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The Threat of Longtermism: Is Ecological Catastrophe an Existential Risk? Disillusioned Ideals for a Bold, New Future

Filozofia, 78 (2023), Supplement, 133 - 148.
Typ článku: State
In a world of rapidly advancing technological innovation, a case has been made to prioritize potential long-term benefits to future generations over the interests of those currently alive. Proponents of this approach, called longtermists, support investments in technology to avoid existential risks. They claim technology will eventually “solve” climate change, while ignoring technopower reduction as a potential solution to global environmental catastrophe. Democratic control over technology mitigates some of these harms, yet falls short of the authors’ proposed level of oversight. In this paper, we consider the ethical hazards of longtermists’ stance. An ethical dilemma emerges from the devastating effect some technological advancements have on the environment. While we recognize the merits of long-term thinking, we argue longtermists’ prioritization consolidates power among few technocrats. This prioritization exacerbates existing inequalities instead of redistributing economic and political power to communities most affected by climate change. We posit this trade-off to be unethical.
Kľúčové slová

Longtermism, Ethics, Effective altruism, William MacAskill, Martha Nussbaum, Existential risk

Súbor na stiahnutie: PDF