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world hunger: why don’t we help more?

  • Aug 26, 2013 · 7:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

what we are doing

In our world of bounty, people die from poverty and starvation while we live comfortable lives of relative luxury. Each one of us could do more to help the truly destitute overseas, yet we don’t. Why? Is inactivity immoral? Peter Singer thinks so.

Matt Hirshberg will discuss Singer's views and some of the psychological reasons why we don’t always live up to the ethical aspirations of moral philosophers. Then we will watch a TED video of Singer speaking on, “The why and how of effective altruism.” There will be plenty of time for discussion.

This talk is organised by The Humanist Society of New Zealand.

what you will learn

• Philosophical arguments on world hunger and moral obligation.

• Social-psychological explanations for non-altruistic behaviour.

• Descriptions of various forms of effective action.

type of class  lecture/discussion

skill required beginner 

your chalkler will be Matt Hirshberg

A former political science professor, Matt spent fourteen years on the faculty at the University of Canterbury. His research on the psychology of altruism includes, “Robin Hood Revisited: Theft, Charity and the Ethics of Inequality,” in Journal of Poverty (2000.) He has a BA in government and economics, an MS in journalism, and an MA and PhD in political science.

what to bring nothing required

appropriate audience everyone

cost koha on attendance to the Humanist Society for venue and refreshments.

note we require a minimum of 1 person for this class to go ahead. 

about chalkle°

Chalkle° enables learning for communities in real life. Small affordable classes mean high value for participants, extracting the knowledge and skills otherwise hidden within the community. chalkle° redefines what it means to be a teacher or a learner, helping everyone undertake training in practical, artistic or academic skills while fostering lifelong learning. 


Chalkle° expects pre-payment for all classes. If you have not paid you will be placed on the waiting list to allow other chalklers to attend. You will be moved to attending once chalkle° has received confirmation of your payment. 

If you RSVP for a class and fail to show up, you will get a "no show". Three no shows means you will be removed from chalkle°. You may request to rejoin after six months. 

If you cancel your RSVP:  

- less than 3 days before = no refund 

- after 7pm the night before = no refund and a "no show" will be recorded 


Whilst every possible assistance will be offered, chalkle°, teachers and members cannot be held responsible for any accident, injuries or losses sustained leading up to, during, or after a class.

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  • Bernie

    Thanks Matt, a thought provoking evening, clearly we just scratched the surface but it was a start!

    August 27, 2013

  • Martina

    Hi Matt

    Would love to be able to attend this but unfortunaltey have a class at this time on a Monday and it's the first after 3 wk break so not good to miss. I really hope you get to do this again, preferably not on a Monday. Hope it goes well, Martina

    August 20, 2013

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