One Child: Do We Have a Right to More?

Oxford University Press USA (2016)
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Abstract

A compelling argument for the morality of limitations on procreation in lessening the harmful environmental effects of unchecked populationWe live in a world where a burgeoning global population has started to have a major and destructive environmental impact. The results, including climate change and the struggle for limited resources, appear to be inevitable aspects of a difficult future. Mandatory population control might be a possible last resort to combat this problem, but is also a potentially immoral and undesirable violation of human rights. Since so many view procreation as an essential component of the right to personal happiness and autonomy, the dominant view remains that the government does not have the right to impose these restrictions on its own citizens, for the sake of future people who have yet to exist.Sarah Conly is first to make the contentious argument that not only is it wrong to have more than one child in the face of such concerns, we do not even retain the right to do so. In One Child, Conly argues that autonomy and personal rights are not unlimited, especially if one's body may cause harm to anyone, and that the government has a moral obligation to protect both current and future citizens. Conly gives readers a thought-provoking and accessible exposure to the problem of population growth and develops a credible view of what our moral obligations really are, to generations present and future.

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Citations of this work

Children as Negative Externalities?Serena Olsaretti - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (2):152-173.
Getting Personal: The Intuition of Neutrality Reinterpreted.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2020 - In Paul Bowman & Katharina Berndt Rasmussen (eds.), Studies on Climate Ethics and Future Generations, Vol. 2. Institute for Futures Studies.
Overpopulation and Procreative Liberty.Greg Bognar - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (3):319-330.

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