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The Life You Can Save in 3 minutes by Peter Singer
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79 thoughts on “The Life You Can Save in 3 minutes by Peter Singer

  • June 7, 2010 at 2:56 am
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    Excellent video; sums up the argument effectively.

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  • June 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm
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    I hope this gets a million views.

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  • June 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm
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    wouldn't it be better to provide poverty stricken people an education so that they can better themselves by establishing a working government and water treatment facilities to provide them with clean water instead of shipping water in to them? I think we can help these people but in an easier and more sustainable manner. just my two centts

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  • June 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm
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    @TheAtheistMission When I first saw it, it had a meager 16! Someone's reposting of it had more views than the original. Luckily, I admin a bunch of (unrelated) Facebook groups, so I sent it out to about 1000 people. Glad to see it's up the thousands of views now!

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  • June 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm
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    @DavesMx6 YES YES YES! Believe me, it's about more than food and medicine! Yesterday the Aid Watch blog discussed the idea of funding African universities to produce African intellectuals to think about African problems. Primary schools, planned parenthood, and microloans are examples of projects meant to provide a long-term benefit. By the way, I don't know if we ship clean water to people. Recently my school club built a well for $5000; I think that's closer to the norm.

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  • June 10, 2010 at 3:36 am
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    this video is about aid to end extreme poverty. you can't learn anything if your family is dysfunction, dying of diarrhea and lack of basic nutrition.

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  • June 10, 2010 at 3:38 am
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    this video is about aid to end extreme poverty. you can't learn anything if your family is dysfunctional, dying of diarrhea and lacking in basic nutrition. this is pretty common knowledge in basic human biology and psychology. basic mental and physical health.

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  • June 10, 2010 at 8:43 am
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    Goosbumps

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  • June 11, 2010 at 7:05 pm
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    The red is killing my eyes! X_X

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  • June 14, 2010 at 3:33 am
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    @includao This is just plain wrong. That's NOT how poor people live. Search YouTube for "Profiles of the Poor" — it presents a more human, realistic picture of the poor

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  • June 14, 2010 at 3:35 am
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    @includao "Extreme poverty" is hard to concretely measure, but it does NOT mean lying diseased in a ditch with a bloated stomach

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  • June 14, 2010 at 3:50 am
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    @trenteady dude, I live in BRAZIL, next to a Favela (slum). I work for a NGO. You live in Canada. Canada. You know *nothing* about poverty. Just think about it: Canada. Brazil.You know nothing about poverty. Poverty is correlated with the lacking of basic physical and mental health. Socio-economic situation is correlated with poor cognitive development. The physical problems can range from simple diarrhea to any other less severe problem (related to insalubrious conditions)

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  • June 14, 2010 at 3:53 am
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    @trenteady so yeah, extreme poverty just describes a special case or situation where people don't have access to the most basic needs. And it happens here in Brazil with 7.5 million people. In 2002, it was 21 million people.

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  • June 14, 2010 at 3:54 am
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    @trenteady so tell me, how people in extreme poverty live in your country, Canada? As I described, it's very different from the extreme poverty in Brazil or Africa.

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  • June 14, 2010 at 3:57 am
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    @includao While it's true that education is fairly useless if your "family is dysfunctional, dying of diarrhea and lacking in basic nutrition", since most poor people aren't dying of diarrhea, there is a good case to be made for education. It was PORTFOLIOS of the Poor I meant to recommend– it's about focusing on the resourcefulness of those living in extreme poverty rather than viewing the poor as helpless, passive sufferers.

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  • June 14, 2010 at 4:00 am
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    @includao Extreme poverty is usually defined as living with an income of $2 or less, $1 or less, etc. But the income of the world's poorest is something that can't be measured so accurately, so many millions of people are either labelled as living in "extreme poverty" or not for reasons that are, at bottom, arbitrary.

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  • June 14, 2010 at 4:09 am
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    I love this.

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  • June 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm
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    how dare this video tell me i wouldn't stand there and laugh watching a child drown? it doesn't know me at all…

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  • June 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm
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    I'd take my shoes OFF, then save the girl, thereby saving both. Does that ruin the message?

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  • June 15, 2010 at 9:57 am
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    @trenteady Far out, you and includao are here fighting about who knows more about poverty. who is the better intellectual. why don't you stop bickering and do something about it, instead of fighting about who knows more, why don't you fight over who can do more. and not a silly fight with words, do something about it. send some money. join an aid organisation. just stop fighting and do something that will actually make a difference.

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  • June 19, 2010 at 6:14 am
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    @trenteady i'm not "dismissing debate and consideration" i'm merely pointing out that while you two argue about who is right, you're wasting time where you could be doing something that will help. neither of you were arguing about the best ways to help, or the most important things that need to be done, you were trying to on-up each other with who knows the most about poverty.

