Longtermism[1][2] is a philosophy that future lives matter and that we have a similar obligation to them as we do to lives around currently. William Macaskill states it in three clauses[3]

  • Future people count
  • There could be a lot of them
  • We can make their lives better

[broad description of philosophy, something about WWOTF]

Criticisms and responses

  • Longermism suffers from all the standard criticism of consequentialism
    • Response: Longtermism doesn't require consequentialist assumptions. Many individuals and societies have felt an obligation towards their decendents
    • Response: Many criticisms of consequentialism are baseless [[criticisms of consequentialism]]
  • Longtermism could be used to justify not caring about the world now
    • This is partially true
  • Future lives don't exist, how could we care about them
  • Something about Bostrom
  • Something about ripples in a pond
  • Something about Hanson
  • Longtermism is unaccountable
  • Lontermist thinkers have skeletons in their closets
  • A future that doesn't deal with current suffering is not one some people want to live in


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Posts tagged Longtermism