#491. A New Way to Think About Your Money | William MacAskill

Ten Percent Happier
August 29, 2022
#491. A New Way to Think About Your Money | William MacAskill
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Most of us worry about money sometimes, but what if we changed the way we thought about our relationship to finances? Today’s guest, William MacAskill, offers a framework in which to do just that. He calls it effective altruism. One of the core arguments of effective altruism is that we all ought to consider giving away a significant chunk of our income because we know, to a mathematical near certainty, that several thousand dollars could save a life.

Today we’re going to talk about the whys and wherefores of effective altruism. This includes how to get started on a very manageable and doable level (which does not require you to give away most of your income), and the benefits this practice has on both the world and your own psyche.

MacAskill is an associate professor of philosophy at Oxford University and one of the founders of the effective altruism movement. He has a new book out called, What We Owe the Future, where he makes a case for longtermism, a term used to describe  developing the mental habit of thinking about the welfare of future generations.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Effective altruism
  • Whether humans are really wired to consider future generations
  • Practical tips for thinking and acting on longtermism
  • His argument for having children
  • And his somewhat surprising take on how good our future could be if we play our cards right

Podcast listeners can get 50% off What We Owe the Future using the code WWOTF50 at Bookshop.org.

Where to find William MacAskill online:

Website: www.williammacaskill.com

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