Terms

Beneficence

Generous giving, or the quality of being generous and doing good

Consequentialism

Is the view that the moral status of an act is determined solely by the value it brings about

Earning to give

Earning to give is the pursuit of a lucrative career with the purpose of donating a significant portion of the earnings to cost-effective organizations.

Egocentrism

The quality or state of being egocentric or holding excessive interest in oneself and concern for one's own welfare or advantage at the expense of or in disregard of others

Magnanimity

Kindness and generosity

Noblesse oblige

The concept of 'noblesse oblige' implies the responsibility of nobility and the wealthy to give of their means and talent for the benefit of those with lesser means.

Cause prioritization

Cause prioritization refers to efforts to find the most important causes to work on and compare interventions across different areas, so that we can do as much good as possible with the resources available to us.

Effective volunteerism

Using pre-allocated volunteering time to do as much good as possible, using evidence and reason.

Benevolence

The quality of being kind and helpful or the act of giving money or help to people or organizations that need it

Cost-effectiveness analysis

Cost-effectiveness analysis estimates the ratio between the cost and the impact of the intervention. Interventions with a lower ratio are said to be more cost-effective, and are generally preferable

Effective altruism

Effective altruism is the project of using evidence and reason to figure out how to best contribute to helping others, and taking action on that basis.

Humanitarianism

As a systemic response to crisis that involves addressing the needs of people affected by conflict, natural disaster, epidemic and famine to promote human welfare

Metaethics

Metaethics is the study of the nature of ethical properties and statements. It includes questions about the sort of evidence which can be used to support moral ideas, whether morality is culturally relative, and what the nature of moral facts could be.

Pledge

The effective altruism movement began with a pledge. A few dozen people gathered in a house and promised to donate at least 10% of their income to highly effective charities, for the rest of their lives.

 

Since then, more than 8,000 people have taken one of the following pledges:

 

The original Giving What We Can Pledge — 10% of lifetime income, or 1% of spending money for students and the unemployed.

Try Giving, a temporary commitment for those who want to test the waters before taking a lifetime pledge.

The Founders Pledge, for startup founders who promise to donate a percentage of the proceeds when they succeed, even if they can't afford to give much before then.

Sociality opportunism

Social opportunism refers to the use of opportunities for social contact only for selfish purposes or motives, opposite to EA morals and values.

X-risk

Is the risk of an existential catastrophe, one that threatens the destruction of humanity’s long term potential . Existential risks include natural risks such as those posed by asteroids or supervolcanoes as well as anthropogenic risks like mishaps resulting from synthetic biology or artificial intelligence

Cause-indifference / neutrality

The act of selecting causes based on impartial estimates of impact

Counterfactual considerations

A counterfactual is a scenario that will occur if an agent chooses a certain action, or that would have occurred if an agent had chosen an action they did not. For instance, we can consider a counterfactual scenario in which the effective altruism community was never set up, or another in which it was called ‘effective giving’ rather than effective altruism

Egalitarianism

The belief in or practising of egalitarian principles or the idea that all people should have the same rights and opportunities

Leveraging donations

The use of donations to amplify returns from an investment or project

Moral realism

Moral realism is the view that there are facts of the matter about which actions are right and which wrong, and about which things are good and which bad.

Population ethics

Population ethics is the branch of normative ethics that attempts to justify and articulate principles for making choices between alternatives involving different people. These differences can consist in changes either in the number of people affected or only in the identities of these people.

Utilitarianism

Altruism may be seen as similar to utilitarianism, however an essential difference is that the latter prescribes acts that maximize good consequences for all of society, while altruism prescribes maximizing good consequences for everyone except the actor.