Better Never to Have Been?: The Unseen Implications [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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References found in this work BETA
David Benatar (2006). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. New York ;Oxford University Press.
Carson Strong (2005). Harming by Conceiving: A Review of Misconceptions and a New Analysis. [REVIEW] Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (5):491 – 516.
Saul Smilansky (2008). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence – David Benatar. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):569–571.
S. D. Baum (2008). Better to Exist: A Reply to Benatar. Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (12):875-876.
D. Benatar (2009). Grim News for an Unoriginal Position: A Reply to Seth Baum. Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (5):328-329.
Citations of this work BETA
David Benatar (2013). Still Better Never to Have Been: A Reply to (More of) My Critics. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):121-151.
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