The end of humanity would be one of the very worst things that could happen. Yet until very recently the academic and policy community has devoted little study to its likelihood, its possible causes, or to the best means of preventing it. We are thus in a very fertile time for this research, with major results being established about relative likelihood of natural versus anthropogenic risk and a deepening understanding of the ethics and economics of the risk of human extinction.
GLOBAL PRIORITY SETTING
There are many ways of helping to improve our world, but they are not created equal. Even just within global health, some approaches are thousands of times more effective than others. If you choose two at random, then on average one is a hundred times better than the other. These differences can get even larger when we set priorities between different fields or between developed and developing nations. This makes it essential to get our global priorities right, so we don't squander most of the value we could have achieved.
Examines how we can manage the risk of transformative new technologies bringing about human extinction, using the examples of engineered pathogens and artificial intelligence.
Different health interventions in poor countries have stunningly different cost-effectiveness, with some able to deliver 10,000 times the benefit for a given cost. This essay concisely explains the dramatic ethical consequences that follow.
Global poverty is one of the most pressing issues of our time, yet many ethical theories are reluctant to take positive action towards the poor seriously. This contrasts with the strong demands of Utilitarianism, Peter Singer’s Principle of Sacrifice, and of some parts of Christian Ethics. Far from being too demanding, this is something that these theories get right, and which all plausible moral theories must emulate.
Introduces and explores the concept of moral trade — where people exchange goods or services such that they both think the world is a better place, or that their moral obligations are better satisfied. The gains from moral trade are potentially vast, and can be realised even when the people involved have very different moral views.
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