The View from Hell

Just another WordPress.com site

Robin Hanson and the Repugnant Conclusion

with 10 comments


Robin Hanson on Respecting Poor People

Based on Robin Hanson’s conversation with Karl Smith regarding population ethics on a recent Blogging Heads TV program, on why the Repugnant Conclusion is not really so repugnant.

Advertisements

Written by Sister Y

March 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

10 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Oh no you didn't!

    revolutionaryandjoyful

    March 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

  2. I actually don't think I'm exaggerating his position – just saying it in the equivalent of a funny voice. I would be surprised if he disagreed with my interpretation of his position.

    He is, however, rather less bald than the clown pictured.

    Sister Y

    March 10, 2011 at 12:48 am

  3. Wait! Karl Smith who wrote the Pessimist Manifesto is black?!?!

    It's so nice to see a fellow black person, even if he is such a strong libertarian, who looks starkly at how horrible life is without immediately following it with some religious mumbo jumbo.

    revolutionaryandjoyful

    March 10, 2011 at 12:51 am

  4. Ha ha ha – my thought on watching the video was, “wait, Karl Smith is HOT?”

    Sister Y

    March 10, 2011 at 12:52 am

  5. “wait, Karl Smith is HOT?”

    I concur; but why is that surprising?

    Nice comic strip, BTW. Robin Hanson's character is particularly lifelike.

    CM

    March 10, 2011 at 2:39 am

  6. Are you implying Robin Hanson isn't hot?

    Anonymous

    March 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

  7. I'd probably still hit it, but for extraphysical reasons.

    Sister Y

    March 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

  8. “Sister Y said…
    I'd probably still hit it, but for extraphysical reasons.”

    lol u

    Anonymous

    March 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm

  9. It makes a lot less sense to tell A to be thankful that B exists than to tell A to be thankful A exists.

    Robin Hanson

    March 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  10. But I think your line of thinking implies that A is selfish not to be thankful that B exists, because abstractly, the best universe is one where the most barely-happy-to-be-alive people exist. (But you don't seem to be judging B's as selfish for being happy to exist, despite their existence causing suffering for A.)

    Existing beings cry out for happiness, and for less suffering. The void doesn't cry out for anything – literally or morally.

    Accepting the repugnant conclusion as not that repugnant requires us to take on a project of adding more people until happiness is almost gone – until everyone is just barely glad to exist. This seems like such a controversial moral intuition that I'm surprised its advocates are not more worried about the strange assumptions on which it relies (such as what I call the “imaginary survey justification“).

    If people really understood the amount of suffering required for them to exist, would they REALLY still be glad to exist? More importantly, would they still be morally entitled to be glad to exist?

    Sister Y

    March 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: