Episode #930 – Will Macaskill

Will MacAskill is a philosopher and notable figure within the effective altruism movement. He is a tutorial fellow in philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford.

Warning! Images in this article may disturb some viewers


Effective altruism
Anything above $36,000 dollars Will donates his money to charity.
Will thinks that his life is so good in certain ways that it’s ‘bullshit’ to think he can’t live properly not on the income he has.

Will talks about the moral characteristics that Peter Singer presented to him in his collage years. If you want to read the entire paper on the story you can find it here. The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle.

Will and Joe talk about the evolution of the human race and that in the future we will evolve further than what we are now and the homosapien’s will be obsolete.

Joe thinks that constantly needing new objects is in our DNA code which drives us to innovate new things.

Will talks about being vegan and that animals are not treated right due to factory farming. He bring up the argument that cigarette packets have teeth and lungs on them to show people the effects of smoking. Pictured below:
Image result for british cigarette packet
The reason the government does this is to deter people from smoking. Will’s question is why wouldn’t they do this for factory farming? Put the horrendous conditions that animals are placed in such as pigs:

The only thing that is valuable to Will MacAskill is conscious experiences and to feel happy and great. They key question to think about synthetic life in the future is “Are they having conscious experiences?” and are those experiences good or bad.
A thought experiment has been created to challenge this view called “The Experience Machine”.

Joe puts forward the idea that consciousness has access to leave the biological structure of the human. We might be able to rid ourselves of the timeline we are given based on our physical features.

Will says that he is basically wrong and our consciousness is “Ultimately just a physical process”.

Joe brings up the “Eye of Horus” and other examples of how interesting this part of history is, appearing in many cultures in different forms and that related to the strongest religions past and present. This idea of consciousness and drugs is extremely prominent throughout history. Is it all a coincidence?



Leo Zillard first came up with the idea of nuclear chain reaction and only 12 years later the first nuclear bomb was released upon the world. Will uses this comparison to show that it doesn’t take long for technology to be created and sometimes we don’t understand the devastation it could have on the human race.

Objects and Possessions

Joe Rogan – “I live where white people go to breed”. The general consensus is that people don’t need

The most expensive yacht called “Streets of Monaco”

Joe and Will talk about infinity and space. They discuss how super massive black holes are usually found in the middle of each galaxy and if you enter those black holes you have the chance to going into another galaxy.

The guys have conflicting views based on space and how the observable universe isn’t that large from what we can see. They also talk about Aliens.
Will said that he asked NASA recently about asteroids and if we are tracking all of the ones that are a danger to earth, NASA responded by saying they basically have no idea how many are out there or how safe we are.
Randel Carlson is obsessed with the idea that asteroid impacts are what ended the ice age 10 thousand years ago.


Young Jamie pulls up this article about pigs damaging millions of dollars worth of properties

Joe talks about the evolution of bulls and talks about Scrub Bulls that are extremely dangerous in the wild.


Reintroducing or introducing species in environments can take over, Joe uses Australia as an example. Will MacAskill talks about Kangaroo meat being the most ‘ethical’ meat to eat due to over population. Jamie pulls up a video about kangaroos but doesn’t show it to the audience. “Kangaroos are marsupials” Jamie says after Joe says kangaroos are related to deer.

Joe Rogan asks Will why he wouldn’t eat mollusks, “I wouldn’t eat anything with a brain, so that means Oysters, Muscles and Clams” are okay to eat on a vegetarian/vegan diet.
Here is a list of extinct animals in Australia.

A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. – Stalin

Joe also talks about the Haast Eagle in New Zealand and the Tasmanian Tiger.

Image result for haast eagle compared to human
















Will is huge into charities, he donates most of his money to charity but is very wary about which charities to donate to, here are some charity’s they mentioned that aren’t that great.








Famous People Mentioned

Peter singer – “Is an Australian moral philosopher.”

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