If you take actions that affect the future, you don’t just change the eventual welfare of people who have yet to exist — you actually influence which people exist in the first place. Typical moral principles, when applied to such actions, yield paradoxical results.
In this academic session, Ben Grodeck, a PhD candidate in economics at Monash University, discusses the results of an experiment where individuals came face-to-face with this moral puzzle — and how an “identity-affecting” task led them to be less generous.
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This talk was filmed at EA Global 2019: San Francisco. You can learn more about these conferences at eaglobal.org.