Rethinking the Asymmetry

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2):167-177 (2017)
Authors
Richard Y. Chappell
University of York
Abstract
According to the Asymmetry, we’ve strong moral reason to prevent miserable lives from coming into existence, but no moral reason to bring happy lives into existence. This procreative asymmetry is often thought to be part of commonsense morality, however theoretically puzzling it might prove to be. I argue that this is a mistake. The Asymmetry is merely prima facie intuitive, and loses its appeal on further reflection. Mature commonsense morality recognizes no fundamental procreative asymmetry. It may recognize some superficially similar theses, but we will see that they derive from more familiar principles, and are compatible with there being moral reason to bring happy lives into existence.
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DOI 10.1080/00455091.2016.1250203
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References found in this work BETA

Equality and Priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
An Asymmetry in the Ethics of Procreation.Melinda A. Roberts - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):765-776.
Value and Population Size.Thomas Hurka - 1982 - Ethics 93 (3):496-507.

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