Comment by jamiewoodhouse on Does EA need an underpinning philosophy? Could sentientism be that philosophy? · 2019-04-01T12:33:55.917Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks all. I'd love to hear thoughts from anyone who has downvoted. No obligation of course.

Alasdair - I think I'm reasonably familiar with EA but I could have been clearer. I was trying to explore two points:

1) Given both sentientism and EA focus on using evidence and reason and having broad moral compassion - I thought the term and the philosophy might be of interest to EA people generally.

2) Many (all?) of the problems EA looks to address are exacerbated by the fact that billions of people believe and act without a basis in evidence, reason or broad moral compassion. I'm interested in whether people think there is value in trying to bring large numbers of people up towards a simple, common philosophical baseline like Sentientism.

Comment by jamiewoodhouse on Does EA need an underpinning philosophy? Could sentientism be that philosophy? · 2019-04-01T12:26:46.753Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Aidan - really appreciate the feedback.

Sentientism isn't a comprehensive moral system as you say - it leaves open all of the questions you list and others. It's similar to secular humanism in that way. My intention in promoting Sentientism is for it to be a simple, unifying baseline philosophy - rather than something comprehensive. For many in the EA community the philosophy will be unremarkable or even obvious, but billions of people around the world are very happy believing and acting without evidence, reason or broad moral compassion. To my mind that exacerbates many of the problems EA is trying to address.

I find the intricacies of traditional philosophy fascinating, but I am wondering if there is more value in bringing large numbers of people up towards a simple, common baseline.

I'm open minded about how closely linked EA could or should be to Sentientism. It feels like a strong fit in some ways, but religiously motivated EAs are likely to disagree, as are those who think only humans warrant moral consideration.

Does EA need an underpinning philosophy? Could sentientism be that philosophy?

2019-03-27T15:34:05.300Z · score: 1 (12 votes)
Comment by jamiewoodhouse on Remote Volunteering Opportunities in Effective Altruism · 2018-06-18T09:14:20.946Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

One of my favourite on-line, easy, direct volunteering initiatives is http://www.missingmaps.org/ via https://hotosm.org/. From an EA perspective the benefit may be hard to quantify - as it's 2nd / 3rd order. Aim is to help a variety of local NGOs / charities become more effective through using donated satellite imagery to build open source maps. The local teams can then immediately use these maps + local people can take them on and enhance. Initiatives supported include disaster response as well as longer-term poverty / health / human rights interventions. Ping me at @jamiewoodhouse if you want to know more. Great post by the way - thanks.