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davetrow comments on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... - Less Wrong

130 Post author: Yvain 24 December 2010 09:26PM

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Comment author: davetrow 25 December 2010 05:40:47AM 8 points [-]

"The lawyer who quits a high-powered law firm to work at a nonprofit organization certainly seems like a good person. But if we define "good" as helping people, then the lawyer who stays at his law firm but donates the profit to charity is taking Cato's path of maximizing how much good he does, rather than how good he looks."

Wouldn't that depend on how much harm the lawyer might do by remaining at the high-powered law firm? What if the law firm specializes in socially-harmful activities, like defending corporate malfeasance or (pick your example). How does that fit into the equation?

In other words, I don't think it's that simple, although it's an excellent place to start, and I will certainly check out GiveWell for our next charitable tithing session.