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  • June 19, 2010 at 6:16 am
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    @trenteady take global warming for example. everyday, thousands of people fight over whether it's real or not, and what not, but nothing is done about it. people will keep fighting until the skeptics realise it's here, and it's too late.
    so what was the good of that fighting, if they'd done something, instead of argued about who was right. something would've been done to fix the problem.

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  • June 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm
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    @simongun That's ridiculous. Are you seriously advocating I spend every waking hour on volunteering or making money to send to charities? If so, then what are you commenting on a YouTube video?

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  • June 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm
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    @dynamis57 David Hamburger

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  • June 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm
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    @trenteady i'm not quite sure which of my words you twisted that from. but i don't recall ever saying you should spend every waking hour on helping charities, just that maybe you could devote half your youtube argument time to helping charities?

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  • June 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm
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    @simongun What should I be doing with this time exactly? Personally, I think debating about poverty is probably more productive than a lot of other things I could be doing.

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  • June 23, 2010 at 7:38 am
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    @trenteady there are many ways to help, like i've previously stated: join an aid organisation, head to your local talks, join fundraisers and awareness campaigns.
    you say that "debating" poverty more helpful than a lot of other things. How on earth, is fighting with includao about who knows more about poverty on YouTube helping starving children or disease infested communities in ANY WAY? Doesn't make much sense to me.

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  • June 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm
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    @simongun I already do all of those things. Like I said, arguing about aid does not detract from that at all. It's a little annoying of you to say "stop arguing and help out" as if the two things are mutually exclusive.

    The reason I think it's important is that Africa (for example) has little hope if the world keeps thinking of it as a basket case and aid will be less effective if we view the poor as passive incapacitated victims, rather than resourceful human beings.

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  • June 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm
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    @trenteady first of all, save your big words from someone else, they don't impress me or make you seem any more legit.
    all i'm saying, is while you're on youtube arguing, nothing is being done. there is no way arguing can be as helpful as doing.
    you can have a great mind, you can think up great ideas, and could be the smartest person in the world, but unless you do something, unless you put that great mind, or ideas, or intellectuality to use, what's the point of having it?

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  • June 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm
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    @trenteady continued…
    sitting on youtube arguing with someone about who knows more about poverty doesn't help a thing. i could know everything, have all the answers, but unless i do something i haven't helped have i.

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  • June 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm
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    @simongun And yet here you are, arguing on YouTube!

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  • June 27, 2010 at 7:15 am
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    @trenteady 1, i'm not arguing with you, i'm just pointing out to you some sense. and 2, if i'm arguing on youtube, it means you are too, which is the opposite from what you've been saying the whole time.

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  • August 31, 2010 at 10:33 pm
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    Thank you for this inspiring video it's the best I've seen. It's so uplifting and I want to help. Thanks again. -Stephanie

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  • September 3, 2010 at 6:24 am
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    what software u've been using?

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  • January 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm
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    @essentdw David Hamburger, untitled

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  • March 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm
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    Haha, I disagree that poverty is not infinite. It is. Not because theoretical amount of financial contribution, but because it's not possible for selfish humans to help others on a global scale. Sure, without doubt, there are millions upon millions of people contributing, not just in money for bread, but in education, disease prevention, world peace, etc…. But that is definitely not enough. Because even with all that, it's still less than a percent of what the world is willing to offer…

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  • March 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm
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    Don't feed people, give people the aid which gives them the means to feed themselves. Cattle are fed, not people. Most people enjoy feeding their own families. And of course no child should go without medicines. But don't people also have a responsibility to stop having children they can't support? If you can feed one, have one, not two and three and four . . .One well-fed healthy child is better than six hungry, sick, neglected children. We all have to take responsibility, don't we?

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  • April 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm
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    This is lovely.
    You know, I thought you'd need MUCH more money to better the world in such a scale.

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  • May 4, 2011 at 4:38 am
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    Thank you for this.

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  • November 12, 2011 at 5:46 am
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    @essentdw that's EXACTLY what I was thinking! The U.S. army is ridiculous.

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  • November 12, 2011 at 5:46 am
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    Peter Singer is amazing.

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  • December 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm
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    Yes, think about the U.S. ARMY.

    Just think about the U.S. ARMY…

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  • January 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm
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    @PlatoJaspers Please have a look at givewell.org

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  • April 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm
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    But this video isn't about what the govt can do for a life, its about what an individual can.

