South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):104-116 (2012)

Asheel Singh
University of Johannesburg
Anti-natalism is the view that it is (almost) always wrong to bring people (and perhaps all sentient beings) into existence. This view is most famously defended by David Benatar (1997, 2006). There are, however, other routes to an anti-natal conclusion. In this respect, Seana Shiffrin’s paper, “Wrongful Life, Procreative Responsibility, and the Significance of Harm” (1999), has been rather neglected in the natal debate. Though she appears unwilling to conclude that procreation is always wrong, I believe that she in fact puts forth a case for anti-natalism no less compelling than Benatar’s. My overall aim here is to demonstrate the force of her argument by defending a Shiffrin-esque route to anti-natalism from a powerful objection. This objection appeals to the common belief that because most people endorse their creation, procreation often is all-things-considered permissible. I will show how this objection fails, and why Shiffrin’s rationale for anti-natalism, as I will be representing it, ought to be taken seriously.
Keywords Anti-natalism  Procreative Ethics  David Benatar
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DOI 10.1080/02580136.2012.10751771
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References found in this work BETA

Living Life Over Again.David Blumenfeld - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):357-386.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Hypothetical Consent Objection to Anti-Natalism.Asheel Singh - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1135-1150.
Antinatalism, Asymmetry, and an Ethic of Prima Facie Duties.Gerald Harrison - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):94-103.

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