by Jill Kuehnert
I begin to write this article at 6:30 in the morning, after spending a half-hour reading a daily devotional text and writing in my journal, but before turning on my phone or checking email.
I’ll admit that I don’t start every day like this, but it seems fitting today to follow the advice from Matt Perman, the author of the book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel transforms the way you get things done. Continue reading “Does Jesus care if I get things done? Thoughts on What’s Best Next”
by Joe Tulloch
In a previous post for this blog, I argued that donations to one’s local church cannot be considered effective giving. In this second article, which is the product of fruitful discussion at the recent Effective Altruism for Christians conference, I develop and modify this conclusion, suggesting that, while this is currently the case, Christian effective altruists ought to encourage their local churches to become effective enough to support. Continue reading “A local-church-centred approach to Christian effective altruism”
by Mike Morell
Within the Christian effective altruist community, the concept of “effective evangelism” is controversial. This post offers a brief introduction to the terrain, not a comprehensive review or a definitive conclusion.
A small survey found that Christian effective altruists care about various causes to varying degrees, with poverty tending to be the primary concern. Evangelism was unique in exposing a clear difference, with many respondents considering it “extremely important” and many others labeling it “not important”. In discussions, the disagreement runs deeper than just prioritization; there is debate whether principles of effective altruism ought to be applied to evangelism at all.
Continue reading “Perspectives on effective evangelism”
by Dexter Simpson
There is incredible suffering in Jesus’ day. Historians estimate that 95-97% of Israel lives in poverty. The people own and earn very little. They also bear the heavy cost of Jewish morality codes and Roman taxes. These institutions ask the poor to give even more. Jesus hears the cries of children going to bed without food. He sees the families who are separated when debts are not paid. Jesus understands the grief when a handicapped woman is not received in her house because the local priest deems her immoral so she languishes as a panhandler. Continue reading “A reflection on the life of Jesus”
by Dominic Roser
Peter Singer, a leading effective altruist, supported his mother when she suffered from Alzheimer’s. Critics were quick to ask whether he behaved consistently with his professed belief in impartiality. Couldn’t he have done more good by spending his time and money not on his mother, but on more effective causes with anonymous beneficiaries?
Impartiality presents a challenge to all of us. We are torn between wanting to avoid favouritism while also wanting to prioritise those who are near and dear to us – in particular, special relationships such as our spouses. Continue reading “Four steps for toning down partiality”
by Mike Morell
One of the most prominent biblical passages related to the intersection of Christianity and effective altruism is the story of the alabaster jar of perfume, found here in Mark 14: Continue reading “An exception that proves the rule”
by Josh Parikh
Christians commonly talk about the importance of prayer in decision making. The idea of ‘calling’ – such as in one’s career – is commonly seen as something discerned through private prayer. This seems to be in tension with effective altruism as classically defined: “the use of high-quality evidence and careful reasoning to work out how to help others as much as possible” (Centre for Effective Altruism).
So how should Christians who want to affirm both the significance of prayer and the moral imperative of reason and evidence in decision making respond? Continue reading “How should Christian effective altruists use prayer in decision-making?”