::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

Perhaps Utilitarians Should *Make* Happier People

November 9th, 2010
ideas, utilitiarianism  [html]
My current partial utilitarianism has mostly been focused on trying to increase global happiness with international development work. It's based on my understanding that poverty, hunger, and disease make people unhappy. This seems likely, but reading (what I think was) this boston globe article and being reminded of it by this random lesswrong comment other has made me wonder: what if people have some genetic propensity to happiness? Independent of their circumstances, what if some people are just born to be more likely to be happy than others? If we found this to be so, should we then work to increase the fraction of the population with high "happiness aptitude"? Perhaps by targeting charitable giving to help people who tend to be happier (so they can afford to have more kids, while people who tend to be unhappy wouldn't have the same advantage)? Or fetal screenings for "happiness aptitude" just as we can now do for down syndrome? I don't think either of these would work, but the idea that there is a genetic predisposition to happiness ought to be testable, and it ought to be possible to make there be more people born with that predisposition.

Recent posts on blogs I like:

Absolute scale corrupts absolutely

The Internet has gotten too big. Growing up, I, like many computery people of my generation, was an idealist. I believed that better, faster communication would be an unmitigated improvement to society. "World peace through better communication,"…

via apenwarr August 19, 2019

Traces

At naptime Anna listens to recordings of novels recorded by Jeff’s grandmother. It is the main way she will know Winnie, as it is the main way I have ever known Winnie. Some of the recordings are missing parts, and Suzie often fills in the first few sente…

via The whole sky August 18, 2019

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

I really like One Night Ultimate Werewolf (ONUW), and recommend trying it out. The Daybreak expansion is also good (but I’d skip the later games in the series). App For those who’ve played a lot and wish the night took 20 seconds rather than a few minutes…

via The sideways view August 18, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:


  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact