I don’t really get EA at an emotional level and this post helps give someone like me an… emotional intuition pump?… in a way that other EA posts do not do for me. I think it’s good that it is at the level of abstraction it is at.
The intuition pump does live at this level of abstraction, but it’s a separate entity from the abstract consideration it’s meant to illustrate, which lives elsewhere. My disagreement is with how the first paragraph of the post frames the rest of it. Personal or vicarious experience of trauma is not itself a good reason for pursuing altruism, instead it’s a compelling intuition pump for identifying the reason to do so. Some behaviors resulting from trauma are undesirable, and it’s the abstract consideration of what motivates various induced behaviors that lets us distinguish justified takeaways of experience from pathological ones. Altruism could’ve been like flinching when people raise a hand, so there should be an opportunity to make this distinction, as opposed to unconditionally going along with the induced behavior.