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在我们的时代中,最重要的道德问题是什么?

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-6-17 06:00| 查看数: 103| 评论数: 0|



This is a graph that represents the economic history of human civilization. [World GDP per capita over the last 200,000 years] There’s not much going on, is there. For the vast majority of human history, pretty much everyone lived on the equivalent of one dollar per day, and not much changed. But then, something extraordinary happened: the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions.

这是一张图,图上的是人类文明的经济历史。【过去二十万年的 世界人均国内生产总额】图上没多少东西。人类历史大部分的时期,几乎人人都是一天用一块美金在过日子,没有很大的改变。接着,不凡的事发生了: 科学和工业革命。

And the basically flat graph you just saw transforms into this. What this graph means is that, in terms of power to change the world, we live in an unprecedented time in human history, and I believe our ethical understanding hasn’t yet caught up with this fact. The Scientific and Industrial Revolutions transformed both our understanding of the world and our ability to alter it.

各位刚刚看到几乎是平坦的图形转变成这样。这张图的意义是, 就改变世界的力量来说,我们处在人类历史上前所未见的时代,且我认为我们的伦理领会还没有赶上这些发展。科学和工业革命转变了我们对世界的了解及我们改变世界的能力。

What we need is an ethical revolution so that we can work out how do we use this tremendous bounty of resources to improve the world. For the last 10 years, my colleagues and I have developed a philosophy and research program that we call effective altruism. It tries to respond to these radical changes in our world, uses evidence and careful reasoning to try to answer this question: How can we do the most good?

我们需要的是伦理革命,这样我们才能想出我们要如何使用这么丰富的资源来改善世界。在过去十年间,我和我同事在开发一个哲学和研究的计画,我们称它为「有效利他主义」。这个计画是在尝试对世界上的这些极端改变做出应变,使用证据和谨慎的推论来试着回答这个问题:我们要如何做至善的善事?

Now, there are many issues you’ve got to address if you want to tackle this problem: whether to do good through your charity or your career or your political engagement, what programs to focus on, who to work with. But what I want to talk about is what I think is the most fundamental problem. Of all the many problems that the world faces, which should we be focused on trying to solve first?

你需要处理许多议题,才能解决这个问题:是否透过慈善事业、职业或参与政治来行善,要投入什么计画,要和谁合作。但我想要谈的是我认为最基本的问题。世界所面临的这么多问题当中,我们应该聚焦优先解决哪一个?

Now, I’m going to give you a framework for thinking about this question, and the framework is very simple. A problem’s higher priority, the bigger, the more easily solvable and the more neglected it is. Bigger is better, because we’ve got more to gain if we do solve the problem. More easily solvable is better because I can solve the problem with less time or money. And most subtly, more neglected is better, because of diminishing returns.

我要提供各位一个架构, 用来思考这个问题,且这个架构很简单。优先顺序高的迫切问题是大的、容易解决的,和被忽视的。越大越好,因为若能解决这个问题, 我们就能得到比较多。比较容易解决比较好,因为我可以花费较少的时间 和金钱来解决这个问题。最微妙的一点是,越被忽视越好,理由是报酬递减。

The more resources that have already been invested into solving a problem, the harder it will be to make additional progress. Now, the key thing that I want to leave with you is this framework, so that you can think for yourself what are the highest global priorities. But I and others in the effective altruism community have converged on three moral issues that we believe are unusually important, score unusually well in this framework.

已经投入来解决 这个问题的资源越多,就越难再做出额外的进展。我想要留给各位的关键, 就是这个架构,这样各位就可以自己想想,全球最高优先顺序的事是哪些。但我和有效利他主义社区中的其他人已经有共识,我们认为 有三项道德议题是特别重要的,在这个架构中得到的分数特别高。

First is global health. This is supersolvable. We have an amazing track record in global health. Rates of death from measles, malaria, diarrheal disease are down by over 70 percent. And in 1980, we eradicated smallpox. I estimate we thereby saved over 60 million lives. That’s more lives saved than if we’d achieved world peace in that same time period.

第一是全球健康。这个议题是超级可以解决的。关于全球健康,我们有 很惊人的过去记录资料。麻疹、霍乱、痢疾的死亡率下降了超过 70%。1980 年,我们根绝了天花。依我估计,这就拯救了超过六千万条性命。就算能在那个时期达成世界和平,也救不了这么多人。

On our current best estimates, we can save a life by distributing long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets for just a few thousand dollars. This is an amazing opportunity. The second big priority is factory farming. This is superneglected. There are 50 billion land animals used every year for food, and the vast majority of them are factory farmed, living in conditions of horrific suffering.

