A Paradox in the Measurement of the Value of Life

The following link is to a document that was created as external research for CEA. I was tasked with attempting to resolve a paradox presented by the experimental results concerning two units of measurement of the value of life (as the document explains). It is quite long (~8000 words), but... Read More
In response to comment by klloyd on Why I left EA
Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 20 February 2017 03:33:59PM *  2 points [-]

You can be a particularist and an antirealist.

Do you mean non-cognitivist? It's just because I didn't think many in EA were moral anti-realists, but perhaps could be non-cognitivists)

Noncognitivists are anti realists, along with error theorists.

Note that a framework of moral uncertainty doesn't seem to make a lot of sense for the anti-realist, because there isn't a clear sense in which one ought to pay attention to it. Maybe it can work, it's just less clear.

In response to comment by kbog  (EA Profile) on Why I left EA
Comment author: klloyd 20 February 2017 10:47:17PM 0 points [-]

You're probably correct, reading up I realise I didn't understand it as well as I think I did, but I still have a few questions. If one is a particularist and anti-realist how do those judgements have any force that can possibly be called moral? As for moral uncertainty, I meant that if one ascribes some non-zero probability to there being genuine moral demands on one, it would seem one still has reason to follow them. If you're right then nothing you do matters so you've lost nothing. If you're wrong you have done something good. So, it would seem moral uncertainty gives one reasons to act in a certain way, because some probability of doing good has some motivating power even if not as much as certainly doing good. I think I was mixed up about non-cognitivism, but some people seem to be called non-cognitivists and realists? For example David Hume, who I've heard called a non-cognitivist and a consequentialist, and Simon Blackburn who is called a quasi-realist despite being a non-cognitivist. Are either of these people properly called realists?

Comment author: klloyd 20 February 2017 01:05:39PM 1 point [-]

"EAs often say that their views don’t presuppose consequentialism" This is interesting, because some people believe that all ethical theories can be "consequentialised". If so, any EA who thinks their view presupposes moral realism actually could be say to think their view presupposes consequentialism.

In response to Why I left EA
Comment author: klloyd 20 February 2017 01:01:35PM 2 points [-]

These may be silly questions, apologies if so, -Can one be a moral anti-realist and a moral particularist? (Do you mean non-cognitivist? It's just because I didn't think many in EA were moral anti-realists, but perhaps could be non-cognitivists) -What do you feel the consequences of moral uncertainty are? -Are you saying that moral particularism is closest to your beliefs, as a result of moral uncertainty? Or are closest to your beliefs, were you to be a moral realist? -In being an anti-realist, does that mean none of the claims made above are morally normative in nature?

Like others have below I'd like to thank you for an honest and interesting post.

Comment author: klloyd 20 February 2017 12:42:34PM 1 point [-]

I think you can be a moral realist and bite bullets too. If you accept some form of moral casuistry you needn't have any moral laws at all, just a collection of judgements. But you can still be perfectly realist. Of course, you are still right in this case. Anti-realists don't need to bite bullets either. I have started wondering recently if I should be as neutral about biting bullets as I was (I just saw them as a way to ensure consistency). However really, they are occasions when intuitive morality which is the ultimate basis of my moral reasoning, disagrees with my conclusions. So perhaps, as you seem to imply, biting bullets should be viewed negatively (hence why some EAs find it off-putting, they already view it negatively).

In response to Introduce Yourself
Comment author: klloyd 20 February 2017 12:36:14PM 1 point [-]

I'm Kiran, I am doing a philosophy degree in Warwick University in the UK. I'm really interested in ethics, logic, and philosophy of science. I am concerned about existential risk and have very utilitarian intuitions, so this seems the right place to be!