Should altruistic health be at the forefront of our society?

post by Felix Rudfeldt · 2021-05-02T09:11:45.774Z · EA · GW · 2 comments

This is a question post.

I'm not sure how to phrase this question without sound like health is always 

the most important thing that should be prioritised as I'm suspecting 

that there are  instances where health (at least in the short-term) need to

be sacrificed for some other value. I must also confess that I'm quite biased in

asking this question since I value health greatly in my own life and see

how much my own life has improved from doing so. I would also like to add

that by health I mean the health of all beings and also the planet as a whole

(maybe we can call it "universal health" or "altruistic health"?) I'm

imagining how a society that truly values "altruistic health" and the policys,

commercial incentives, education system, 

who we would deem famous and cultural norms that would be in place in such

a society. What problems does this type of society face, techonologically, culturally, economically? For example, is it possible to have both health and economic growth? Would we still have growth in this type of society, albeit perhaps a slower one in the short-term/long-term?  

Let me know what you think and if there's anything you'd want me to expand upon I'd

be happy to do so! Excited to hear your take on this!  



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comment by Harrison D · 2021-05-02T20:30:24.033Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

There appears to be some kind of formatting issue here, as there are a bunch of line breaks interspersed throughout the question/text. More to the substance of the question/post, though, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "altruistic health": are you talking about a specific area of health (e.g., mental, physical)? If you are talking about "health in general", I'm afraid that's too vague to really evaluate as a cause area, especially since you could conceivably include almost all "good things" (e.g., pain avoidance, pleasure/preference achievement) under that in some way. Additionally, of course we would like for everyone to be healthy along each dimension of health, but the issue is not whether that's an ideal goal but rather how do we achieve that--and when it comes to prioritization, what things are we willing to deprioritize in relation to it? In short, I would recommend making sure that the post is formatted correctly and also reading through resources such as 80,000 Hours' various guides (e.g., )

Replies from: Felix Rudfeldt
comment by Felix Rudfeldt · 2021-05-03T07:32:10.461Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for your reply! Regarding the formatting that's my fault since I thought it looked weird "the normal way" on my computer and made intends so the text would be aligned. I was mainly trying to aim at the prioritization of health and what if we were to value health higher in our society how that would impact all aspects of society. Although as you said, I think I made the mistake to make this a bit to vague and broad. Thank you for the resources, I'll check them out!