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  • April 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm
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    While most of the money does not go for that, most churches do have programs to help the needy in their church or community. Also, churches play important roles in our communities beyond that. I'm not talking about faith here, just the social role of churches. I might also point out that its easy to pass the buck somewhere else (what if THEY did this?)…

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  • April 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm
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    Most churches don't do rock concerts. And sermons are kind of the point of church. And people freely give their money with these in mind. Furthermore, 3%, while not a lot, is still quite a bit. Oh, and I doubt that figure counts the work that pastors & other members do for hospitals & nursing homes and the like. Finally, you're still trying to pass the buck so you don't have to give. If you don't like churches, that's fine, but stop acting like they're these horrible entities.

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  • November 24, 2012 at 12:59 am
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    I like this video except the phrase: "And you can keep your favorite pair of shoes". Why use shoes as an example in the first place if they say you can keep them. And Givewell (which Peter Singer supports) estimates that a child can be saved for 1700 USD when donating to Against Malara Foundation. Those are more expensive than my Converse! Im a huge fan of Givewell, Peter Singer and his book The Life you can save and the message of this video. I just dont like how they communicate the message.

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  • December 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm
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    The video is a little outdated, yes. TLYCS tend to talk about "an expensive suit and pair of shoes" now to keep up with GiveWell's esimates!

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  • March 9, 2013 at 3:29 am
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    hola, preciso esta semana estudiamos la mayordomía y el medio ambiente y lo que dice peter es valido, por que el no analiza la vida como un don de DIOS ,y el hombre es superior a los animales, lo que hace el enemigo es bajarnos, y comprobar que evolucionamos, DIOS esta por encima de religión
    y siempre buscamos hombres que nos "guíen" pidamos sabiduría y FE a nuestro DIOS sin intermediarios inténtalo gracias…………

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  • March 9, 2013 at 3:42 am
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    hola, un aporte en singer hay algo de lógica, por que el no parte de que DIOS es nuestro creador. y somos superiores alos animales, no para matarlos sino
    una ayuda para el hombre, el enemigo nos quiere rebajar la mismo nivel y haci

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  • March 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm
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    Declining childhood mortality is strongly correlated with declining fertility rates. Reduce the former and the latter will also reduce (though promoting women's rights and access to contraception is also essential).

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  • June 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm
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    This is the same fellow who, in his book “Practical Ethics” states that “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons.” But animals are self-aware, and therefore “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.” Good thing this is a child that needs help in his video and not a newborn.

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  • June 21, 2013 at 1:29 am
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    I just have one philosophical question: Why exactly would the girl's life matter more to me than my shoes? I can use the shoes, if the girl lives, chances are that she will never affect my life. The shoes affect me positively, the girl (dead or alive) doesn't affect me at all.

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  • July 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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    I've seen figures that it would only take 30 billion a year to end poverty. Could this be because this video is a few years old now?

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  • July 12, 2013 at 11:58 am
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    Actually, the contrary is true. There is a strong correlation between poverty and big families – if you take people out of poverty, they will get less children. That's why development researchers say that there are only two ways to stop population growth: poverty reduction or a nuclear war that kills everyone. Hans Rosling show this convincingly in this YouTube video: watch?v=fTznEIZRkLg

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  • July 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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    Do you mean that you think you're able to kill someone without getting affected? For a pair of shoes?

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  • July 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm
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    I don't think there is any evidence for that population growth increases in the short term because of aid, I have a bachelor in peace and development studies and all I've seen confirms what Rosling is saying in his video: there is no other way to decrease population growth than poverty reduction.

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  • July 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm
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    You're welcome buddy, nice chatting with you 🙂

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  • July 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm
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    I know that I wouldn't be affected, that is just a fact, that girl (in this hypothetical situation) simply doesn't affect my life, she isn't part of my family, she isn't a colleague, she isn't anybody to me.

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  • September 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm
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    Yeah actually. I don't believe in a religion, so its not like I think that I'll go to heaven for saving her, I don't believe in Karma either, so why would I save her? There's absolutely nothing in it for me.

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  • September 17, 2013 at 2:36 am
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    May you find yourself drowning in water alone, or better with people watching you flail, and waving as you go under.

    Actually, I don't wish that, nor do I suspect many others do, but we're simply better humans than you.

    Now, shut up.

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  • December 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm
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    Princeton University philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer mentioned his book “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty.” In that book he gives an example of “The Life You Can Save”. The life I am to save is a small child drowning in a shallow pond.

     “Will I ruin my new shoes and wade into the pound to rescue the child?” Prof. Singer asks. Of course I will! But then I want to go after the criminal who threw the child in the pond to drown. Who might that criminal be?

    Prof. Singer wants us to act now to end poverty and children starving by sharing our wealth with the less fortunate. Like I, the professor must know that poverty was the norm around the world not that long ago when Thomas Hobbes observed in 1651 that man’s life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. That is still true for most of the world to this day.

