Effective altruism (EA) is a philosophical/social movement which exhorts people to do as much good for others as they can, using reason and evidence to determine the most effective altruistic courses of action. In only a few years, it’s become a favorite of the “technological elite” and of students in prestigious universities. Recently EA received considerable (mostly negative) attention when Sam Bankman-Fried, an EA adherent, was responsible for the demise of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange.
So what is effective altruism? How sound are its ethical principles and prescriptions? Did EA contribute to Bankman-Fried’s ethically dubious behavior? And what responsibility do we have to our fellow human beings, including those in far future generations? Our discussion will address these and other questions.
D-Cubed (Discussion, Debate, and Dinner) is a monthly gathering sponsored by HumanistsMN and hosted by Jerry Smith and Mark Thoson. Jerry will be moderating this month’s discussion which will take place in the live Saturday (D-Cubed) and on-line D-Squared (No dinner!) sessions. The same topics will be covered in each session and the discussions should be quite similar.
To promote a thoughtful, informed discussion, we recommend that participants read some or all of the following in preparing for the event:
What is Effective Altruism?
Critiques of Effective Altruism.
Feel free to suggest other online sources that would enhance our discussion by providing links through the “Comments” section below.
At 4:30 PM or shortly thereafter, we will wrap up our discussion. Those who wish to continue conversing on these and other topics are welcome to join Jerry and Mark for dinner at Pad Thai, a moderately priced Thai restaurant located at 1681 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, a short drive from the library. We’ll provide directions to the restaurant and have tables reserved for our group.
This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted! Donate or join through our home page.
Merriam Park Library, Saint Paul Public Library
1831 Marshall Ave
St Paul, MN, US, 55104