The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer (Audiobook)
By The Life You Can Save
The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer (Audiobook)Oct 20, 2020
Introduction to The Life You Can Save Audiobook
Charlie Bresler, Ph.D., the Executive Director of The Life You Can Save organization, invites you to listen carefully to Peter Singer’s, celebrity-read audiobook by the same name. Dr. Bresler suggests that if you “open your mind” to Singer’s words that show you how you can actually save lives, you can restore your sense of agency within a world that makes many of us feel helpless.
To find out more about The Life You Can Save organisation: www.thelifeyoucansave.org
Foreword by Michael Schur: I'd never looked at it that way before
Michael Schur, the acclaimed executive producer and creator of the NBC series “The Good Place,” describes how the first edition of The Life You Can Save, sparked a change in his world view, leaving him with the realization that we each play a critical role in helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
Preface by Peter Singer
Professor Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save, introduces the 10th-anniversary edition. Reflecting on what has and hasn’t changed, he describes his intention to distil what he has learned over his forty-year career, about why we give or don’t give, and what we should do about it.
Chapter 01: Saving a Child. Read by Kristen Bell.
In this chapter–narrated by Kristin Bell, award-winning actress and star of the NBC series “The Good Place”–Professor Peter Singer asks; “If you saw a child drowning in a pond, would you jump in and save them?” He argues that the same instinct and moral obligation, which would lead most people to act without hesitation, should apply when deciding whether to help children living in poverty.
Chapter 02: Is it Wrong Not to Help? Read by Paul Simon.
In chapter 2–narrated by award-winning singer-songwriter Paul Simon– Professor Peter Singer asks how far our moral obligation to help those living in poverty extends. Reflecting upon traditional views on helping the poor, he argues that there is nothing new in the idea that each of us has a strong moral obligation to help those in need.
Chapter 03: Common Objections to Giving. Read by Marc Evan Jackson.
Marc Evan Jackson–best known for his acting in the NBC series “The Good Place,” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”–narrates this Chapter which considers the validity of common objections to charitable giving. Examining global philanthropy, Professor Singer emphasizes that we are not yet doing as much as we should to effectively help those living in extreme poverty. He additionally highlights the vital role of evidence-based charity evaluators, such as the charity namesake of the book The Life You Can Save, the organization.
Chapter 04: Why Don't We Give More? Read by Natalia Vodianova.
In this chapter–narrated by supermodel, philanthropist, and angel impact investor, Natalie Vodianova–Professor Singer considers the psychological factors underlying why people don’t give more, and what might change that. Drawing upon his experiences, he debunks the hypothesis that “It’s not in our nature,” to understand the moral necessity of giving to the distant poor.
Chapter 05: Creating a Culture of Giving. Read by Stephen Fry.
Narrated by the acclaimed English author, actor, and comedian, Stephen Fry, Chapter 5 delves into proven approaches to creating a culture of giving. Describing the emergence of effective giving communities across the globe, Professor Singer outlines examples of how the actions of committed individuals, institutions, and groups can and is leading to a permanent change in how we give.
Chapter 06: How much does it cost to save a life? Read by Nicholas D'Agosto.
Narrated by actor and artist Nicholas D'Agosto, Chapter 6 debunks commonly held myths about how we should evaluate a charity’s performance and decide where to give. Drawing upon the emergence of charity evaluators who prioritize cost-effectiveness, Professor Singer highlights how relatively small donations can do a huge amount of good when given to effective charities.
Chapter 07: Improving Aid. Read by Peter Singer.
This chapter delves into the criticisms of international aid, considers ways to objectively assess which types of aid program work, and examines how we can improve aid efficiency. Professor Singer argues that we can sharply reduce extreme poverty if we direct resources that match the problems addressed and choose to learn from our mistakes.
Chapter 08: Your child and the children of others. Read by Winnie Auma.
Chapter 8 is narrated by Winnie Auma, the Uganda Country Director for Village Enterprise. Village Enterprise is a charity recommended by the charity evaluator The Life You Can Save for its work in ending extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation. In this chapter, Professor Singer acknowledges that parents love their own children more than the children of strangers. Citing examples, he argues that this does not justify prioritizing luxuries for one’s own children ahead of the basic needs of other children.
Chapter 09: Asking Too Much? Read by Shabana Azmi.
Narrated by internationally renowned Indian film and theatre actress Shabana Azmi, in Chapter 9, Professor Singer poses the question: to be ethical, do we really have to give up all our unnecessary expenses? The Chapter addresses the nature and validity of the “fair share” and other moderate ethical approaches.
Chapter 10: A Realistic Standard. Read by Peter Singer.
This chapter considers what is realistic with charitable giving. Professor Singer proposes a standard of donating roughly 5% of one’s annual income to effective charities for those who are financially comfortable, with less for those below that level, and significantly more for the very rich. He argues that this would not only benefit the poor but also those who donate.
What One Person Can Do. Read by Peter Singer.
This section is a call to action which urges people to visit the website of the charity The Life You Can Save for guidance on how to take simple actions, like sharing the book or pledging a percentage of their income to effective charities.
Afterword: From Contemplation to Action. By Charlie Bresler.
Charlie Bresler, the Executive Director of the charity The Life You Can Save, tells his own story of how his life was radically changed by Professor Singer’s The Life You Can Save and how, since reading the book, he has worked tirelessly to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars to effective charities.
Acknowledgments. By Peter Singer.
Professor Singer thanks the people who worked tirelessly to make the tenth-anniversary re-launch of The Life You Can Save possible.