Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Scott Sehon


Effective Altruism has led a recent renaissance for utilitarian theory. However, it seems that despite its surge in popularity, Effective Altruism is still vulnerable to many of the critiques that plague utilitarianism. The most significant amongst these is the utility monster. I use Longtermsim, a mode of thinking that has evolved from Effective Altruism and prioritizes the far-future over the present in decision-making processes, as an example of how the unborn millions of the future might constitute a utility monster as a corporate mass. I investigate three main avenues of resolving the utility monster objection to Effective Altruism: reconsidering the use of expected value, adopting temporal discounting, and adopting average utilitarianism. I demonstrate that at best there are significant problems with these responses, and at worst, they completely fail to resolve the utility monster objection. I then conclude that if situations do exist in which the costs to the present do not intuitively justify the benefits to the far future, we must reject utilitarianism altogether.