H. Skott Brill
Frostburg State University
David Benatar, in Better Never to Have Been , sets out two arguments in support of the view that coming into existence is always a net harm. Remarkably, the first argument seems to imply that coming into existence would be a net harm even if the only bad we experienced in our lives were a ‘single pin-prick’. This argument hinges on a purported asymmetry: that whereas the absence of pains in non-existence is good, the absence of pleasures in non-existence is not bad (rather than bad ). It also hinges on the non-badness at issue here being relative (no worse than the presence of pleasures in existence) rather than intrinsic (value neutral). To establish the crucial claim that the non-badness of absent pleasures in non-existence is relative rather than intrinsic, Benatar constructs an analogy involving two people, Sick and Healthy. In this paper, I show the inaptness of the analogy and also provide positive reason to doubt the soundness of the argument as it stands. What emerges from this critical analysis of the analogy is a plausible theory of value at odds with Benatar’s argument as a whole
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DOI 10.1080/02580136.2012.10751766
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References found in this work BETA

A Distinction in Value: Intrinsic and for Its Own Sake.Wlodek Rabinowicz & Toni R.?Nnow-Rasmussen - 2000 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (1):33 - 51.
II-A Distinction in Value: Intrinsic and For Its Own Sake.Wlodek Rabinowicz & Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2000 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (1):33-51.

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Citations of this work BETA

To Be or Never to Have Been: Anti-Natalism and a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):711-729.
The Hypothetical Consent Objection to Anti-Natalism.Asheel Singh - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1135-1150.

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