82 found
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  1. Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence.David Benatar - 2006 - New York ;: Oxford University Press.
    Better Never to Have Been argues for a number of related, highly provocative, views: (1) Coming into existence is always a serious harm. (2) It is always wrong to have children. (3) It is wrong not to abort fetuses at the earlier stages of gestation. (4) It would be better if, as a result of there being no new people, humanity became extinct. These views may sound unbelievable--but anyone who reads Benatar will be obliged to take them seriously.
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  2.  60
    The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions.David Benatar - 2017 - New York: Oup Usa.
    Are our lives meaningless? Is death bad? Would immortality be better? Alternatively, should we hasten our deaths by acts of suicide? Many people are tempted to offer comforting optimistic answers to these big questions. The Human Predicament offers a less sanguine assessment, and defends a substantial, but not unmitigated, pessimism.
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  3. Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.David Benatar - 2009 - Human Studies 32 (1):101-108.
     
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  4. Still Better Never to Have Been: A Reply to My Critics.David Benatar - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):121-151.
    In Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, I argued that coming into existence is always a harm and that procreation is wrong. In this paper, I respond to those of my critics to whom I have not previously responded. More specifically, I engage the objections of Tim Bayne, Ben Bradley, Campbell Brown, David DeGrazia, Elizabeth Harman, Chris Kaposy, Joseph Packer and Saul Smilansky.
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  5. Between Prophylaxis and Child Abuse: The Ethics of Neonatal Male Circumcision.Michael Benatar & David Benatar - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (2):35-48.
    Opinion about neonatal male circumcision is deeply divided. Some take it to be a prophylactic measure with unequivocal and significant health benefits, while others consider it a form of child abuse. We argue against both these polar views. In doing so, we discuss whether circumcision constitutes bodily mutilation, whether the absence of the child's informed consent makes it wrong, the nature and strength of the evidence regarding medical harms and benefits, and what moral weight cultural considerations have. We conclude that (...)
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  6. Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce?David Benatar & David Wasserman (eds.) - 2015 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.
    While procreation is ubiquitous, attention to the ethical issues involved in creating children is relatively rare. In Debating Procreation, David Benatar and David Wasserman take opposing views on this important question. David Benatar argues for the anti-natalist view that it is always wrong to bring new people into existence. He argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm and that even if it were not always so, the risk of serious harm is sufficiently great to make procreation wrong. (...)
  7. Why It Is Better Never to Come into Existence.David Benatar - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (3):345 - 355.
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  8.  77
    The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys.David Benatar (ed.) - 2012 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _Does sexism against men exist? What it looks like and why we need to take it seriously_ This book draws attention to the "second sexism," where it exists, how it works and what it looks like, and responds to those who would deny that it exists. Challenging conventional ways of thinking, it examines controversial issues such as sex-based affirmative action, gender roles, and charges of anti-feminism. The book offers an academically rigorous argument in an accessible style, including the careful use (...)
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  9. Procreation and parenthood: the ethics of bearing and rearing children.David Archard & David Benatar (eds.) - 2010 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Procreation and Parenthood offers new and original essays by leading philosophers on some of the main ethical issues raised by these activities.
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  10. Every Conceivable Harm: A Further Defence of Anti-Natalism.David Benatar - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):128-164.
    Many people are resistant to the conclusions for which I argued in Better Never to Have Been . I have previously responded to most of the published criticisms of my arguments. Here I respond to a new batch of critics (and to some fellow anti-natalists) who gathered for a conference at the University of Johannesburg and whose papers are published in this special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy . I am also taking the opportunity to respond to (...)
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  11. The limits of reproductive freedom.David Benatar - 2010 - In David Archard & David Benatar (eds.), Procreation and parenthood: the ethics of bearing and rearing children. New York: Oxford University Press.
     
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  12. Famine, Affluence, and Procreation: Peter Singer and Anti-Natalism Lite.David Benatar - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):415-431.
    Peter Singer has argued that the affluent have very extensive duties to the world’s poor. His argument has some important implications for procreation, most of which have not yet been acknowledged. These implications are explicated in this paper. First, the rich should desist from procreation and instead divert to the poor those resources that would have been used to rear the children that would otherwise have been produced. Second, the poor should desist from procreation because doing so can prevent the (...)
