Right here is a superb essay by Peter McLaughlinright here is an excerpt:
So the issue is that this. Efficient altruism means having the ability to say that issues aside from utility matter – not simply within the sense that they carry some ethical weight, however within the sense that they could truly be related to deciding what to do, not simply overwhelmed by utility calculations. Cowen clarifies the situation, figuring out it because the denial of the next assertion: Given two choices, regardless of how different morally related elements are distributed among the many choices, you may nonetheless discover a utility distribution such that the choice with the best quantity of utility is one of the best. The hope that you would be able to have “utilitarianism minus the controversial” rests exactly on denying this declare.
This situation just isn’t supposed to render the usefulness off matterin order that utilitarian concerns ought to by no means make you alter your thoughts or perspective: it’s sufficient that they are often restrictedhelpfully coexist with different helpful functions. It ensures that usefulness won’t mechanically overwhelm different elements, equivalent to partiality to household and mates, or private values, or self-interest, or respect for rights, and even struggling (as within the very disgusting conclusion). This might enable us to respect our intuitions once they battle with utility, which is exactly what means to have the ability to get off the prepare for a loopy metropolis.
Now, on the identical time, Efficient Altruists too wish to emphasize the relevance of the dimensions for ethical decision-making. The central thought of the primary efficient altruists was to withstand vary insensitivity and start to systematically study the numbers concerned in numerous points. Efficient “long-term” altruists are deeply motivated by the concept “the long run is huge”: the massive variety of future individuals who may doubtlessly exist offers us many causes to attempt to enhance the long run. The truth that some interventions produce a lot extra utility—do a lot extra good – that others is likely one of the essential causes for prioritizing them. So though it’s technically a resolution to our downside to state (for instance) that utility concerns successfully turn into irrelevant as soon as the numbers get too giant could be unacceptable to environment friendly altruists. Ladder Questions in Efficient Altruism (rightly so, I’d say!), and it doesn’t stop to matter after a sure level.
There may be way more to the argument, really useful.