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Effective Altruism & Christianity by Leon di Stefano

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Effective Altruism & Christianity by Leon di Stefano

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Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJy-0rEZikA
Leon argues for similarities between Christianity and aspects of the Effective Altruism movement and contrasts utilitarianism with virtue ethics.

Bio at UniMelb: http://www.ms.unimelb.edu.au/Personnel/profile.php?PC_id=1182

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJy-0rEZikA
Leon argues for similarities between Christianity and aspects of the Effective Altruism movement and contrasts utilitarianism with virtue ethics.

Bio at UniMelb: http://www.ms.unimelb.edu.au/Personnel/profile.php?PC_id=1182

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Effective Altruism & Christianity by Leon di Stefano

  1. 1. ChristianityandEffectiveAltruism
  2. 2. Whatiseffectivealtruism? (partialscope) “Doing good better” “the use of evidence and analysis to take actions that help others as much as possible”
  3. 3. Whatiseffectivealtruism? (fullscope) “based on a very simple idea: we should do the most good we can” “Effective altruists […] need not be utilitarians,but […] they agree with utilitarians that,other things being equal,we ought to do the most good we can” ( tMGYCD,p.79 )
  4. 4. Whatiseffectivealtruism? (moreutilitarian) 1.  “Point of view of the universe” ( agent-neutrality ) 2.  Maximization of a sum 3.  Over mind-states of [ possibly future ] conscious beings. …as in some way especially or uniquely rational
  5. 5. ParablesofJesus ( cf.drowning child;“Playpumps”) Scope neglect ≅TheGoodSamaritan Effectiveness & boldness ≅ ParableoftheMinas Moral obligation ≅TheRichManandLazarus
  6. 6. Animalcruelty Contra Aquinas (& Aristotle)… “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” Prov12:10 “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.”Isaiah11:6 Balaamandthedonkey
  7. 7. Whatisgoodness? Creation narrative: “God created…and it was good.” In things,not (primarily) mind-states Virtue ethics seems to fit better: beinggood precedes doinggood (logically and motivationally) Knowing God as a human end.
  8. 8. Evilandjustice “Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.”–Amos5:11 Forgiveness,recompense, and reconciliation
  9. 9. Distributivejustice When you give to the poor, “you are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person.You are handing over to him what is his.For what has been given in common for the use of all,you have arrogated to yourself.” AmbroseofMilan(quotedintMGYCD) Aquinas on property,theft,and extreme need. IMO: A strong Christian imperative to give substantially to the global poor.
  10. 10. Transformationandtranshumanism Being born again New bodies: “For while we are in this tent,we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God,who has given us the Spirit as a deposit,guaranteeing what is to come.” 2Cor5:4ff.
  11. 11. TheEAMovement Scope question “The Most Good You Can Do”and “You Can Flourish in Doing A Lot of Good” Self-identity: actions vs.ideas “Joe Blow”EAs

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