Altruism monks giving alms laos Peter Nijenhuis/Flickr

Altruismo efectivo

PRINCETON – ¿Los seres humanos pueden estar realmente motivados por el altruismo? Mi nuevo libro, The Most Good You Can Do, analiza el nuevo movimiento emergente llamado altruismo efectivo y, al hacer entrevistas sobre el libro, me sorprende la frecuencia con que se formula esa pregunta.

¿Por qué deberíamos dudar de que algunas personas se comportan de manera altruista, por lo menos parte del tiempo? En términos evolutivos, podemos entender fácilmente el altruismo para con los parientes y otros que pueden corresponder nuestra ayuda. Parece verosímil que, una vez que nuestra capacidad para razonar y reflexionar se ha desarrollado lo suficiente como para permitirnos entender que los extraños pueden sufrir y gozar de la vida igual que nosotros, al menos algunos de nosotros actuaríamos de manera altruista también con los extraños.

La encuestadora Gallup les preguntó a personas en 135 países si, en el último mes, habían donado dinero a una entidad de beneficencia, hecho voluntariado en una organización o ayudado a un extraño. Los resultados de Gallup, que constituyen la base del Índice Mundial de Generosidad 2014, indican que aproximadamente 2.300 millones de personas, un tercio de la población del mundo, realiza por lo menos una acción altruista por mes.

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