依我们目前最佳的估计,只要能发放用杀虫剂处理过的持久性蚊帐就能拯救一条性命,成本不过几千美元。这是一个很棒的机会。第二个优先议题,是工厂化养殖。这个议题被严重忽略了。每年,有五百亿只陆地动物被食用,他们绝大多数都是工厂化养殖的,生活条件非常恶劣、痛苦。

They’re probably among the worst-off creatures on this planet, and in many cases, we could significantly improve their lives for just pennies per animal. Yet this is hugely neglected. There are 3,000 times more animals in factory farms than there are stray pets, but yet, factory farming gets one fiftieth of the philanthropic funding. That means additional resources in this area could have a truly transformative impact.

他们可能是地球上最不幸的生物,在许多案例中,我们都可以大幅改善他们的生活,每只动物只要几分钱即可。但这个议题却被严重忽视。工厂化养殖的动物数量比街头流浪的宠物要多三千倍,但工厂化养殖得到的慈善资金却只有五十分之一。这就意味着,在这个领域若有额外的资源,就能产生真正带来改变的影响。

Now the third area is the one that I want to focus on the most, and that’s the category of existential risks: events like a nuclear war or a global pandemic that could permanently derail civilization or even lead to the extinction of the human race. Let me explain why I think this is such a big priority in terms of this framework. First, size. How bad would it be if there were a truly existential catastrophe?

第三个领域是我最想要拿来谈的,就是生存风险这个类别:像核武战争或全球流行病这类事件,能够让文明永久脱轨,或甚至导致人类的灭绝。让我用这个架构 来解释为什么我认为这是个高优先的议题。首先,大小。如果真的发生了攸关生死存亡的大灾难会多糟?

Well, it would involve the deaths of all seven billion people on this planet and that means you and everyone you know and love. That’s just a tragedy of unimaginable size. But then, what’s more, it would also mean the curtailment of humanity’s future potential, and I believe that humanity’s potential is vast. The human race has been around for about 200,000 years, and if she lives as long as a typical mammalian species, she would last for about two million years.

嗯,它会牵涉到地球上全部七十亿人的存亡,包括你和你认识、你爱的所有人。这个悲剧大到无法想像。但,还不只如此,它也意味着人类未来的潜能会被限制,而我相信人类的潜能很大。人类已经存在有大约二十万年了,如果人类能活得跟典型的哺乳动物物种一样久,就能活大约两百万年。

If the human race were a single individual, she would be just 10 years old today. And what’s more, the human race isn’t a typical mammalian species. There’s no reason why, if we’re careful, we should die off after only two million years. The earth will remain habitable for 500 million years to come. And if someday, we took to the stars, the civilization could continue for billions more. So I think the future is going to be really big, but is it going to be good?

如果把整体人类看成是单一个体,人类现在才只有十岁而已。此外,人类并不是典型的哺乳动物物种。如果我们够小心,我们不可能只存在 两百万年就绝种。在接下来的五亿年, 地球都仍然会是适合居住的。若有一天,我们能到其他星球,所以我认为未来将会非常大,但未来会很好吗?

Is the human race even really worth preserving? Well, we hear all the time about how things have been getting worse, but I think that when we take the long run, things have been getting radically better. Here, for example, is life expectancy over time. Here’s the proportion of people not living in extreme poverty. Here’s the number of countries over time that have decriminalized homosexuality. Here’s the number of countries over time that have become democratic.

人类真的值得保护吗?嗯,我们总是听到有人说事物变得更糟糕,但我认为,从长期来看,一切都彻底地变好了。比如,这是各时期的预期寿命。这是非处于极度贫穷生活条件的人口比例。这是各时期让同性恋合法化的国家数目。这是各时期民主国家的数目。

Then, when we look to the future, there could be so much more to gain again. We’ll be so much richer, we can solve so many problems that are intractable today. So if this is kind of a graph of how humanity has progressed in terms of total human flourishing over time, well, this is what we would expect future progress to look like. It’s vast. Here, for example, is where we would expect no one to live in extreme poverty.

当我们看向未来,会发现还有好多可以获得的。我们会富有许多,我们能够解决许多现今的棘手问题。如果就全人类随时间而过得更好的层面上来看,这张图算是某种人类进步图,那么我们预期未来进步会是像这样子的。它很广大。

Here is where we would expect everyone to be better off than the richest person alive today. Perhaps here is where we would discover the fundamental natural laws that govern our world. Perhaps here is where we discover an entirely new form of art, a form of music we currently lack the ears to hear. And this is just the next few thousand years. Once we think past that, well, we can’t even imagine the heights that human accomplishment might reach.

以这一点为例,我们预期到这时候就没有人会过着极度贫穷的生活。在这里,我们预期人人都会比现今最富有的人过得更好。也许在这里,我们会发现管理我们世界的基本自然法则。也许在这里,我们会发现全新的艺术形式,我们目前没有办法听见的音乐形式。这只是接下来的几千年。一旦我们想到更远的时间,我们甚至无法想像人类的成就能够有多高。

So the future could be very big and it could be very good, but are there ways we could lose this value? And sadly, I think there are. The last two centuries brought tremendous technological progress, but they also brought the global risks of nuclear war and the possibility of extreme climate change. When we look to the coming centuries, we should expect to see the same pattern again.

