The moral philosopher, William MacAskill, gives most of his earnings to charity and in a striking new book argues that it’s our duty to ensure the wellbeing of our distant descendants.
What MacAskill is arguing for is humility in the face of the astonishing expanse of time that humanity could fill. But that shouldn’t lead to complacency or paralysis. Standard economic forecasts for the next 100 years predict more of the same, with growth of approximately 2% a year. MacAskill says that we should take into account the possibility of a catastrophe that wipes out 50% of the population, or that there might a significant increase in growth.
We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we should put a lot more time and effort into preparing for different outcomes. We owe that to ourselves, says MacAskill, but we also owe it to the teeming billions yet to come.
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