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Effective AltruismPhilosophical Issues$
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Hilary Greaves and Theron Pummer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198841364

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198841364.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2021

A Brief Argument for the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future

A Brief Argument for the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future

Chapter:
(p.80) 6 A Brief Argument for the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future
Source:
Effective Altruism
Author(s):

Nick Beckstead

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198841364.003.0006

In this chapter, Nick Beckstead argues that the best available interventions gain most of their expected value via the effects that they have on the long-run future, rather than via their more immediate effects. Because of the vastness of humanity’s possible future, this line of argument tends to favour actions that reduce risks of premature extinction, and actions that increase probabilities of other significantly beneficial “trajectory changes” to the course of humanity’s long-run future, even where the change in probabilities that we are able to bring about is very small.

Keywords:   existential risk, long-termism, population ethics, person-affecting views, temporal discounting, far future

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