MePod.s02e07 // #EffectiveAltruism

All of us , at some point in our lives, have at least thought about making the world a better place. The Effective Altruism movement takes this thought a step further. As a philosophical orientation it uses data and scientific reasoning to engage the normally sentimental world of doing good with a view to assessing the most good that one can do. So it is not surprising that they find a career in finance as an opportunity to do more good than, say, a charity worker or a teacher. But despite its appeal, the Effective Altruism movement fails to engage meaningfully with the underlying problems that they wish to address through their conception of the good: namely, poverty and inequality, and the capitalist system that produces them. This week Nawaz and the Moral Economy go critical on Effective Altruism for limiting of our moral world to our paychecks. Nawaz juxtaposes the moral force of the utilitarianism deeply ingrained in the effective altruism to the more cosmopolitan moral position taken by Thomas Pogge. Poverty and inequality cannot be dealt with using business-as-usual approach that the effective altruists propose. In fact, such business-as-usual approaches strengthen and legitimize a system that is responsible for easily avoidable 19,000 deaths a day.


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