Better Never to Have Been?: The Unseen Implications [Book Review]

Philosophia 39 (2):225-235 (2011)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,561
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
S. D. Baum (2008). Better to Exist: A Reply to Benatar. Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (12):875-876.
L. Doyal (2007). Is Human Existence Worth its Consequent Harm? Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (10):573-576.

View all 7 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
James Edwards (2011). Coming Clean About the Criminal Law. Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (3):315-332.
Daniel Putman (1989). Tragedy and Nonhumans. Environmental Ethics 11 (4):345-353.
Peter Singer (1999). Essays on Henry Sidgwick. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):533-537.
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.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-11-18

Total downloads

23 ( #73,149 of 1,098,129 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #112,729 of 1,098,129 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.