Effective altruism: Peter Singer at TED2013

TED Blog

Moral philosopher Peter Singer starts the last session of TED2013, “A Ripple Effect?” with a shocking video of a 2-year-old girl in China who was hit by a van — and then a second van — and ignored by passers-by as she lay dying in an alley. He asks of the audience: Would you have stopped and helped this girl? Not surprisingly, the unanimous response was yes. Well, every day that we don’t help others, he says, it’s like leaving this girl crippled in the alley. In 2012, Singer says, UNICEF reported that 6.9 million children under 5 died from preventable poverty-relatable diseases like malaria. Does it really matter that we’re not walking past these children in the street, that they’re far away? According to Singer, there is no morally relevant difference.

There’s a new movement of people who are realizing how necessary it is to help others. It’s called…

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