Longtermism: An Introduction


'Longtermism' is the view that positively influencing the long-term future is a key moral priority of our time.

Three ideas come together to suggest this view. First, future people matter. Our lives surely matter just as much as those lived thousands of years ago — so why shouldn’t the lives of people living thousands of years from now matter equally? Second, the future could be vast. Absent catastrophe, most people who will ever live have not yet been born. Third, our actions may predictably influence how well this long-term future goes. In sum, it may be our responsibility to ensure future generations get to survive and flourish.

Longtermism is not a single, fully worked-out perspective. Instead, it's a family of views that agree on the importance of safeguarding and improving humanity’s long-term prospects. Neither is it entirely new, of course — it builds on a long history of concern for future generations.

But if its key claims are true, this could be a very big deal. Not just in the abstract: there might be ways you could begin working on longtermist causes yourself.

Read more: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/articles/longtermism

Source: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/articles/longtermism

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