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Effective altruism is just philanthropy that devalues non-human life. These "spicy" responses are so telling.

"We should help other people" can never be as effective (sic) as "we should not exploit other people and nature to begin with".

astralcodexten.substack.com/p/

I think Julia Steinberger put it best here with the Principle 1 for ecomonics (and cooperation in general): "You don't have to fuck people over to survive".

jksteinberger.medium.com/the-b

@ttiurani I don't know where you got the idea, but Effective Altruism is definitely not anchored in human life. I personally participated in a EA group where we collected a couple thoudand EUR to donate to a group researching wild animal suffering.

Factory farming is also prominently featured in EA as an unsolved problem 80000hours.org/problem-profile

There are differences in subjective priorities between EA members, but those do not generalize. "People" doesn't have to be limited to humans.

@dcz My take here is polemic (given the short char limit) and as with everything there are nuances. But I believe Scott Alexander has quite a lot of authority in the space, so him using "people" here is likely not a mistake.

It might be me not being a native English speaker, but I've never heard of "people" referencing non-human life. Couldn't find any dictionary definition either that points to that. Can you give some example contexts where that is being done?

@ttiurani I'll grant it that the word "people" is unclear. "Non-human person" is a term of art: petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/res

Depending on how the person in question derives plurals, "people" could mean "persons" or not.

Knowing how many words are spilled about the philosophy of suffering in all kinds of persons, and the informality of the examples, I would not hang much weight on the precise meaning of "people" here.

@dcz Thanks for the reference, didn't know about that discussion!

I definitely agree that when doing philanthropy one should do it effectively. EA (from the little I know) has made a valuable contribution there.

My main point is that while philanthropy not a bad thing, stopping exploitation is so much more impactful. E.g.:

"[T]he South’s losses due to unequal exchange outstrip their total aid receipts over the period by a factor of 30"

sciencedirect.com/science/arti

@ttiurani Stopping exploitation does not stand in opposition to philantropy. EA is also not exclusively about philantropy. Where political change would be impactful, Effective Altruists have all the reason to step in.

"When it comes to politics, there’s no reason in principle why effective altruists shouldn’t get involved" - from vox.com/future-perfect/2018/12

I knew some German EAs trying a political career (in diehumanisten.de/ )

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