Infinite ethics is the branch of moral philosophy that studies the ethical implications of living in an infinite universe.

The possibility that the universe is infinite, and that it might therefore contain an infinite number of morally relevant beings, is a challenge to moral theories that instruct us to increase the good in the world. Briefly, the trouble is that in an infinite universe the amount of good may be infinite no matter what we do, and it is difficult to compare infinities.

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I started writing a criticism about infinite ethics, but after seeing how few posts there are on the subject it occurred to me that maybe no one takes infinite ethics seriously so no one would care.

I have two comments below:

  • "Yes, infinite ethics is a serious problem and deserves criticism."
  • "No, infinite ethics is not a serious problem and doesn't deserve criticism."

Please upvote whichever one you agree with.

More nuanced takes are also welcome.




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No, infinite ethics is not a serious problem and doesn't deserve criticism.

Yes, infinite ethics is a serious problem and deserves criticism.

I think the wording of your options is a bit misleading. It's valuable to publish your criticism of any topic that's taking up non-trivial EA resources, regardless of its true worth as a topic - otherwise we might be wasting bednets money. The important question is whether or not infinite ethics fits this category (I'm unsure, but my best guess is no right now and maybe yes in a few years). Whether or not something is a "serious problem" or "deserves criticism", at least for me, seems to point to a substantively different claim. More like, "I agree/disagree with the people who think infinite ethics is a valuable research field". That's not the relevant question.

A note on counting: comment karma and upvote number are not really the same thing. Even in the absence of downvotes or strong votes, some people have a small vote power equal to 2.

Im very interested if infinite ethics includes the possibility that a person's sentience can persist for infinite time (i.e. wat lots of religions claim)

I'm not sure what you mean by "it deserves criticism" I think Infinite Ethics is a serious subject, but which we should study in the Long Reflection.

I have a few novel ideas about how to make infinite ethics problems go away (by solving or dissolving them, depending on your perspective), but they would take hours or days to write down. How valuable would it be for me to do this?

Oh, wait, I thought Infinite Ethics included all moral math with infinites, like Pascal's Mugging. 

Honestly, personally I think we should focus on AI and community building and everything else seems almost irrelevant.

Third option:

I object to the very existence of this survey

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