Tagarchief: moral illusions

Rational altruism and risk aversion

Let’s start with a very hypothetical but tricky dilemma. The importance of this dilemma will become clear at the end. Suppose I give you a choice between two options. If you choose option A, I will save one person. If … Lees verder

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Discrimination biases

Unwanted arbitrariness is the most important threat for a rational ethic. An important category of unwanted arbitrariness, is discrimination, with the three most known and important examples: sexism, racism and speciesism. Discrimination is fundamentally immoral and should be avoided. However, … Lees verder

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Exploiting the cognitive biases of altruists

How to become an effective altruist? The answer is easy: by exploiting the cognitive biases of altruists. Learn about cognitive biases, see how altruists are susceptible to these biases by making ineffective choices, and do what those biased altruists don’t … Lees verder

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The identifiable problem effect

The identifiable victim effect is a cognitive bias (or moral illusion) where an incentive to help someone is higher when the person in need can be identified by the helper. For example, people donate more money to a charity if … Lees verder

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The most serious moral illusion: arbitrary group selection

Moral illusions are spontaneous, intuitive moral judgments that are very persistent, but they violate our deepest moral values. They distract us away from a rational, authentic ethic. Probably the most problematic moral illusion is arbitrary group selection. This moral illusion … Lees verder

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Speciesism, arbitrariness and moral illusions

In this article I present several topics related to the moral philosophy of animal rights: Defining moral illusions: persistent intuitive moral judgments that violate our strongest and deepest moral values. Detecting moral illusions: looking for unwanted arbitrariness (picking an element … Lees verder

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Effective altruism and the law of diminishing marginal effect

If you hold a weight of 10 grams in your left hand and 20 grams in your right hand, you will feel a difference, but if you hold a weight of 1,01 kilograms in your left hand and 1,02 kilograms … Lees verder

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The anti-experimentation bias

People should not be used as test objects, which means using someone against his or her will in an experiment is morally problematic and would require very strong justification. However, a lot of people are also reluctant to perform medical, … Lees verder

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Why naturalness is a misleading value

A lot of people have a preference for naturalness. They prefer natural disease prevention instead of vaccines, natural foods instead of foods containing GMOs, chemical additives and vitamin supplements, clothes with natural fibers instead of synthetic fibers, animal meat instead … Lees verder

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Carnism versus terrorism: the most extreme example of irrational fear

Fear can be useful as it can increase our survival and health. But fear can also be irrational, namely when we believe that one threat is more dangerous than another, less serious threat or when we feel more fear of … Lees verder

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