This book is part introduction to, part reflective examination of, the idea and ideal of effective altruism. Its aim is to examine the core question of effective altruism: how can we best help others? A question that in turn forces us to contemplate what helping others, effectively or otherwise, really entails. Here the book argues that the greatest help we can provide is to reduce extreme suffering for all sentient beings, and then goes on to provide some suggestions for how this might best be done.
"This book provides an accessible introduction to important ideas that anyone interested in changing the world for the better should seriously consider. It explains some crucial issues often overlooked in the effective altruist literature, and examines others from a fresh perspective. It does a great job at rethinking several common assumptions, and points at biases that can make it hard to think clearly about which causes might be most worth pursuing. It can thus be a very useful tool for those who want to make a big difference."
Oscar Horta, professor of moral philosophy at University of Santiago de Compostela, co-founder of Animal Ethics, author of Un paso adelante en defensa de los animales.
"Magnus Vinding's inquiring mind leaves few stones unturned as he explores key issues and ideas related to ethics and consciousness. What starts off as a good overview of effective altruism and the concepts needed to apply it better, progresses into a deeper exploration of the basis for the underlying values and the extraordinary importance of prioritising the prevention of intense suffering of all sentient beings. A must-read for any current or aspiring effective altruist, and for social activists in general."
Jonathan Leighton, founder of the Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering, author of The Battle for Compassion: Ethics in an Apathetic Universe.
"Brilliant. A clear, fair-minded and authoritative survey of Effective Altruism. Magnus Vinding makes a powerful case for suffering-focused ethics. How can each of us act most effectively to help all sentient beings? Highly recommended."
David Pearce, co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association / Humanity+, author of The Hedonistic Imperative and Can Biotechnology Abolish Suffering?
"Magnus Vinding's new book is a compelling and accessible guide to the rationale of Effective Altruism. It empowers readers to comprehend the unique opportunity we have to effectively help others with our limited resources. The author encourages us to expand our moral circle to include all present and future non-human sentient beings in our altruistic endeavors. The final chapters also provide a very helpful introduction to "s-risks" and suffering-focused ethics to those less familiar with these subjects."
Lara André, researcher at Animal Ethics and at the Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society of the University of Minho.
"There has never been a better moment in time to jump into the Effective Altruism movement or deepen your involvement. And in this journey, Vinding's book will be of invaluable aid. It is a gold mine of insights and provocative ideas for aspiring and seasoned Effective Altruists alike. I've been involved in Effective Altruism for years, but Vinding's book taught me a ton and challenged my assumptions. This book will help you be, in Vinding's words, "the light that brightens the darkness of the world." Good luck!"
Ben Davidow, author of Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy.