What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill PDF Book

What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill: Hello, companions. In this post, we will provide the Philosophy of Good & Evil, What We Owe the Future PDF by William MacAskill. So you can get it in the English language. Basic Books published this book. Stay tuned to this post, and let’s enjoy the What We Owe the Future Book PDF.

Book Name:What We Owe the Future 
Author:William MacAskill
Genre:Utilitarian Philosophy
Pages:352 Pages
Publisher:Basic Books
Release Date:August 16, 2022

What We Owe the Future PDF Summary

In this What We Owe the Future book, William MacAskill raises a fundamental moral question: we don’t consider “this person is not in front of me” as a reason to disregard people morally. Nor do we think “this action will cause harm to people later rather than immediately” as a good reason to ignore people morally. So why do we act as if people far in the future are irrelevant to our moral calculations?

Your perception of the scope of human history, your place in it, and how much you can do to improve it will change after reading what we owe the future book. That is both how basic and how glorious it is.

This book will change your sense of how grand the sweep of human history could be, where you fit into it, and how much you could do to change it for the better. It’s as simple and as ambitious as that. What We Owe The Future makes a case for thinking seriously about the long term. It gives a profoundly new perspective on human civilization and our place in it.

We are in control of the course of the world. The history of writing on Earth is only 5,000 years old. Millions more years could pass in our future, or it could end tomorrow. Depending on what we decide to do today, an incredible number of individuals could have lifetimes of immense happiness, unfathomable agony, or even death.

Philosopher William MacAskill makes a case for the long term in his book What We Owe The Future. Long-term holds that beneficially affecting the far future should be a top moral goal for our time. From this angle, stopping climate change or the next epidemic is insufficient. We must prepare for a world where digital rather than human intelligence will predominate and ensure that society will recover if it fails.

Our grandchildren will prosper if we make sensible decisions now, knowing that we did everything in our power to give them a world filled with justice, hope, and beauty.

What We Owe the Future Book Reviews

This What We Owe the Future pdf book is about long-term: the idea that positively influenced the long-term future is a critical moral priority of our time”. The author starts with three intriguing metaphors: Humanity as an imprudent teenager whose decisions will have lifetime consequences; History as molten glass — society might be set in a fixed, unchangeable state; Trying to make the future better as a risky expedition into uncharted terrain. I give the book five stars because it is a well-written and thought-provoking account of a neglected important topic. Much of the book is eminently sensible, so my comments are just a few counterpoints to a few of the issues discussed, though I have one substantial criticism at the end.

Start with the axiom “future people count”. This seems unobjectionable, but one then confronts questions like “is the world better for having more people leading good lives?” What are the trade-offs between present, near future, and far future costs and benefits? Is a larger population preferable to a smaller population? Chapter 8 discusses such “population ethics” questions via thought experiments. This is fascinating as an intellectual exercise, but it is perhaps not surprising that there are no very satisfactory answers.

Another theme starts with “values are contingent” — for instance, that in an alternate history, large-scale legal slavery might have continued through the 20th Century. The author speculates that the current era of rapid technological and economic growth exhibits unusual “plasticity”, in the sense that actions or their neglect today might lead to a “values lock-in” over the next Century or two, so we should attempt to steer in the desired direction today. In particular, this is applied to the development of AGIs, though the specific possible consequences described seem unconvincing to me.

About the Author

William MacAskill  is an associate professor in philosophy at the University of Oxford and the most widely cited philosopher of his age. A TED speaker and past Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, he co-founded the Centre for Effective Altruism, raising over $1 billion for charities. 

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