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  13. Prejudice in jest: When racial and gender humor harms.David Benatar - 1999 - Public Affairs Quarterly 13 (2):191-203.
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  14. Misconceived: Why These Further Criticisms of Anti-natalism Fail.David Benatar - 2022 - Journal of Value Inquiry 56 (1):119-151.
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  15. Taking Humour (Ethics) Seriously, But Not Too Seriously.David Benatar - unknown
    Humour is worthy of serious ethical consideration. However, it is often taken far too seriously. In this paper, it is argued that while humour is sometimes unethical, it is wrong much less often than many people think. Non-contextual criticisms, which claim that certain kinds of humour are always wrong, are rejected. Contextual criticisms, which take issue with particular instances of humour rather than types of humour, are more promising. However, it is common to overstate the number of contexts in which (...)
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  16. We Have No Moral Duty to Eat Meat: A Reply to Nick Zangwill.David Benatar - 2022 - Public Affairs Quarterly 36 (4):312-324.
    Nick Zangwill has argued that we have a moral duty to eat meat. His argument applies to the flesh of those domesticated animals who (a) would not have existed had it not been for the practice of killing and eating them; and (b) have lives that contain more good than bad—and thus, on his view, have “lives worth living.” In my reply, I point to various features of his argument that are unclear. I seek to render explicit the various premises (...)
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  17. The unbearable lightness of bringing into being.David Benatar - 1999 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 16 (2):173–180.
    In this paper it is argued that the overwhelming majority of gamete donors are amongst those who treat decisions about bringing children into existence too lightly. The argument proceeds through the following stages. 1) People have a presumptive responsibility for rearing children who result from their gametes. 2) The responsibility people have to rear their offspring is a responsibility not merely to provide a minimum of care, but also to attend to the details of nurturing children and fostering their flourishing. (...)
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  18. Two Views of Sexual Ethics: Promiscuity, Pedophilia, and Rape.David Benatar - 2002 - Public Affairs Quarterly 16:191-201.
    Many people think that promiscuity is morally acceptable, but rape and pedophilia are heinous. I argue, however, that the view of sexual ethics that underlies an acceptance of promiscuity is inconsistent with regarding (1) rape as worse than other forms of coercion or assault, or (2) (many) sex acts with willing children as wrong at all. And the view of sexual ethics that would fully explain the wrong of rape and pedophilia would also rule out promiscuity. I intend this argument (...)
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  19.  60
    The trouble with universal declarations.David Benatar - 2005 - Developing World Bioethics 5 (3):220–224.
    ABSTRACTA number of problems plague universal declarations. To the extent that those drafting and adopting the declaration represent a range of different views, consensus can only be obtained if the declaration makes minimalist claims that all can support, or makes claims that are vague enough that they can be interpreted to everybody's satisfaction. To the extent that a universal declaration avoids these problems, and takes an unequivocal and controversial stand, it does so by privileging the view that is hegemonic . (...)
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  20. Conversations about the Meaning of Life.David Benatar & Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Obsidian Worlds Publishing. Edited by Mark Oppenheimer & Jason Werbeloff.
    Interviews with David Benatar and Thaddeus Metz about some core aspects of their views about meaning in life, including debate between them. Accessible to a generally educated audience. Edited by Mark Oppenheimer and Jason Werbeloff.
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  21.  94
    The Second Sexism.David Benatar - 2003 - Social Theory and Practice 29 (2):177-210.
  22.  16
    The Trouble with Universal Declarations.David Benatar - 2005 - Developing World Bioethics 5 (3):220-224.
    ABSTRACT A number of problems plague universal declarations. To the extent that those drafting and adopting the declaration represent a range of different views, consensus can only be obtained if the declaration makes minimalist claims that all can support, or makes claims that are vague enough that they can be interpreted to everybody's satisfaction. To the extent that a universal declaration avoids these problems, and takes an unequivocal and controversial stand, it does so by privileging the view that is hegemonic (...)
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  23.  29
    The Paradox of Desert.David Benatar - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    This article describes a paradoxical phenomenon arising from the fact that those who act rightly often pay a price for doing so. The paradox is that the very thing – acting rightly – that incurs the cost also makes the cost (especially) undeserved. In explicating the paradox, I distinguish between two kinds of cost (internal and external), two kinds of unfairness (intrinsic and comparative), and two manifestations of the paradox (prospective and retrospective). I suggest that the problem generated by the (...)
