Giving Compass' Take:

· In this podcast from 80,000 Hours, Rob Wiblin talks with Peter Singer about his changing morals and moral philosophy in modern times.

· How has controversy shaped modern-day views of morals and ethics? How can you share your philanthropic morals with your children? 

· Read more about Peter Singer and living an ethical life

In 1989, the professor of moral philosophy Peter Singer was all over the news for his inflammatory opinions about abortion. But the controversy stemmed from Practical Ethics — a book he’d actually released way back in 1979. It took a German translation ten years on for protests to kick off.

According to Singer, he honestly didn’t expect this view to be as provocative as it became, and he certainly wasn’t aiming to stir up trouble and get attention.

But after the protests and the increasing coverage of his work in German media, the previously flat sales of Practical Ethics shot up. And the negative attention he received ultimately led him to a weekly opinion column in The New York Times.

Singer points out that as a result of this increased attention, many more people also read the rest of the book — which includes chapters with a real ability to do good, covering global poverty, animal ethics, and other important topics. So should people actively try to court controversy with one view, in order to gain attention for another more important one?

Read the full article about Peter Singer by Robert Wiblin and Keiran Harris at 80000 Hours.