The human side of moral calculations, excepting that you can get away without having to write it down, usually.
Miscellaneous link salad.
Robust egg offsetting:
It is hard to explain the experience of reading this, but I recommend having it.
Imagine dining with a person who wishes to offset cruelty but also does not with to implement policies to reduce cruelty en masse.
I foresee that chat going some fascinating places as you mop up the foie gras and ortolan.
An excellent pairing with David G and Froolow, Is Eating Meat A Net Harm?
Here’s one for the effective altruists: Does anyone have a better version of this? I want a version which looks at the opportunity costs of different modes of distribution instead of lumping everything into “capitalism” vs “other”)
Does marginalism in economics of effective altruism lead to self defeating behaviour?
The core problem is the bourgeois moral philosophy that the movement rests
upon. Effective Altruists abstract from — and thereby exonerate — the social
dynamics constitutive of capitalism.
[…] capital’s commodification of necessities directly undermines the
self-sufficiency of entire populations by determining how resources are
In the meantime, capital extracts around $2 trillion annually from
“developing countries” through things like illicit financial flows, tax
evasion, debt service, and trade policies advantageous to the global
capitalist class. […]
These dynamics, which spring from capital’s insistence on the
commodification of necessities, are what turn billions of people into
drowning strangers and generate a need for ever-multiplying charitable
organizations in the first place.
Morality in governance
On aligning our brutish heroism with the needs of a global society.
You can also call this political economy, realistically, but I won’t because terminological assumptions in this domain are tedious.
Enlightened imagination for citizens
In a raging flood, a man risks his life to save a swept away child, but two
years earlier he voted against strengthening the levee whose breaching
caused the flood.
During an epidemic people work tirelessly to help the stricken, but ignored
elementary sanitation processes that could have prevented the outbreak.
More astoundingly, as many as 200,000 Americans die each year from diseases
spread by their own doctors who have been ignoring elementary sanitation
(including simply washing their hands when needed), but who then work
diligently to try to save the patients they have infected.
Studies show that about 80% of Americans are “highly concerned” about
climate change, yet this percentage drops to less than 20% when the issue
is combined with what it will cost to actually deal with these changes.
In our world, we have enough power to topple our most important systems,
but not the power to restore most of them.
Being heroic in the face of disaster — as humans often are —
will not help in most of these cases.
This means that we have to “learn about consequences before they happen”.
We have to be able to summon vivid enough imaginations of the disasters
to be heroic long before they happen.
Also, Libertarianism: a Philosophy of Discipline and Self-Control is an articulation of what an attitude would be that would make hard libertarianism the best possible system.
Exercise for the student: a populace attaining this libertarian systems and this attitude of ‘discipline and self control’.
The Story of the COVID-19 Pandemic:
A common theme […] is a willingness to kill hundreds of thousands of people through inaction, before decisionmakers are willing to risk taking any unpopular action.
The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics points to one possible explanation, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that leaders are to a large extent giving the public what they want in all of this — it’s just that the public has pathologically low standards and a bizarre level of change aversion.
The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics says that when you observe or interact with a problem in any way, you can be blamed for it. At the very least, you are to blame for not doing more. Even if you don’t make the problem worse, even if you make it slightly better, the ethical burden of the problem falls on you as soon as you observe it. In particular, if you interact with a problem and benefit from it, you are a complete monster.
Bierbrauer, Felix. 2021. “Harry Potter and the Welfare of the Willfully Blinded.”
In Deliberate Ignorance
, edited by Ralph Hertwig and Christoph Engel, 187–98. The MIT Press
Carugati, Federica, and Margaret Levi. 2021. “A Moral Political Economy: Present, Past, and Future.” Elements in Political Economy
, May. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108872942
Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life. 2006. The MIT Press.
Nilsson, Artur, Henry Montgomery, Girts Dimdins, Maria Sandgren, Arvid Erlandsson, and Adrian Taleny. 2020. “Beyond ‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’: Complexity in Ideology, Moral Intuitions, and Worldview Among Swedish Voters.” European Journal of Personality
34 (3): 448–69. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2249
Schei, Thea S., Sana Sheikh, and Simone Schnall. 2019. “Atoning Past Indulgences: Oral Consumption and Moral Compensation.” Frontiers in Psychology
Sigmund, Karl. 2011. “Moral Assessment in Indirect Reciprocity.” Journal of Theoretical Biology
In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.03.024