Lichtenberg on Effective Altruism

Judith Lichtenberg has a pretty misguided -- and often misleading -- hit piece on the Effective Altruism movement, which concludes:The effective altruists have shown that, without undue burdens,
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Judith Lichtenberg has a pretty misguided -- and often misleading -- hit piece on the Effective Altruism movement, which concludes:The effective altruists have shown that, without undue burdens, many of us can and should do a lot more than we do now. But in their zeal to maximize effectiveness, they distort human psychology, undervalue the contributions made by ordinary people, and neglect the kind of structural and political change that is ultimately necessary to redress the suffering and radical inequality we see around us.Her criticisms are not well-supported.(1) Some EAs, like Peter Singer, are sympathetic to impartial moral theories like utilitarianism, but (i) not all are, and (ii) it seems an is/ought confusion to accuse a normative theory of "distort[ing] human psychology".Lichtenberg paints EAs as cold and emotionless: "To do the most good we must ignore our natural sentiments and calculate, or else let others (like the analysts at GiveWell) do the calculating for. . .

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