所以,未来可能是非常大, 也可能是非常好的,但我们会不会以某些方式失去这价值?很不幸,我认为有可能。过去两个世纪, 发生了很巨大的技术进步,但也带来了核武战争的全球风险,以及极端气候改变的可能性。当我们看向接下来的几世纪,我们应该会预期再次看到同样的模式。

And we can see some radically powerful technologies on the horizon. Synthetic biology might give us the power to create viruses of unprecedented contagiousness and lethality. Geoengineering might give us the power to dramatically alter the earth’s climate. Artificial intelligence might give us the power to create intelligent agents with abilities greater than our own.

我们能看到一些极强大的技术即将问世。合成生物学可能让我们能创造出具有前所未见感染力和致命度的病毒。地球工程可能让我们能大大改变地球的气候。人工智慧可能让我们能创造出才能比我们更好的智慧代理人。

Now, I’m not saying that any of these risks are particularly likely, but when there’s so much at stake, even small probabilities matter a great deal. Imagine if you’re getting on a plane and you’re kind of nervous, and the pilot reassures you by saying, There’s only a one-in-a-thousand chance of crashing. Don’t worry. Would you feel reassured?

我并不是说上述这些风险特别有可能发生,但当赌注有这么高的时候,即使很低的机率也是非常要紧的。想像一下,如果你要上飞机,且你蛮紧张的,而驾驶员说了这样的话来向你保证:「坠机的机会只有 一千分之一。别担心。」你会觉得安心吗?

For these reasons, I think that preserving the future of humanity is among the most important problems that we currently face. But let’s keep using this framework. Is this problem neglected? And I think the answer is yes, and that’s because problems that affect future generations are often hugely neglected. Why? Because future people don’t participate in markets today.

基于这些理由, 我认为保护人类的未来是我们目前所面临最重要的问题之一。但,咱们继续用这个架构吧。这个问题有被忽视吗?我认为答案是「有」,那是因为会影响未来世代的问题通常被严重忽视。为什么?因为未来的人并没有参与现今的市场。

They don’t have a vote. It’s not like there’s a lobby representing the interests of those born in 2300 AD. They don’t get to influence the decisions we make today. They’re voiceless. And that means we still spend a paltry amount on these issues: nuclear nonproliferation, geoengineering, biorisk, artificial intelligence safety. All of these receive only a few tens of millions of dollars of philanthropic funding every year.

他们没有投票权。并没有一个游说团会代表2300 年出生者的利益。他们无法影响我们现今所做的决策。他们无法发声。那就表示,我们在这些议题上投入非常少:防止核武器扩散、地球工程、生物危险、人工智慧安全性。所有这些议题每年都只得到几千万美元的慈善资金。

That’s tiny compared to the 390 billion dollars that’s spent on US philanthropy in total. The final aspect of our framework then: Is this solvable? I believe it is. You can contribute with your money, your career or your political engagement. With your money, you can support organizations that focus on these risks, like the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which campaigns to take nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert, or the Blue Ribbon Panel,

这个数字相对很小, 因为美国的总慈善金额为三千九百亿美元。接着,架构的最后一个面向:它是可解决的吗?我相信是的。你可以贡献你的金钱、你的职业,或你的政治参与。若你投入金钱,你可以资助组织,让它们着重这些风险,比如「核威胁倡议」,它在做的是不要让核武 处在一触即发的警戒状态,或「蓝丝带小组」,

which develops policy to minimize the damage from natural and man-made pandemics, or the Center for Human-Compatible AI, which does technical research to ensure that AI systems are safe and reliable. With your political engagement, you can vote for candidates that care about these risks, and you can support greater international cooperation. And then with your career, there is so much that you can do.

它在做的是开发政策,把自然发生和人为造成的流行病所造成的影响给最小化,或「人类相容人工智慧中心」, 它是在做技术研究,确保人工智慧系统的安全可靠。若你投入的是政治参与,你可以投票给在乎 这些风险的候选人,你也可以支持更大的国际合作。若你投入的是职业, 你能做的非常多。

Of course, we need scientists and policymakers and organization leaders, but just as importantly, we also need accountants and managers and assistants to work in these organizations that are tackling these problems. Now, the research program of effective altruism is still in its infancy, and there’s still a huge amount that we don’t know.

当然,我们需要科学家、 政策制订者,和组织领导人,但,同样重要的,我们也需要会计师、经理人和助理,在这些能够处理 这些问题的组织中工作。有效利他主义的研究专案还在初期阶段,还有很多我们不知道的。

But even with what we’ve learned so far, we can see that by thinking carefully and by focusing on those problems that are big, solvable and neglected, we can make a truly tremendous difference to the world for thousands of years to come.

但,就我们目前所知道的来说,我们可以看到,若能谨慎思考,并把焦点放在那些可解决、 被忽视的大问题上,我们就能在接下来的数千年,真正造成很大的不同,改变世界。

Thank you.

谢谢。


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