    So, how did the West escape from this Hobbesian world? It was the discovery of freedom. John Locke’s understanding of Man’s Rights let in 1776 to the Declaration of Independence, the birth of America, the industrial revolution, capitalism and the creation of wealth never before seen in the history of mankind. 

    It is obvious what keeps the poor poor and what makes the rich rich. “To End World Poverty” requires that Prof. Singer lectures at Princeton and around the world on the Declaration of Independence. Nothing else will do as is proven by the harm done by the billions and billions of dollars that the West has poured into Africa. Yet, the professor wants us to pour in additional billions. Why? 

    My answer is that ethicist Singer, like most of us, subscribe to the morality of altruism, the morality of sacrifice, the Kantian categorical imperative of duty for duty’s sake. Altruism is the morality of death as Ayn Rand demonstrates in “The Virtue of Selfishness.” Therefore, the professor is not motivated by love of the poor, but hatred of the rich. Otherwise, he would learn from history and hold the America of our Founding Fathers up as a shining example for all to follow. 

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  • January 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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    If I put you on a big enough guilt trip, maybe you'll buy my book…rather than those shoes.

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  • January 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm
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    Here is the Turkish translation of the text above…

    "İşe giderken bir göl kenarından geçiyorsunuz. Birden gölün içinde bir kız olduğunu fark ediyorsunuz: Çırpınıyor ve boğuluyor. Etrafınıza bakıyorsunuz… Ailesi nerede? Ama hiç kimse yok… Onu kurtarmak için suya atlar mıydınız? Tabi ki! Ama durun! Eğer bunu yaparsanız, en sevdiğiniz ve pahalı olan ayakkabılarınız mahvolacak… Unutun ayakkabıları! Birinin hayatıyla kıyasladığınızda ayakkabılar hiç bir şey…

    Peki, ya o kız Afrika'daki bir gölde boğuluyor olsaydı? Cevabınız değişir miydi? Ya da, eğer o kız ailesinin tedavi masraflarını karşılayamadığı (ama sizin o pahalı ayakkabılarınızın parasıyla karşılayabileceğiniz) diyare hastalığı yüzünden ölüyorsa??

    Aslında bunlar varsayım değil. Tam olarak şu anda işte bu sebepten ölen çocuklar var dünyada. Gereksiz ölümler. Önlenebilir ölümler. O hayatları siz kurtarabilirsiniz: hem de hala o ayakkabılara sahip olarak…"

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  • January 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm
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    Well, ought to be the same. Tricky life.

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  • February 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm
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    Very cool..

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  • October 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm
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    New interview with @Peter Singer  on The Life You Can Save : Peter Singer – The Life You Can Save

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  • November 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm
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    Videos like this are so touching and I lo e to see people do this and help others, that's all I would ask for is people helping each other

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  • April 26, 2015 at 5:16 am
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    simply amazing work!!!!! As a college student, I really hope to live up to these standards one day!! Peter Singer's moral philosophy is completely revolutionary yet one that we ought to and can follow

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  • July 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm
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    Great video. 🙂
    I'm also a classical (hedonistic) utilitarian.

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  • November 27, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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    We will one day think that consuming ever-more luxuries while others die preventable deaths in their billions is utterly grotesque. Until then, we've got effective altruism.

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  • August 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm
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    Great video. I think what I'll do is ensure I save more of my money so I don't fall into poverty. That way when I get older, I won't become a statistic and help drive down international poverty!
    I'm a good guy.

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  • January 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm
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    This is very inspiring

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  • March 19, 2018 at 10:38 am
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    Warning: Lots of edge ahead

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  • October 25, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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    I HATE SINGER SINGER DOESNT CARE ABOUT CHILDREN HE WANTS TO ABUSE THEM AND KILL THEM SINGER IS EVIL MENTAL AND DISABLED LETS KILL SINGER GIVE SINGER A TASTE OF HIS OWN MEDICINE

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  • October 25, 2018 at 3:10 pm
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    WOULD SINGER LOVE MY DRUGGIE EX MY EX WAS EVIL FELT IT WAS OK TO KILL PEOPLE BUT MY EX WAS DISBLED WITH MS AND PHOSIS SO WOULD SINGER WANT TO KILL HIM?

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  • October 25, 2018 at 3:10 pm
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    PERHAPS THE DRUG DEALER WANTED TO KILL MY DISABLED EX

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  • March 28, 2019 at 6:34 pm
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    I don't really see any impact from helping an uneducated person. Yep, Africa lives in extreme poverty, but they also live in extreme laziness, and extreme ignorance. What's the point in helping a person that can't read, knows nothing about science, and doesn't want to learn?? This money won't come back to the society, imho. I'd spend some money to support scholarships though.

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  • June 6, 2019 at 1:50 am
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    what if the moon was the dying girl and money was apple sauce? could you eat two thursdays?

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