Thursday, May 23, 2013

[PHI 2200] The Sisyphus Problem

In this TED talk, Peter Singer likens the modern consumer to Sisyphus. Just as Sisyphus has to roll a boulder up a hill over and over again, the modern consumer has to work hard in order to earn money and then spend it over and over again.

Singer argues that effective altruism is a way out of the Sisyphus Problem. But why is it that the effective altruist is not faced with the same kind of problem? After all, the effective altruist also has to work hard in order to earn money and then give it away over and over again. As far as the Sisyphus Problem is concerned, why does it matter whether one spends one's money or gives it away?

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