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An Evaluation of the Concept of Effective Altruism in Peter Singer

Journal: International Journal of Mechanical and Production Engineering Research and Development (IJMPERD ) (Vol.10, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 14803-14816

Keywords : Concept; Evaluation; Effective Altruism; Traditional altruism;

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Effective Altruism differs from traditional altruism because it focuses on effectiveness of achieving its objectives. Jakub Synowice corroborates this in his work “Ethics for Everyday Heroes: From Utilitarianism to Effective Altruism.” At the forefront ofthe emergence of this discipline is Peter Singer-an avowed utilitarian. In a sense, it is the application of utilitarian principles (especially the principle of the greatest good to the greatest number) to traditional altruism that gave rise to effectivealtruism. To give footing to this work therefore, We began this article with a brief excursus of altruism objecting to the objections of the egoists along the way. Next, a section was spent tracing the development of Peter Singer'sthought as regards effective altruism since this work is concerned with his contribution to effective altruism. For the purpose of producing a more holistic and balanced work the key tenets of effective altruism were expounded bringing to the open the contributions of other effective altruists like Mackaskill. Once this is done, it is discovered that effective altruism has striking resemblance with Christian ethics. We trailed this point following the work of Alida Liberman who posits that there are points both of divergence and convergence between effective altruism and Christian ethics. Mackaskill in reviewing Liberman's work, observes that the point of convergence between Christian ethics and effective altruism is in the latter's first key tenet -the injunction to give. The point of divergence he observes is in the second key tenet of effective altruism namely that giving should be effective. He argues that Christian giving is limited in scope and hence not effective according to the standard of effective altruism. I agree withLiberman in the first point that both effective altruism and Christian ethics are committed to giving, however I disagree with her on the point that Christian giving is limited in scope.In fact I do not only argue that Christian giving is not limited in scope, I went ahead to argue that effective altruism as conceived by Peter Singer and other effective altruists is limited in scope. Among other critical evaluation of the positionsof the effective altruists, I examined critically Peter Singers repeated admonition that one should make his giving as public as possible.

Last modified: 2020-09-29 20:56:24