To add a more opinionated less factual point, as someone who researches and advises policymakers on how to think and make long-term decisions, I tend to be somewhat disappointed by the extent to which the longtermist community lacks discussions and understanding of how long-term decision making is done in practice. I guess, if worded strongly, this could be worded as an additional community-level objection to longtermism along the lines of:
Objection: The longtermist idea makes quite strong somewhat counterintuitive claims about how to do good but the longtermist community has not yet demonstrated appropriately strong intellectual rigour (other than in the field of philosophy) about these claims and what they mean in practice. Individuals should therefore should be sceptical of the claims of longtermists about how to do good.
If worded more politely the objection would basically be that the ideas of longtermism are very new and somewhat untested and may still change significantly so we should be super cautious about adopting the conclusions of longtermists for a while longer.
Thanks so much for both these comments! I definitely missed some important detail there.
Do you think there are any counterexamples to this? For example certain actions to reduce x-risk?
I guess some of the: AI will be transformative therefore deserves attention arguments are some of the oldest and most generally excepted within this space.
For various reasons I think the arguments for focusing on x-risk are much stronger than other longtermist arguments, but how best to do this, what x-risks to focus on, etc, is all still new and somewhat uncertain.