Altru­is­tic wager

TagLast edit: 11 May 2021 14:25 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

An altruistic wager is a type of argument that seeks to establish that an agent should act as though a conclusion is true because, given what we know, that seems to be the right decision from an ethical perspective, even if the conclusion does not actually seem likely to be true. For example, one might argue that one should act as though animals are sentient and are moral patients when deciding whether to be a vegetarian, as long as that has any nontrivial chance of being true, because if it is true the ethical harms of eating meat might very much outweigh the ethical or self-interested benefits.

Altruistic wagers often assume an agent should behave according to expected value theory, but some such wagers may also hold under some alternatives to expected value theory. Some wagers may even hold more strongly under particular alternatives to expected value theory, such as a theory that incorporates risk-aversion.

Related entries

alternatives to expected value theory | decision theory | decision-theoretic uncertainty | expected value theory | fanaticism | moral uncertainty | risk aversion

Ex­pected value the­ory is fa­nat­i­cal, but that’s a good thing

HaydenW21 Sep 2020 8:48 UTC
52 points
20 comments5 min readEA link

Lay­man’s Sum­mary of Re­solv­ing Pas­cal­lian De­ci­sion Prob­lems with Stochas­tic Dominance

Ben_West12 Mar 2021 3:51 UTC
36 points
11 comments5 min readEA link

Tiny Prob­a­bil­ities of Vast Utilities: A Prob­lem for Long-Ter­mism?

kokotajlod8 Nov 2018 10:09 UTC
23 points
17 commentsEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #5: Me­taeth­i­cal Fa­nat­i­cism (Dialogue)

Lukas_Gloor17 Jun 2020 12:33 UTC
22 points
10 comments15 min readEA link

Tiny Prob­a­bil­ities of Vast Utilities: De­fus­ing the Ini­tial Worry and Steel­man­ning the Problem

kokotajlod10 Nov 2018 9:12 UTC
24 points
6 commentsEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #4: Why the Mo­ral Real­ism Wager Fails

Lukas_Gloor14 Jun 2020 13:33 UTC
22 points
13 comments11 min readEA link

Tiny Prob­a­bil­ities of Vast Utilities: Bibliog­ra­phy and Appendix

kokotajlod20 Nov 2018 17:34 UTC
9 points
0 comments24 min readEA link

How can we in­fluence the long-term fu­ture?

Tobias_Baumann6 Mar 2019 15:31 UTC
10 points
1 comment4 min readEA link

Effec­tive Altru­ism Foun­da­tion: Plans for 2020

Jonas Vollmer23 Dec 2019 11:51 UTC
82 points
13 comments15 min readEA link

[Question] How can I bet on short timelines?

kokotajlod7 Nov 2020 12:45 UTC
33 points
10 comments2 min readEA link

[Question] Is this a good way to bet on short timelines?

kokotajlod28 Nov 2020 14:31 UTC
17 points
16 comments1 min readEA link

[Question] What con­sid­er­a­tions in­fluence whether I have more in­fluence over short or long timelines?

kokotajlod5 Nov 2020 19:57 UTC
18 points
0 comments1 min readEA link

Tiny Prob­a­bil­ities of Vast Utilities: Solutions

kokotajlod14 Nov 2018 16:04 UTC
20 points
5 commentsEA link

Tiny Prob­a­bil­ities of Vast Utilities: Con­clud­ing Arguments

kokotajlod15 Nov 2018 21:47 UTC
21 points
5 comments10 min readEA link

Even non-the­ists should act as if the­ism is true

alexrattee8 Nov 2018 23:26 UTC
7 points
37 commentsEA link