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  24. The Wrong of Wrongful Life.David Benatar - 2000 - American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (2):175 - 183.
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  25.  84
    Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions.David Benatar (ed.) - 2004 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Introduction -- Part I: The meaning of life -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Thomas Nagel, The absurd -- Richard Hare, Nothing matters -- W.D. Joske, Philosophy and the meaning of life -- Robert Nozick, Philosophy and the meaning of life -- David Schmidtz, The meanings of life -- Part II: Creating people -- Derek Parfit, Whether causing someone to exist can benefit this person -- John Leslie, Why not let life ecome extinct? -- James Lenman, On becoming (...)
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  26. A pain in the fetus: Toward ending confusion about fetal pain.David Benatar & Michael Benatar - 2001 - Bioethics 15 (1):57–76.
    Are fetuses, at any stage of their development, capable of feeling pain? In his paper, ‘Locating the Beginnings of Pain’, Stuart Derbyshire argues that they are not. We argue that he reaches this conclusion by way of conceptual confusion, a misreading of the available scientific data and the inclusion of irrelevant data. Despite his assertion to the contrary, the work of most scientists in the area supports the conclusion that fetuses can feel pain. At the outset we examine the concept (...)
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  27. Not “Not ‘Better Never to Have Been’”: A Reply to Christine Overall.David Benatar - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):353-367.
    In her Why Have Children?, Christine Overall takes issue with my anti-natalist arguments that it is better never to come into existence. She provides three criticisms of my arguments and then, in a fourth criticism, suggests that my conclusions are bad for women. I respond to her criticisms, arguing that they fail.
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  28.  10
    Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions.David Benatar (ed.) - 2004 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Life, Death, and Meaning is designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy.
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  29. Procreative permissiveness.David Benatar - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (5):417-418.
  30.  17
    3:2 Target Article authors respond to Commentators: How Not to Argue About Circumcision.David Benatar & Michael Benatar - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (2):1-9.
    Opinion about neonatal male circumcision is deeply divided. Some take it to be a prophylactic measure with unequivocal and significant health benefits, while others consider it a form of child abuse. We argue against both these polar views. In doing so, we discuss whether circumcision constitutes bodily mutilation, whether the absence of the child's informed consent makes it wrong, the nature and strength of the evidence regarding medical harms and benefits, and what moral weight cultural considerations have. We conclude that (...)
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  31.  63
    3:2 target article authors respond to commentators: How not to argue about circumcision.David Benatar & Michael Benatar - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (2):1 – 9.
    Opinion about neonatal male circumcision is deeply divided. Some take it to be a prophylactic measure with unequivocal and significant health benefits, while others consider it a form of child abuse. We argue against both these polar views. In doing so, we discuss whether circumcision constitutes bodily mutilation, whether the absence of the child's informed consent makes it wrong, the nature and strength of the evidence regarding medical harms and benefits, and what moral weight cultural considerations have. We conclude that (...)
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  32.  67
    Evaluations of circumcision should be circumscribed by the evidence.David Benatar - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (7):431-432.
    One common mistake in discussions about the ethics of infant male circumcisioni is to attempt to answer the question of the practice's permissibility by appealing to general principles and bypassing the empirical evidence about purported benefits and harms of the practice.Joseph Mazor1 avoids the mistake of appealing only to general principles. He correctly argues that it is not sufficient to invoke a child's right to bodily integrity or to self-determinationii. Moreover, he does not appeal to parents’ rights to religious or (...)
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  33. Unscientific ethics: Science and selective ethics.David Benatar - 2007 - Hastings Center Report 37 (1):30-32.
  34.  70
    Obscurity, falsehood, and innuendo – A response to M. John Lamola.David Benatar - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):66-68.
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  35. What's God got to do with it? Atheism and religious practice.David Benatar - 2006 - Ratio 19 (4):383–400.
    It is commonly thought that theism entails full religious observance and that atheism entails either the abandonment of religious practice or, at least, its reform. Focusing on Judaism, I argue against both of these entailment claims. Both theistic departure from religious observance and atheistic adherence to religious practice are coherent. I outline the features of those religions that make them more conducive to atheistic observance. Finally, I consider various objections to full observance by atheists.
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  36. The Gendered Conference Campaign: A Critique.David Benatar - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (1):13-23.
