Saturday, October 9, 2021

Against Longtermism (Short): Again with the Nazis

Anne came across this post by Peter Singer. It reminded me that after I was suddenly terminated from my last job, a good friend suggested that I turn the anti-utilitarian / anti-summing thoughts in this post and this post into a book. But so far, I just can't come up with enough material for a book. (Although I'd love to see someone question the premise that the continuation of humanity is the ultimate good. This does not seem obvious to me.)

In short, I don't enjoy talk of "the only thing that matters are the possible future trillions of minds," for some of the reasons discussed here. I think is is also quite probably mathematically wrong for the reasons discussed here.

It strikes me along the lines of someone in 1938 who knows what is going on in Nazi Germany. They are in a position to influence public opinion and policy. And they say, "An asteroid might hit Earth someday. The numbers prove we must focus on that." 

Story of this photo here.

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