Better Never to Have Been?: The Unseen Implications [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 39 (2):225-235 (2011)
This paper will directly tackle the question of Benatar’s asymmetry at the heart of his book Better Never to have Been and provide a critique based on some of the logical consequences that result from the proposition that every potential life can only be understood in terms of the pain that person would experience if she or he was born. The decision only to evaluate future pain avoided and not pleasure denied for potential people means that we should view each birth as an unmitigated tragedy. The result is that someone who seeks to maximize utility could easily justify immense suffering for current people in order to prevent the births of potential people. This paper offers an alternative framework for evaluating the creation of people that addresses Benatar’s asymmetry without overvaluing the potential suffering of potential people
|Keywords||Benatar Birth Antinatalism Utilitarianism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Brooke Alan Trisel (2012). How Best to Prevent Future Persons From Suffering: A Reply to Benatar. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):79-93.
Gerald K. Harrison (2012). Antinatalism, Asymmetry, and an Ethic of Prima Facie Duties. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):94-103.
James Edwards (2011). Coming Clean About the Criminal Law. Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (3):315-332.
Gustaf Arrhenius (2003). The Person-Affecting Restriction, Comparativism, and the Moral Status of Potential People. Ethical Perspectives 10 (3):185-195.
Daniel Putman (1989). Tragedy and Nonhumans. Environmental Ethics 11 (4):345-353.
Jeff McMahan (2013). Causing People to Exist and Saving People's Lives. Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):5-35.
Peter Singer (1999). Essays on Henry Sidgwick. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):533-537.
Adam Shriver (forthcoming). The Asymmetrical Contributions of Pleasure and Pain To Animal Welfare (Penultimate Draft). Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
A. Giubilini (2012). Abortion and the Argument From Potential: What We Owe to the Ones Who Might Exist. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):49-59.
Mark J. Schervish, Teddy Seidenfeld & Joseph B. Kadane (2013). The Effect of Exchange Rates on Statistical Decisions. Philosophy of Science 80 (4):504-532.
Kathryn Ecclestone (2004). Learning or Therapy? The Demoralisation of Education. British Journal of Educational Studies 52 (2):112 - 137.
Kevin Reuter (2011). Distinguishing the Appearance From the Reality of Pain. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):94-109.
Gary Atkinson (2006). Potential Being and the Source of Cosmic Order. International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):345-369.
Giovanni Facchini, Freek van Megen, Peter Borm & Stef Tijs (1997). Congestion Models and Weighted Bayesian Potential Games. Theory and Decision 42 (2):193-206.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads20 ( #70,378 of 1,008,398 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #28,154 of 1,008,398 )
How can I increase my downloads?