Effective Altruism Need Not Be Politically Correct

Maybe the form of altruism with the highest ROI isn’t one that is politically correct. The problem is when one side takes cheap shots the other, such as by invoking Godwin’s Law, as an easy substitute for having to actually provide a substantive counterargument. If my version of EA (effective altruism) is a high-IQ basic income, eugenics, and more funding for gifted education, to some people I’m suddenly a Nazi or some other disparaging label. To quote Scott Adams, ‘Refutations without evidence are self-refuting’ The naturalistic fallacy is also invoked in that because the word ‘altruism’ invokes connotations of ‘goodness’ and ‘happiness’, people assume that something that is labeled ‘altruistic’ must also feel altruistic, when the two need not be mutually inclusive. A eugenics program carried out over many generations may in the long-run be altruistic for the ‘greater good’ of humanity by advancing technology and the canon of knowledge, but many still find eugenics repulsive without even giving it a second thought, letting labels and knee-jerk reactions override logic and debate.

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