26 August 2022

William MacAskill: What We Owe the Future (highly recommended)

Reading What We Owe the Future by practical moral philosopher William MacAskill. Only read the first couple of chapters, but already I can safely say: I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The premise is that the lives of future human beings (I would add "and their sentient successors") are worthy of significant consideration. And, thing is, there are two really important corollaries: 1. We are at a juncture in history where what we do will affect the longest-term potential of humanity more than at any other time in the future, and most of the past. 2. The future of humanity is, potentially, almost inconceivably greater in all measures (population, space, time, lifetime, scope of movement and capacity of thought).... than its past or present. If you realize that these points are all irrefutably true, you can't escape the conclusion that we owe a pretty damn significant duty not to blow it for them, and, we are blowing it. Bad. But it's not all doom and gloom. Actually, the "practical" part is why I admire this guy's writing and ideas more than a lot of other people who write about the future. 

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