David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (4):1-19 (2013)
David Benatar argues that being brought into existence is always a net harm and never a benefit. I disagree. I argue that if you bring someone into existence who lives a life worth living (LWL), then you have not all things considered wronged her. Lives are worth living if they are high in various objective goods and low in objective bads. These lives constitute a net benefit. In contrast, lives worth avoiding (LWA) constitute a net harm. Lives worth avoiding are net high in objective bads and low in objective goods. It is the prospect of a LWA that gives us good reason to not bring someone into existence. Happily, many lives are not worth avoiding. Contra Benatar, many are indeed worth living. Even if we grant Benatar his controversial asymmetry thesis, we have no reason to think that coming into existence is always a net harm
|Keywords||Anti-natalism Pessimism Welfare Worth of a life Meaning of life David Benatar|
|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
Robert Merrihew Adams (1999). Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Kurt Baier (1997). Problems of Life & Death: A Humanist Perspective. Prometheus Books.
Kurt Baier (1988). Threats of Futility. Is Life Worth Living. Free Inquiry 8 (3):47-52.
D. Benatar (2012). Every Conceivable Harm: A Further Defence of Anti-Natalism. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):128-164.
David Benatar (2006). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. New York ;Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Aaron Smuts (2013). Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
Brooke Alan Trisel (2007). Judging Life and Its Value. Sorites (18):60-75.
Thaddeus Metz (2014). Life Worth Living. In Alex Michalos (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-being Research. Springer. 3602-05.
David DeGrazia (2010). Is It Wrong to Impose the Harms of Human Life? A Reply to Benatar. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):317-331.
Ludwig F. Schlecht (2008). “Is Life Worth Living?”. Philosophy and Theology 20 (1/2):227-242.
James Yeates (2012). Quality Time: Temporal and Other Aspects of Ethical Principles Based on a “Life Worth Living”. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (4):607-624.
Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Rafe Mcgregor (2012). Better No Longer to Be. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):55-68.
Louis G. Lombardi (1983). Inherent Worth, Respect, and Rights. Environmental Ethics 5 (3):257-270.
Hyunseop Kim (2013). The Uncomfortable Truth About Wrongful Life Cases. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):623-641.
William James (1895). Is Life Worth Living? International Journal of Ethics 6 (1):1-24.
Thaddeus Metz (2012). Contemporary Anti-Natalism, Featuring Benatar's Better Never to Have Been. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-9.
Craig Paterson (2003). A Life Not Worth Living? Studies in Christian Ethics 16 (2):1-20.
Added to index2011-10-06
Total downloads90 ( #12,504 of 1,096,449 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #7,423 of 1,096,449 )
How can I increase my downloads?