David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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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.
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