Effective Altruism

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Critiques of Effective Altruism

Effective Altruism is a nominally benevolent, but in practice sinister movement by the elites to accumulate funds for their own purposes under the pretext of high-minded aims.


See: Sam Bankman-Fried

Praise for Effective Altruism

Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that aims to apply evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to improve the well-being of others. The movement seeks to answer the question: how can we use our resources (such as time, money, and skills) to do the most good? Effective altruists often use tools from economics, philosophy, and other disciplines to compare the effectiveness of various charitable interventions and social programs.

Here are some key principles of effective altruism:

  1. Cause Prioritization: Effective altruists aim to identify the causes that are the most pressing. This could mean focusing on issues that affect a large number of people, are highly neglected, and where intervention can make a substantial difference.
  2. Evidence-Based Interventions: Once a cause is selected, the next step is to find the most effective ways to make an impact. This often involves reviewing scientific literature, conducting experiments, or using data analysis to assess the efficacy of different interventions.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Effective altruism emphasizes the importance of getting the most 'bang for your buck.' That is, how can you achieve the most good with a limited amount of resources? This often involves comparing different charities and interventions based on their cost-effectiveness.
  4. Long-Term Impact: The movement also considers the long-term consequences of actions. This could involve looking at the sustainability of a project, its potential for scale, and its long-term benefits versus short-term gains.
  5. Moral Consideration: Effective altruism often involves a broad moral circle, considering the well-being of all sentient beings, including animals and future generations.
  6. Commitment to Improvement: Effective altruism is not just about donating money or volunteering time; it's also about a commitment to continually reassessing and improving one's altruistic efforts based on new evidence and reasoning.

Organizations and initiatives like GiveWell, The Open Philanthropy Project, and Effective Altruism Funds aim to provide research and recommendations to help people make more effective altruistic choices. These organizations evaluate charities, look into high-impact career paths, and explore neglected causes to guide people in their efforts to do the most good.