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Peter_Hurford comments on Talking About Effective Altruism At Parties - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 17 November 2017 05:34:03AM *  3 points [-]

Is it just me, or does the "excited altruism" frame sound perverse to anyone else? I can understand excitement about helping people, but it can easily sound like deriving excitement from other people being in unfortunate situations. Like if no one needed help, you'd be less excited?

...I find it hard to imagine people who just wish there was a building burning down somewhere nearby, so they could play the hero.

Comment author: tobiaspulver 17 November 2017 09:27:36AM *  5 points [-]

It's not just you. I very much share this sentiment, as do many other EAs that I know.

FWIW, this blog post by Nate Soares on the topic of altruistic motivations really resonated with me: http://mindingourway.com/altruistic-motivations/

Comment author: aarongertler  (EA Profile) 31 May 2018 07:47:04PM 0 points [-]

I did like Holden's post of that name, though it would be easy to mangle the concept in translation.

One better way to phrase it might be in historical perspective: "If someone wanted to help people as much as they could a hundred years ago, they might be able to volunteer in their town, and -- unless they were Cornelius Vanderbilt -- that would be about as good as it got. Now, we know a lot more about the world, which means we can help a lot more people, and make better use of whatever time and energy we'd like to give."