    The Gendered Conference Campaign seeks to reduce the prevalence of conferences at which the keynote speakers are all male. Such conferences, according to proponents of the campaign, stereotype philosophy as male, contribute to implicit bias against women and perpetuate stereotype threat. I argue, first, that if a more diverse list of keynote speakers were the correct way to counter harms such as implicit bias and stereotype threat, then a Gendered Conference Campaign would not be the solution. The campaign would need (...)
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  37. No life is good.David Benatar - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 53 (53):62-66.
    The worst pains seem to be worse than the best pleasures are good. Anybody who doubts this should consider what choice they would make if they wereoffered the option of securing an hour of the most sublime pleasures possible in exchange for suffering an hour of the worst pain possible.
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  38.  28
    Affirmative Action.David Benatar - 2012 - In The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 212–238.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Rectifying Injustice Consequentialist Arguments Conclusion.
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  39.  12
    Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions.David Benatar (ed.) - 2004 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
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  40. The optimism delusion.David Benatar - 2008 - Think 6 (16):19.
    In the first of our three pieces responding to Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, David Benatar suggests that Dawkins is preaching.
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  41. Corporal Punishment.David Benatar - 1998 - Social Theory and Practice 24 (2):237-260.
  42. Forsaking wisdom.David Benatar - 2016 - The Philosophers' Magazine 72:23-24.
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  43. Pedophilia.David Benatar - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell.
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  44.  52
    Emotional support animals are not like prosthetics: a response to Sara Kolmes.Jessica du Toit & David Benatar - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (9):639-640.
    Sara Kolmes has argued that the human ‘handlers’ of emotional support animals should have the sorts of body-like rights to those animals that people with prosthetics have to their prosthetics. In support of this conclusion, she argues that ESAs both function and feel like prosthetics, and that the disanalogies between ESAs and prosthetics are irrelevant to whether humans can have body-like rights to their ESAs. In response, we argue that Ms Kolmes has failed to show that ESAs are body-like in (...)
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  45.  25
    Referees for Volume 7.Andrew Altman, Michael Barnhart, Avner Baz, David Benatar, Yitzhak Benbaji, Talia Bettcher, Brian Bix, Jeffrey Bland-Ballard & Lene Bomann-Larsen - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):541-542.
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  46. Sexist language: alternatives to the alternatives.David Benatar - 2005 - Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (1):1-9.
  47.  12
    Explaining Male Disadvantage and Thinking about Sex Differences.David Benatar - 2012 - In The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 77–100.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Beliefs about Males Questions about the Beliefs Conclusion.
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  48.  58
    Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings.David Benatar, Cheshire Calhoun, Louise Collins, John Corvino, Yolanda Estes, John Finnis, Deirdre Golash, Alan Goldman, Greta Christina, Raja Halwani, Christopher Hamilton, Eva Feder Kittay, Howard Klepper, Andrew Koppelman, Stanley Kurtz, Thomas Mappes, Joan Mason-Grant, Janice Moulton, Thomas Nagel, Jerome Neu, Martha Nussbaum, Alan Soble, Sallie Tisdale, Alan Wertheimer, Robin West & Karol Wojtyla (eds.) - 1980 - Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    This book's thirty essays explore philosophically the nature and morality of sexual perversion, cybersex, masturbation, homosexuality, contraception, same-sex marriage, promiscuity, pedophilia, date rape, sexual objectification, teacher-student relationships, pornography, and prostitution. Authors include Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Nagel, Alan Goldman, John Finnis, Sallie Tisdale, Robin West, Alan Wertheimer, John Corvino, Cheshire Calhoun, Jerome Neu, and Alan Soble, among others. A valuable resource for sex researchers as well as undergraduate courses in the philosophy of sex.
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  49. There's no method in the badness.David Benatar - 2012 - Bioethics 27 (3):174-174.
  50.  96
    To Be or Not to Have Been?David Benatar - 2001 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (2):255-266.
    Most people think that their coming into existence benefited them. This paper reports on and analyses a study that shows that most people, when making such a judgement, do not really consider the counterfactual case -- the scenario in which they never come into existence. Because proper consideration is not given to both options, the ranking of one over the other is not an appropriately informed judgement. The preference for having come into existence is thus a profoundly unreliable indicator of (...)
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