• DATE June 4, 2013
  • URL oneinstitute.com/tile/impact-ethics/

Impact Ethics

Choosing your line of work with integrity

Many of us – particularly those with an idealistic bent – want to spend our lives doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others. But how does one figure out what line of work that is? 80,000 Hours, a student-led organization at Oxford University, is aiming to help people answer that question – with the help of the school’s own philosophers.

“Clear cut answers aren’t always possible,” they say. “But with a bit of thought, you can increase your impact enormously.” Rather than looking solely at the ethical nature of a particular type of position or industry, these philosophers suggest a person can be said to do good work only if he or she is also “better at it than the person who would have filled the job otherwise.” This is what they have in mind when they describe their framing principle of “ethics-as-impact.”

It is good to evaluate our work in terms of both ethics and impact. At the end of the day, however, we commit our work to the Lord. And whatever work we find to do, we do it with all our might, trusting that God will establish it according to his will.