"Science, Delusion, and Existential Risk"
- What if delusion, fixed belief not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence” is a foundation for multiple existential risks—including all termed “major concerns” in the call for papers? Is relative inattention to delusion a blind spot with which we limit effective framing and understanding of existential risks? Phenomena from emergent and resurgent infectious diseases to climate destabilization and mass extinction worsen when people hold delusional ideas about them. If delusion is an underpinning for multiple existential threats, it’s simultaneously a critically important challenge and a unique opportunity. We can diminish existential risks we generate from delusion by shedding it to see ourselves and surroundings more accurately. With its mandates to conform ideas to evidence, identify pattern where it exists, eschew claims to it where it’s lacking, and reject even the idea of immutable “truth,” sciencing can be effective prevention and treatment for delusion, and powerful means to lessen multiple existential threats." Given this promise, promoting sciencing may warrant substantially greater attention from the community addressing existential risks.
|Type of resource
|September 14, 2023
|September 14, 2023; September 14, 2023
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- Preferred citation
- Nepomuceno, A. (2023). "Science, Delusion, and Existential Risk" in Intersections, Reinforcements, Cascades: Proceedings of the 2023 Stanford Existential Risks Conference. The Stanford Existential Risks Initiative. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at https://purl.stanford.edu/hc216sm8573. https://doi.org/10.25740/hc216sm8573.
Intersections, Reinforcements, Cascades: The Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Stanford Existential Risks Conference
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