I think this outline needs major revisions to be improved.
It’s like Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average. It’s impossible for every single person in the community to believe that the community is not X enough
The above is the clearest example of why I think this post’s argument fails. It is definitely possible for all members to believe something about the community is inadequate. For example, say a sports team is bad at defence. And, every member of the team could believe that they need to improve their defence. The fact that all members believe it does not disprove the empirical fact that the team’s defence is inadequate.
Where this impossibility claim might have legs is where the group belief is about group belief itself. For example, it may be impossible for every member of the team to believe that every member of the team does not think about defence enough. But the examples you talked about are not like this—they concern actual action, not group belief.
You are conflating noticing/talking/writing about an action with the action itself. This is especially apparent for issues that are larger than individual action. For the example of systemic change: every member could believe sincerely that the community as a whole should ‘do more work on systemic change’, but reasonably continue their normal, everyday, non-systemic work. In that case, everyone agrees that more systemic change work is needed, but no systemic change work actually gets done.I think this is fairly common in EA counter-criticism, where people point to an old blog post about issue X, proving that EAs are already aware about X, and so, they argue, the criticism fails. While relevant, awareness of X pales in comparison to actually dealing with X itself. This argument is further weakened by the fact that few critical stances are endorsed by near-100% of the community. There are significant counter-parties to most interesting critical claims. So making a critical claim is usually not in the situation of ‘everyone already agrees with this’.
Finally, there’s the common sense rebuttal that if a criticism is being made by many, that should (all else equal) increase your credence that the criticism is true. Contrarianism for contrarianism’s sake is useful for checks and balances, but as a personal strategy is antithetical to epistemic modesty.
Yeah, it’s mostly a heuristic argument, and the best you can do might be to just carefully look at the object level instead of trying to infer based on what people are saying.