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Wed, Mar 20

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Salt Lake City

Round Table

This week's topic: Effective Altruism

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Round Table
Round Table

Time & Location

Mar 20, 2024, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Salt Lake City, 511 W 400 N #105, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, USA

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About the event

Round Table is a discussion night here at Petit Portál. Nothing is off the table, with weekly topics (this weeks' below!) ranging in theme from spirituality, to kink, to science, to art-- and everything in between; that we explore respectfully through our shared and differing viewpoints. Come, having explored the week's topic, or ready to! This (five-week) season of Round Table is hosted and mediated by Ash Sanders! With event space host, Li Michelle.

This week's topic: Effective Altrusim; How far should you go to create a better world?

According to the long-dead philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, we live in the best possible world. But according to probably most anybody else, you ask, we don’t. There’s war, hunger, poverty, disease. All in all, not great.

But what are we supposed to do about it? The moral philosopher Peter Singer thinks you can answer this question with a little thought experiment. If you were walking down a trail in the woods and saw a child drowning in a nearby pond, would you sacrifice your time and your clean clothes to save the child? Most people say they would. But in the real world, there are more proverbial, drowning children than we can count let alone save. So what do we do? What do we owe other people who are suffering when we are not? How much time should we dedicate to charitable causes? How much money should we donate? How much effort should we devote to political action?

We’ll dig into this thorny question by considering the rise of the effective altruist movement, a band of increasingly wealthy and increasingly powerful everyday philosophers who believe that is our job to do the maximum amount of we can do for the maximum amount of people, no cheating. :)

What do you think? Let’s give Old Man Singer a run for his money at this Wednesday’s Roundtable discussion night at Petit Portal from 7 to 9. Bring friends! Bring lovers! Bring verbal sparring partners!

Here are the links for the discussion:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/08/15/the-reluctant-prophet-of-effective-altruism

https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/bookworm/larissa-macfarquhar-strangers-drowning/excerpt-from-strangers-drowning

About Ash:

Ash Sanders is a journalist, audio producer, and creative who writes about place, environment, religion and mental health. She's also an erstwhile climate organizer and performance artist who creates circles for processing public or political grief. As a young weirdo trapped at BYU and looking for her people, she started a weekly discussion night on art, politics, and psychology that turned how she saw the whole world on its head and introduced her to the fellow seekers and loveable freaks of Provo. Since then, you can find her organizing salons and elaborate theme parties here in Utah or in her other home in Brooklyn. Oh, and rest assured: she'll never miss an opportunity for an around-the-room question. :)

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  • Round Table

    $15.00
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