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EA pledge for 2017

Posted on 2016-04-07

The universe does not love us.

If it did, it probably would not have us suffering and dying all the time.

Okay. Do we have a problem with this?

I guess we don’t. It’s just a fact of life that you will be hurt. And of course, you have to die. Your family and friends and everyone you care about? Yes, they have to be in pain. If you’re lucky, it will be just every now and then. Do they also have to die? Oh, yes, they do. Possibly, painfully so. And let me tell you about, say, neurodegenerative diseases. When your best friend gets one, she will spend several last years of her life with her personality and memories wasting away, and frightened to death. And at the end, she will, of course, die. And when she does, you will never see her again.

But that’s OK. It’s a fact of life, so it’s OK. It’s not like you can really do anything about it, so it would be useless to try. Hey, look at this new shiny widget! Isn’t it really shiny? Come on, you already feel like everything is OK, right?


I will no longer allow this.

I can’t protect everyone. I am just a human and I don’t have the ability. But I promise that if I could protect everyone, I would not allow a single person to die or suffer. I want everyone to live as happily as possible and as long as they want to, and I want nothing to prevent people from enjoying life.

I can’t protect everyone, but I can try my best.

I promise to give at least 10% of my pre-tax income between October 1, 2016 and October 1, 2017 to fighting the Arch-Enemy.

I am sorry I am not yet strong enough to commit more. I hope to become stronger one day.

We will fight. If you’d like to join us, we would be honored to fight by your side. We are called effective altruists. Some of us fight diseases that kill in the developing world. Some of us fight to save animals. Some us fight to end death itself. All of us fight to remove suffering from the world.

The philosopher Peter Singer did an excellent TED talk on the effective altruism and you should watch it:

Ben Kuhn has a good list of effective altruism reading material. I also personally recommend Nick Bostrom’s Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant (Czech translation).

If you think there’s any chance it might a good idea to try to do good, please don’t dismiss it easily. If you’d like to learn more or if you’d like to talk with me about this, I would be happy to talk.