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Q1: What books does Will MacAskill recommend?
Will MacAskill recommends the following books focused on ethics, rationality, and effective altruism: 'Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference' by Will MacAskill, 'The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty' by Peter Singer, 'The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically' by Peter Singer, 'The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life' by Piero Ferrucci, and 'The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion' by Jonathan Haidt.
Q2: How are effective altruism, ethics, and rationality related?
Effective altruism can be thought of as a philosophy which uses rational analysis of available data to come up with the most effective way to make a difference in the world using altruistic actions. This principled approach focuses on ethics and rationality as central components in order to ensure that charitable giving results in the most impact possible.
Q3: What is the primary goal of effective altruism?
The primary goal of effective altruism is to create a positive impact in the world - that is, to improve the wellbeing of humanity, animals, and the environment. By using rational analysis and ethical principles, effective altruism seeks to maximize the amount of good that can be achieved from any action.
Q4: What is the role of kindness and compassion in effective altruism?
Kindness and compassion are key components of effective altruism. While rational analysis and data may be used to determine the most effective ways to make a difference, it is important to approach altruistic actions with an open heart and with care for those who could benefit from them. Kindness and compassion can also come in the form of self-care, in order to ensure that the practitioner is able to fully act upon altruistic opportunities.
Q5: What types of strategies are employed by effective altruism?
Effective altruism employs a variety of strategies, such as using data and empirical evidence to determine the best courses of action, giving to charities that can maximize the impact of any given donation, and carefully considering one's own values and beliefs in order to act in a way that is most in line with one's own ethical principles.