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What is Effective Altruism?

Effective Altruism is about using evidence and reason to try to answer the following question

View of Earth from space

 How can I do as much good as I can with the time and money I dedicate to helping others?

On this page, we introduce Effective Altruism in four key sections:

The Effective Mindset

Expanding The Moral Circle

Cause Areas

Effective Altruism in Practice

Altruism is a virtue, but how we do good matters just as much. For example, the effectiveness of charities can vary significantly, with some being thousands of times more effective at improving lives than others. This disparity arises because not all problems are equal in urgency or impact. In healthcare settings, for instance, triage is used to prioritize more serious emergencies over less severe cases, maximizing the utility of limited resources. Effective Altruism aims to apply a similar triage framework to the world's problems. The primary framework that EA uses has three key considerations: Scale, Solvability, and Neglectedness

Moral Circle

The scope of our altruism often has limits - a moral circle - defined by geography, species, or time, that often need reconsidering. Location Bias, for example, leads us to prioritize local causes over distant ones, even when the latter could achieve more good for less. Speciesism restricts our compassion to humans or pets, neglecting the well-being of other animals like farm creatures who also experience suffering. Longtermism is a philosophy that asks us to extend our moral responsibility to future generations, considering the potentially immense number of lives that could exist and be impacted by our choices today. 


Expanding The Moral

Cause Area

There is no one best way to help others because there is moral and practical uncertainty about what does the most good. However Effective Altruist research has spotlighted several cause areas where one's impact can be extraordinarily high. Global Health Interventions, for example, offer cost-effective ways to save or improve lives on a large scale. Animal Welfare Work focuses on reducing the suffering of sentient beings that are often overlooked. Nuclear and Biological Threats, or Global Catastrophic Risks (GCRs), concern existential hazards that could affect humanity at large. Artificial Intelligence Safety explores how we can guide the development of AI to benefit, rather than harm, humanity.


Taking the principles of Effective Altruism and applying them to real-world problems requires resources and guidance. Organizations like GiveWell help by rigorously evaluating charities to identify those that offer the most cost-effective interventions for improving lives. For those questioning how to best use their careers for impact, 80,000 Hours provides research-backed advice on high-impact career paths. Meanwhile, the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) focuses on addressing long-term risks to humanity, conducting research on topics like artificial intelligence safety and biosecurity. These organizations exemplify how Effective Altruism is not just a philosophy but an actionable framework for doing the most good we can, given our resources.


If you're interested in diving deeper, we run a guided discussion group following a similar 4-week format. Feel free to check out the reading list for that group or sign up below.

Fortnightly Meet Up

Every fortnight we host an open meet-up to discuss EA Ideas. We meet either at a pub or cafe in Dublin or online

Business Meeting
Discussion Group

We run a 4 week guided discussion group that covers the core ideas of EA in a small group setting.


We have a number of copies of books on EA ideas available for free to anyone on request or at our events

Giving a Speech

Throughout the year we host a number of events on EA topics from speakers to workshops

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