism. Who uses EA as a "means to promote atheism"?

Coincidentally, the closest example I can recall is Phil Torres's work on religious eschatological fanaticism as a possible agential x-risk.

Comment author: Austen_Forrester 10 March 2017 05:44:00AM -1 points [-]

Those guiding principles are good. However, I wished you would include one that was against doing massive harm to the world. CEA endorses the “Foundational Research Institute,” a pseudo-think tank that promotes dangerous ideas of mass-termination of human and non-human life, not excluding extinction. By promoting this organization, CEA is promoting human, animal, and environmental terrorism on the grandest scale. Self-styled “effective altruists” try to pass themselves off as benevolent, but the reality is that they themselves are one of the biggest threats to the world by promoting terrorism and anti-spirituality under the cloak of altruism.

Comment author: concerned_ 12 March 2017 02:02:28AM *  4 points [-]

I mostly agree with you. It honestly does worry me that the mainstream EA movement has no qualms about associating with FRI, whose values, I would wager, conflict with the those of the majority of humankind. This is one of the reasons I have drifted away from identifying with EA lately.

Self-styled “effective altruists” try to pass themselves off as benevolent, but the reality is that they themselves are one of the biggest threats to the world by promoting terrorism and anti-spirituality under the cloak of altruism.

It's a stretch to say FRI directly promotes terrorism; they make it clear on their website that they oppose violence and encourage cooperation with other (non-NU) value systems. The end result of their advocacy, however, may be less idealistic than they anticipate. (It's not too hard to imagine a negative utilitarian Kaczynski, if their movement gains traction. I think there's even a page on the FRI website where they mention that as a possible risk of advocating for suffering-focused ethics.)

I don't know what you mean by "anti-spirituality".