Better Never to Have Been?: The Unseen Implications
- Joseph Packer
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
This paper will directly tackle the question of Benatar’s asymmetry at the heart of his book Better Never to have Been and provide a critique based on some of the logical consequences that result from the proposition that every potential life can only be understood in terms of the pain that person would experience if she or he was born. The decision only to evaluate future pain avoided and not pleasure denied for potential people means that we should view each birth as an unmitigated tragedy. The result is that someone who seeks to maximize utility could easily justify immense suffering for current people in order to prevent the births of potential people. This paper offers an alternative framework for evaluating the creation of people that addresses Benatar’s asymmetry without overvaluing the potential suffering of potential people.
- Baum, S. D. (2008). Better to exist: a reply to Benatar. Journal of Medical Ethics, 34, 875–876. CrossRef
- Belshaw, C. (2007). DAVID BENATAR: Better never to have been: The Harm of coming into existence. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Retrieved June 1, 2009, from http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=9983.
- Benatar, D. (2006). Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Benatar, D. (2007a). Christopher Belshaw’s Review: Better if it had never been. Retrieved June 1, 2009, from http://www.utilitarianism.com/benatar/betanar-reply.html.
- Benatar, D. (2007b). Grim news from the original position: a reply to Professor Doyal. Journal of Medical Ethics, 33, 577. CrossRef
- Benatar, D. (2009). Grim news for an unoriginal position: a reply to Seth Baum. Journal of Medical Ethics, 35, 328–329. CrossRef
- Doyal, L. (2007). Is human existence worth its consequent harm? Journal of Medical Ethics, 33, 573–576. CrossRef
- Naverson, J. (1967). Utilitarianism and New Generations. Mind, 76(301), 62–72.
- Schell, J. (1982). The fate of the Earth (Large print ed.). Thorndike: Thorndike.
- Smilansky, S. (2008). Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence—David Benatar. The Philosophical Quarterly, 58(232), 569–571. CrossRef
- Strong, C. (2005). Harming by conceiving: a review of misconceptions and a new analysis. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 30(5), 491–516. CrossRef
- Better Never to Have Been?: The Unseen Implications
Volume 39, Issue 2 , pp 225-235
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Joseph Packer (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Communication, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA