The Theory Of Effective Altruism

Decent Essays

Effective altruism is a movement that focused on both the heart and the head. It allows people to feel empathy towards others and use reason to make a decision that is “effective and well-directed.” Peter Singer, a moral philosopher, addresses an audience in a TED talk regarding effective altruism and personal obligation towards others. His effective altruism relates closely to the ethical framework of utilitarianism as well as deontology of philosopher Immanuel Kant. Peter Singer’s idea of effective altruism follows greatly from his commitment to utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that claims that an action is moral only if it maximizes utility, or happiness, for the collective good. In his TED talk, Singer uses several examples of effective altruism that follow his commitment to utilitarianism. One of the main concerns related to effective altruism that he addresses is the overall effectiveness of certain charities and this relates to his commitment to utilitarianism. One example that he used was related to providing a blind American person with a trained service dog. These dogs cost about $40,000 to train and they benefit one person. However, with that same amount of money, somewhere between 400 and 2,000 people living with trachoma in developing countries could have been cured of their blindness. In this case, Singer would argue that providing a service dog to a blind American would not be ethical because it does not provide the greatest amount of

Get Access