On the value of coming into existence

The Journal of Ethics 5 (4):361-384 (2001)

Authors
Nils Holtug
University of Copenhagen
Abstract
In this paper I argue that coming into existence can benefit (or harm) aperson. My argument incorporates the comparative claim that existence canbe better (or worse) for a person than never existing. Since these claimsare highly controversial, I consider and reject a number of objectionswhich threaten them. These objections raise various semantic, logical,metaphysical and value-theoretical issues. I then suggest that there is animportant sense in which it can harm (or benefit) a person not to comeinto existence. Again, I consider and reject some objections. Finally, Ibriefly consider what the conclusions reached in this paper imply for ourmoral obligations to possible future people.
Keywords betterness relation  existence  identifiability  metaphysics  value
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1013957425591
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Comparative Harm, Creation and Death.Neil Feit - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):136-163.
Accounting for the Harm of Death.Duncan Purves - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):89-112.
The Benefits of Coming Into Existence.Krister Bykvist - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (3):335-362.
Being and Betterness.Jens Johansson - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (3):285-302.
The Asymmetry: A Solution.Melinda A. Roberts - 2011 - Theoria 77 (4):333-367.

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