The following is an adaptation of Peter Singer's argument for donating to foreign aid.
- Suffering and death are bad.
- Preventing something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, would result in a better outcome than not preventing that bad thing from happening.
- All things being equal, by funding entertainment-education in developing nations instead of funding narrative media targeting first world audiences, you can prevent more suffering and death, without sacrificing anything nearly as important.
- Therefore, all things being equal, funding entertainment-education for developing nations would result in a better outcome than would funding narrative media for first world audiences.
The argument basically takes the form of "charity X > charity Y." It doesn't recommend how one should act, only that a first specific action leads to better outcomes than a second specific action. These two actions fall somewhere on a continuum of other actions, some better than both, some worse than both, and some falling in between the two.
All the weight falls on the third premise. As I have explained elsewhere on this blog, I believe there is much more evidence supporting the impact of E-E in developing nations than of other narrative media targeting first world audiences. Apparently, GiveWell does too. If there is a case to make for the superior importance of first world art and entertainment, I am confident that it relies on speculative claims, rather than documented findings. I would support funding the research of those speculative claims more than I would support funding the art itself.