CFI members will, I believe, be familiar with organisations like the Centre for Effective Altruism, founded by William Macaskill, as the two have a common goal of promoting rationality. Hence I think the CFI forum is a good place to discuss EA.
Firstly, I have no criticisms of the principles of EA per se, since the fact that we must do the most good possible is a self-evident truth. What I wish to criticise are the things that Macaskill and his colleagues consider to be most effective methods of doing good. I would like to question whether they are indeed the most effective ones or whether we could do better.
My first criticism is of the chapter in his book titled “The moral case for sweatshop goods” which my readers would like to have a look at.
I profoundly disagree with this view of the world’s problems. Even though opposing harsh working conditions in sweatshops might not be the most “effective” thing to do in terms of immediate results, taking action against such a blatant injustice is an absolute necessity to ensure a good future for all of us.
Indeed, Noam Chomsky says about the anti-sweatshop movement, “In some ways, is like the anti-apartheid movement, except that in this case, it’s striking at the core of the relations of exploitation.” Would we accept it if someone criticised the anti-apartheid movement by saying it is not the “most effective” method to do good? If not, why should the anti-sweatshop movement be any different?