Julia Kim

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Effective altruism is intended to be a method in which people use their resources in the wisest manner to accomplish the most good in the world. However, there are counterarguments that question the morality, potential inequalities, and effectiveness of effective altruism. Regarding morality, some consider it unjust to donate and give more to one cause than another. According to a version of effective altruism, both situations should be carefully studied, and advice can be given in order to demonstrate how to benefit each situation. Thus, there would not be any injustice. In another version of effective altruism, all possible consequences should be studied, and advice would be given in order to maximize potential benefits. In this scenario, effective altruists use a scientific approach to benefit others, but since it is based on consequences, it is subject to change. No special consideration is given to any one case. Also, one can use their resources in any manner, however, effective altruists try to maximize benefits out of limited resources. Regarding equality, effective altruists understand that their allocation of resources can create resentment, domination, and erosion of public goods, however, inequality can create new opportunities to do more good. Helping those with less resources can have a hundred times the benefit of helping those with more resources. Although equality is a good concept, and hopefully one day we may all be equals in all opportunities, some people need more resources than others. Thus, equity could be a better option to assist others and balance the tables. Effectiveness considers the amount of resources that organizations already have. If an organization already has a large sum of money from donors, then giving more to that organization may not benefit as many people and causes. Giving more to organizations with too much could make funds available for other purposes. In order to avoid this situation, funds could be shifted to other organizations. One can also argue that effective altruism is merely speculative and considers possibilities in the future. Thus, effective altruism may not be very effective. However, if we consider every effort that the world makes to help various causes, could the same not be said about these efforts? In that case, how would anyone know how to help, and if that is the case, then who would help those that need assistance? While effective altruism may not be perfect, nothing is, and considering the possibilities of what could maximize benefits is better than offering money to causes that do not help as much or doing nothing.