What we don’t owe the future




‘Longtermism’ and ‘Effective Altruism’ have become buzzwords within certain circles. While concern for future people sounds morally intuitive, nothing concrete is being offered by those who claim we should care for the distant future, writes Ben Chugg.   In the 1970s, the philosopher Peter Singer catalyzed a moral revolution by arguing that we should do more to help the global poor. His essay, Famine, Affluence, and Morality, argued that distance should not affect our moral decision-making. A malaria stricken child is equally deserving of our attention whether they are our next-door neighbors or 20,000 kilometers away.[related id=1027]Singer’s arguments made, and continue to make, a huge impact. He founded the Life You Can Save, which has directed thousands of people to make more globally conscious choices with their donations. He influenced the Giving Pledge, which commits billionaires to giving away a majority of their wealth. H…

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