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The Ethics of GivingPhilosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy$
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Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190648879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190648879.001.0001

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Giving Isn’t Demanding

Giving Isn’t Demanding

(p.178) Chapter 6 Giving Isn’t Demanding
The Ethics of Giving

William MacAskill

Andreas Mogensen

Toby Ord

Oxford University Press

Peter Singer argues that middle-class members of affluent countries have an obligation to give away almost all their income to fight poverty in the developing world. Others, however, argue that this view is too demanding: it is asking more of us than morality truly requires. This chapter proposes a weaker principle, the very weak principle of sacrifice: Most middle-class members of affluent countries ought, morally, to use at least 10 percent of their income to effectively improve the lives of others. This principle is not very demanding at all, and therefore the “demandingness” objection has not even pro tanto force against it.

Keywords:   ethics, applied ethics, demandingness of morality, effective altruism, global development, positive psychology

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