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Imagine that you are presented with an unusual opportunity: By devoting a fraction of your time and money to helping others, you could alleviate the suffering of thousands of individuals. Assuming that you are still able to live a decent life yourself, would you take this opportunity?
In the following texts, we will systematically present arguments for the startling idea that this is not merely a hypothetical scenario: We indeed have the opportunity to help thousands, perhaps even millions of individuals. The starting point is effective altruism: We should strive to use our limited resources to help others in the most effective way possible. Effective altruism combines empathy with rational thinking: By identifying the most important leverage points for alleviating suffering, we can multiply our positive impact.
What are the most effective strategies for reducing suffering? Given the complexity of the question, it is vital that we reason out our approach with rigour and care. First, we consider a fundamental ethical question: Which beings should be included in our moral circle? We will argue that sentience (the capacity for conscious experience) constitutes a plausible criterion for moral consideration, and that discrimination based on species membership is unjustified. Next, we identify cause areas that affect particularly large numbers of sentient beings and should therefore be prioritized. At the same time, we analyze crucial strategic considerations that enable us to enhance the effectiveness of our work.
- The Case against Speciesism
- The Strongest Argument for Veganism
- Effective Strategies: Politics, Getting Rich And Other Strategies To Multiply Our Impact
- The Relevance of Wild Animal Suffering
- The Importance of the Future
- The Benefits of Cause-Neutrality