I’m not trying to target a straw man. I’m trying to speak to a line of thought that feels alive in the EA community – something along the lines of “giving effectively is a project worth expending substantial effort & resource on.”
Alongside this view is a corollary, something like:
Giving effectively will be good, both for you and the people you’re helping.
I think this corollary is often conveyed implicitly, but feels real regardless.
This corollary seems underspecified. I think giving effectively (and giving a lot) will be roughly as good for you as doing any giving at all. I think a more accurate version of the corollary would go something like:
Giving effectively will be about as good for you as other types of giving, but giving effectively can be more demanding than other types of giving. So there’s often a tradeoff between your personal happiness & effective giving, especially if you’re giving large amounts out of an income less than $115,000.
It’s quite possible that EA leaders already agree with this amended corollary, in which case all I’m advocating for is being clear about the happiness<>giving tradeoff.
(And in the case where folks disagree with the amended corollary, I’m advocating for something like “this tradeoff is real & we shouldn’t paper over it.”)