So, is your point that we need a cause against which to evaluate the success of our mathematics? That perhaps this sort of feedback that, persumably, you encounter on a daily basis, is something that does not come through rationality itself, but through the very real feedback of what you have chosen to protect?
I guess my previous post was a reflection that I am just a budding rationalist, and also that my skills have not been sharpened against the proper stone.
Viz. the dilemma posed in Circular Altruism, what should we do? When forced to "Shup up and multiply", we have forgone our intuitions and picked the choice based upon our mathematics. However, we are not just overcoming our own intuitions, but also the intuitions of everyone who does not simply "Shut up and multiply". We are held accountable not by those who knows the math, but by those who have intuitions like ourselves.
If we save everyone, we are heroes. If we do not, we are held accountable not for the math, but for the very intuition we had to overcome multiplied by as many people who are now trying to hold us accountable.
So at the very least, we should add ourselves as the 501st person who might die in the second case. The price we pay for the burden of rationality!