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Global Optimum

Sep 3, 2019

This episode features:

-Arguments against utilitarianism

-What moral views do philosophers favor?

-Why you should consider moral uncertainty when deciding how altruistic to be

-How does giving away 10% of your income affect your happiness?

-Why donating 10% of your income is not too demanding (for middle class members of affluent countries)

-How should the prospect of value drift affect your commitment to altruism?

-Do people underestimate the selfish benefits of altruism?

-Does effective altruism help save us from the “hedonic treadmill”?


Full transcript



Be a Free EA:

Dunn, E. W., Aknin, L. B., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319(5870), 1687-1688.

MacAskill, W., Mogensen, A., & Ord, T. (2018). Giving Isn’t Demanding. The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy, 178.

Bourget, D., & Chalmers, D. J. (2014). What do philosophers believe?. Philosophical studies, 170(3), 465-500.

Singer, P. (1972). Famine, affluence, and morality. Philosophy & public affairs, 229-243.

EA Survey 2018 Series: How Long Do EAs Stay in EA?

Nobody is Perfect, Everything is Commensurable

One Life Against the World

Peter Singer TED Talk

Toby Ord on Moral Uncertainty

Check This Rec:

Very Bad Wizards Episode 135: Utilitarianism and Moral Identity

Very Bad Wizards Episode 147: Effective Altruism and Moral Uncertainty (with The One True Scotsman, Will MacAskill)