Who Is This Peter Guy?


My name is Peter Hurford. Right now, I’m a software developer at Avant Credit, an online loan start-up in Chicago, IL. I’ve been enjoying the big city. Back in May 2014, I graduated from Denison University](http://www.denison.edu/), a small liberal arts college a little bit outside Columbus OH, with dual degrees in political science and psychology, and a concentration in organizational studies. If you want to know more about me as a professional, I have a personal website located at PeterHurford.com.

I used to write a blog called Greatplay.net for many years, starting blogging in 2009. In the fall of 2010, I read Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God and Nicholas Everitt’s The Nonexistence of God. I can’t say that I believed in God prior to reading these books, but I definitely didn’t believe in God after reading these books, and I promptly shifted my blog to a large discussion of why that was the case. Philosophy of religion mattered a lot to me then, and I wrote about it frequently. Around this time, I got involved with the community website Less Wrong.

In the fall of 2011, things changed again. I read Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save, Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, and How Are We to Live. For the second time in my life, reading books changed everything. I continued to see some harm in religion, but this was dwarfed dramatically by the harms that come from factory farming and income inequality. I almost immediately resolved to stop eating meat and donate some of my income to effective non-profits in the third world.

Over the summer of 2012, I got involved in Felicifia, a utilitarian forum, and spoke to many of the people there. I joined Giving What We Can a little later, and pledged to donate 10% of my income. I kept reading books and learning more about organizations not just working to make the world a better place, but best make the world the best place – a movement called effective altruism.

Now, in the summer of 2013, I decided that it’s time to re-invent my blog and dedicate it to exploring these big issues in life. Therefore, you get Everyday Utilitarian, or my blog dedicated to my quest to become just that… an everyday utilitarian, or someone who seeks to put utilitarianism into their everyday life. This blog will definitely focus on the abstract debates you frequently see on philosophy blogs. But it will be a bit more than that. There will be self-improvement and lifestyle building as I craft my everyday utilitarianism. And there will be some discussion of science as it can help build utilitarian communities and answer deep questions about ethics. And there will be political commentary from my utilitarian perspective.

There are other self-improvement sites out there. But I don’t have all the answers, and I’m not out to give you advice. Instead, this blog is a personal blog about a journey, where I work on my life and give you updates on how things are going. And it’s about a particular kind of life – one that seeks to put utilitarianism into practice and make the world a better place. Hopefully you’ll take something out of it and enjoy it.

Let me know.

For more on the goals of this site, see “What Is Utilitarianism?” and “Don’t Take (My) Advice Too Seriously”.

For more on how I intend to achieve those goals, see my strategic plan and my careers plan.

For more about me, see “Why I Blog” and my personal website.