Andrew Y. Lee
University of Oslo
Some think that life is worth living not merely because of the goods and the bads within it, but also because life itself is good. I explain how this idea can be formalized by associating each version of the view with a function from length of life to the value generated by life itself. Then I argue that every version of the view that life itself is good faces some version of the following dilemma: either (1) good human lives are worse than very long lives wholly devoid of pleasure, desire-satisfaction, knowledge, or any other goods, or (2) very short lives containing nothing but suffering are worth living. Since neither result is plausible, we ought to reject the view that life itself is good. On the view I favor, any given life may be worth living because of the goods that it contains, but life itself is neutral.
Keywords value of life  value of consciousness  intrinsic value consciousness  formal ethics  repugnant conclusion  welfare  well-being  death
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Death.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Noûs 4 (1):73-80.
How Valuable Could a Person Be?Joshua Rasmussen & Andrew M. Bailey - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):264-277.
In Defence of Repugnance.Michael Huemer - 2008 - Mind 117 (468):899-933.
Death.Shelly Kagan - 2012 - Yale University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Speciesism and Sentientism.Andrew Y. Lee - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):205-228.

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