Purim/St. Patrick's mailbag
A big week for drunkenness-related holidays in the white, ethnic, urban Northeast!
Hey folks, time for another round of mailbag questions.
I want to flag one in particular about paying for kidney donations that I’m still mulling over and will probably turn into a full-length post in the future. I also want to encourage more frivolous questions next time… you guys got very serious this round!
Mark W: On Twitter yesterday you said something about effective altruism being a new sort of religion, and that you viewed that as a positive development. That is very intriguing to me and I would love for you to flesh that out a bit.
I read Derek Parfit’s book “Reasons and Persons” years ago before I’d ever heard of “longtermism” or “effective altruism” and before those things really had a movement or institutions attached to them. Back in 2008, I wrote a brief take on Obama vs. McCain in a Parfitian (or as we would now say, longtermist) perspective. And in 2010, I recommended the book and described it as “my alternative to a theological system or religious belief, the set of pre…
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