Value and Altruism. Everything has a value shouldn’t our charity. In his book, “Doing Good Better”, William MacAskill intends to identify an unconventional approach to valuing the good we do. His premise is that by quantifying the good that a charity does we can asses and compare each effort based on these values. “We need to ensure we’re making not just a difference, but the most difference we can.”
MacAskill identifies 5 key questions we need to ask when deciding which charities to donate towards. “How many people benefit, and by how much? Is this the most effective thing you can do? Is this area neglected? What would have happened otherwise? What are the chances of success, and how good would success be?” Answering these question provides the background necessary to determine which charities are worth giving towards.
“Doing Good Better” also looks at why sweatshops aren’t all bad, and why following your passion may not be the best career move. “The difference you could make in people’s lives in the United States is tiny compared with the difference you can make in the lives of the extreme poor in other parts of the world.” Just because an charity seems like it should be making a difference doesn’t necessarily mean that it is, and its not all based on how the percentage of donations go to the cause vs administration. We value our time and effort. Shouldn’t we value where we give and what we contribute to with the same standards.
A very worthwhile book that will change or at least challenge the way you look at giving.
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