Today in class, we talked about the concept of effective altruism. In a simple sense, effective altruism calls for the public to realize that major problems such as poverty plague our world today, and we should take action to mitigate/resolve these problems. In his TED talk, world renowned effective altruist Peter Singer makes the claim that we should aim to reduce poverty in the world by donating money to charities he deems as legitimate. Having watched his TED talk, I was convinced that the effective altruism movement was plausible. However, I stumbled upon an interesting article published late last year in which the authors harshly criticize effective altruism and even go as far as to refer to it as “defective altruism.” In this article (link below), the authors point out that effective altruism is not at all effective at what it aims to do. That is, they claim that one should not be motivated to donate to a charity simply because one has been told to do so; rather, they should do so based on facts and should “be informed and see their donation as an investment.” In the authors’ words, “Being an informed donor means using facts to help make a giving decision, and looking beyond the slogans and the emotion triggered by appeals.” The authors believe that donating to a charity because of “emotions triggered by appeals” defeats the purpose of effective altruism, because such an action cannot be considered altruistic (since an altruistic act is one that is done out of selfless concern for others and independent of outside influence). Could they be right in their criticism?