Peter Singer - The Life You Can Save, in 3 minutes

We all like to think that we are good, moral, compassionate people. Of course, that's always easier said than done. Often, we tend to consider ourselves good simply because we are not out doing evil stuff, but not doing evil doesn't make you good; it just makes you not evil. Being good requires active participation, and active participation requires that you take a hard look inside and ask yourself whether you could be doing more to help those in need. When you ask yourself that simple question, you are almost inevitably going to find that the answer is a very quick, obvious and embarrassing yes.

Are your actions consistent with your moral intuitions? Are your moral intuitions consistent with each other? Using philosopher Peter Singer's notion of the expanding moral circle, the following 3-minute animation brings home the important point that the very same reasoning you would provide to explain and justify your moral intuitions and behavior in one case should also apply to other cases that may not seem as similar at first glance, even though they are actually logically identical.

If you can resist the natural urge to want to rationalize your cognitive dissonance, the upshot is that you could become a better human being...



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