David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):336-363 (2009)
The question I address in this paper is whether and under what conditions it is morally right to bring a person into existence. I defend the commonsensical thesis that, other things being equal, it is morally wrong to create a person who will be below some threshold of quality of life, even if the life of this potential person, once created, will nevertheless be worth living. However commonsensical this view might seem, it has shown to be problematic because of the so-called 'Non-Identity Problem'. Both utilitarian and rights-based approaches have been unable to provide a solution to this problem. I rest my thesis on two premises: that causing a disability or impairment in a future person is prima facie wrong, so long as we can avoid causing such a disability to that very person; and that reproduction, under normal conditions, is prima facie morally indifferent. From these two premises, I conclude that it is prima facie wrong to bring into existence a person with a non-trivial disability or impairment (which might be, nonetheless, compatible with a worthwhile life), even if the only available alternative is to remain childless.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Michael D. Bayles (1976). Harm to the Unconceived. Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (3):292-304.
David Benatar (2006). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. New York ;Oxford University Press.
David Benatar (1997). Why It Is Better Never to Come Into Existence. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (3):345 - 355.
John Broome (1999). Ethics Out of Economics. Cambridge University Press.
Cynthia B. Cohen (1996). “Give Me Children or I Shall Die!”: New Reproductive Technologies and Harm to Children. Hastings Center Report 26 (2):19-27.
Citations of this work BETA
Melissa Seymour Fahmy (2013). On Procreative Responsibility in Assisted and Collaborative Reproduction. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):55-70.
Similar books and articles
Mianna Lotz (2011). Rethinking Procreation: Why It Matters Why We Have Children. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (2):105-121.
Bernardo J. Cantens (2001). A Solution to the Problem of Personal Identity in the Metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:121-134.
Julian Savulescu & Guy Kahane (2009). The Moral Obligation to Create Children with the Best Chance of the Best Life. Bioethics 23 (5):274-290.
Melinda A. Roberts (2011). The Asymmetry: A Solution. Theoria 77 (4):333-367.
Eduardo Rivera-López (2006). Can There Be Full Excuses for Morally Wrong Actions? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):124-142.
Eduardo Rivera-lópez (2006). Can There Be Full Excuses for Morally Wrong Actions? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):124–142.
Rivka Weinberg (2008). Identifying and Dissolving the Non-Identity Problem. Philosophical Studies 137 (1):3 - 18.
Russell Disilvestro (2009). Reproductive Autonomy, the Non-Identity Problem, and the Non-Person Problem. Bioethics 23 (1):59-67.
M. A. Roberts (2009). What is the Wrong of Wrongful Disability? From Chance to Choice to Harms to Persons. Law and Philosophy 28 (1):1 - 57.
Guy Kahane (2009). Non-Identity, Self-Defeat, and Attitudes to Future Children. Philosophical Studies 145 (2):193 - 214.
Added to index2009-10-01
Total downloads27 ( #72,796 of 1,410,200 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #68,075 of 1,410,200 )
How can I increase my downloads?