Fanaticism can be described as the position that it’s morally better to reject “a certainty of a moderately good outcome, such as one additional life saved” in favour of “a lottery which probably gives a worse outcome, but has a tiny probability of some vastly better outcome (perhaps trillions of additional blissful lives created)” (Wilkinson 2020). Some have argued that fanaticism should be rejected and that this might undermine the case for certain philosophical positions, such as longtermism.
See also the concept of “Pascal’s mugging” (LessWrong 2020).
LessWrong (2020) Pascal’s mugging, LessWrong Wiki, August 3 (updated 23 September 2020).
Wiblin, Robert & Keiran Harris (2021) Christian Tarsney on future bias and a possible solution to moral fanaticism, 80,000 Hours, May 5.
Wilkinson, Hayden (2020) In defence of fanaticism, GPI Working Paper No. 4-2020 (updated January 2021).
alternatives to expected value theory | altruistic wager | decision theory | decision-theoretic uncertainty | expected value | moral uncertainty | naive consequentialism vs. sophisticated consequentialism | risk aversion