David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):79-93 (2012)
David Benatar claims that everyone was seriously harmed by coming into existence. To spare future persons from this suffering, we should cease having children, Benatar argues, with the result that humanity would gradually go extinct. Benatar’s claim of universal serious harm is baseless. Each year, an estimated 94% of children born throughout the world do not have a serious birth defect. Furthermore, studies show that most people do not experience chronic pain. Although nearly everyone experiences acute pain and discomforts, such as thirst, these experiences have instrumental value. For example, when a person picks up a hot object, in response to the pain, the person releases the object, thereby preventing serious harm. The standard that Benatar uses to evaluate the quality of our lives is arbitrary, as I will demonstrate. His proposal that we phase humanity out of existence by ceasing to have children is misguided and an overreaction to the problem of human suffering. The ‘threshold conception of harm’, which is a targeted approach for preventing future persons from suffering, is a more sensible approach.
|Keywords||David Benatar Future Generations Human Extinction Morality of Procreation sub specie aeternitatis Population Ethics Suffering Pain Harm Heaven|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Joseph Packer (2011). Better Never to Have Been?: The Unseen Implications. [REVIEW] Philosophia 39 (2):225-235.
Campbell Brown (2011). Better Never to Have Been Believed: Benatar on the Harm of Existence. Economics and Philosophy 27 (1):45-52.
David Benatar (2006). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. New York ;Oxford University Press.
Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Rafe Mcgregor (2012). Better No Longer to Be. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):55-68.
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.
Gerald K. Harrison (2012). Antinatalism, Asymmetry, and an Ethic of Prima Facie Duties. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):94-103.
David Benatar & Michael Benatar (2001). A Pain in the Fetus: Toward Ending Confusion About Fetal Pain. Bioethics 15 (1):57–76.
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.
David E. Boeyink (1974). Pain and Suffering. Journal of Religious Ethics 2 (1):85 - 98.
S. Derbyshire (2001). Fetal Pain: An Infantile Debate. Bioethics 15 (1):77-84.
Aaron Smuts (2013). To Be or Never to Have Been: Anti-Natalism and a Life Worth Living. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (4):1-19.
Daryl Pullman (2002). Human Dignity and the Ethics and Aesthetics of Pain and Suffering. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (1):75-94.
Jan Deckers (2011). Negative “GHIs,” the Right to Health Protection, and Future Generations. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):165-176.
Added to index2012-04-14
Total downloads124 ( #11,957 of 1,696,303 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #44,731 of 1,696,303 )
How can I increase my downloads?