Just saw some crypto chud posting about 'virtue signalling' so I thought I should remind you all.

Always signal your virtues, because if nobody signals their virtues it makes it seem a lot like nobody can be bothered to even pretend to be virtuous any more, and the world becomes a darker place as a result.


If you do an act of charity, tell people. Sure, humility is a thing but when people see folks being charitable they follow suit. Shout your virtues to the mountain tops and hold yourself and others to a higher standard.

Being vocal about a good cause or a noble stance is better than the alternatives, which are being vocal about a bad cause or stance, or straight up nihilism.

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Basically, if you did something good, I want to hear about it. If you believe in something good, I want to hear about it. Armchair socialists, influencers making themselves look good by championing a cause, weird owls posting musings on the nature of virtue signalling? They're all making a contribution, no matter how sincere, no matter how small. And tiny contributions build up over time.

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And if you think people are just doing good things for attention? Great! Give them the attention! They'll do more good things! Give them suggestions for things they can be doing that'll get them attention! Talk to them about their stances and ideas and discuss things with them. Because the more folks associate that positive feedback with being good, the more they'll just straight up bother to be good!

If you just call them out for virtue signalling, they won't even bother to do that.

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@Vordus The problem with virtue signalling is that, at a certain point, doing good and *seeming like* you're doing good come apart.

After reading this, I'm thinking that the solution is but to scrutinise people who virtue signal a little more; then the easiest way to seem like you're doing good is to actually do good.

That does make "calling people out for virtue signalling that actually causes harm" a form of virtue signalling, though… Would that work? Have I missed the point entirely?

@wizzwizz4 These are good points, and I guess that what it ultimately comes down to is that constructive criticism is far more societally useful than dismissal, which calling out virtue signalling tends to be.

@Vordus Also, an absence of attention when you aren't doing good is probably more effective at encouraging good acts than negative attention when your acts aren't good enough, for all the reasons you stated.

The only time when it'd make sense to say “actually you didn't do good”, I think, is when most people don't have the time to audit – but there's no reason that has to be dismissive.

I think you've shared some deep wisdom, but it wasn't written to seem deeply wise.

@Vordus I volunteer distributing food downtown ~10 hours every weekend.

@Vordus nah. I'm just a dude with a truck. Glad we've got a few grocery stores that aren't throwing perfectly good food in the dumpsters. :) omaha.foodnotbombs.us

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