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Rights and the asymmetry between creating good and bad lives

In David Wasserman & Melinda Roberts (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer. pp. 29--47 (2009)

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  1. Artificial Gametes and the Ethics of Unwitting Parenthood.A. Smajdor & D. Cutas - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (11):748-751.
  • Benatar and the Logic of Betterness.Ben Bradley - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2):1-6.
    David Benatar argues that creating someone always harms them. I argue that his master argument rests on a conceptual incoherence.
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  • The Asymmetry: A Solution.Melinda A. Roberts - 2011 - Theoria 77 (4):333-367.
    The Asymmetry consists of two claims. (A) That a possible person's life would be abjectly miserable –less than worth living – counts against bringing that person into existence. But (B) that a distinct possible person's life would be worth living or even well worth living does not count in favour of bringing that person into existence. In recent years, the view that the two halves of the Asymmetry are jointly untenable has become increasingly entrenched. If we say all persons matter (...)
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  • A Defence of the Asymmetry in Population Ethics.Per Algander - 2012 - Res Publica 18 (2):145-157.
    A common intuition is that there is a moral difference between ‘making people happy’ and ‘making happy people.’ This intuition, often referred to as ‘the Asymmetry,’ has, however, been criticized on the grounds that it is incoherent. Why is there, for instance, not a corresponding difference between ‘making people unhappy’ and ‘making unhappy people’? I argue that the intuition faces several difficulties but that these can be met by introducing a certain kind of reason that is favouring but non-requiring. It (...)
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  • Asymmetries in Benefiting, Harming and Creating.Ben Bradley - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):37-49.
    It is often said that while we have a strong reason not to create someone who will be badly off, we have no strong reason for creating someone who will be well off. In this paper I argue that this asymmetry is incompatible with a plausible principle of independence of irrelevant alternatives, and that a more general asymmetry between harming and benefiting is difficult to defend. I then argue that, contrary to what many have claimed, it is possible to harm (...)
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