Advertisement

Philosophia

, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 1613–1620 | Cite as

The Burdens of Life

  • Mark WellsEmail author
Article

Abstract

In this paper, I make the case for risks and burdens of morality and meaning. Recognizing such risks and burdens would require many of us to expand how we think about the imposition of risks and burdens. As I take it, if such an expansion helps us make more sense of relevant cases and helps us clarify or resolve debates for which risks and burdens are relevant, then it is well-motivated. Accordingly, I will demonstrate the relevance of my proposed expansion to recent philosophical discussion on the ethics of procreation and provide a series of cases which my proposed expansion makes more sense of than an unexpanded account of risks and burdens and. Moreover, if adopted, I expect an expanded notion of risks and burdens will have implications far beyond procreative ethics.

Keywords

Risk Burden Morality Meaning Prudence Well-being Procreation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank David Faraci, Katia Vavova, James Harold, Nina Emery, Samuel Mitchell, Laura Sizer, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

References

  1. Benatar, D. (2006). Better never to have been: The harm of coming into existence. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berners-Lee, M. (2011). How bad are bananas?: The carbon footprint of everything. Vancouver: Greystone Books.Google Scholar
  3. Camus, A. (1955). The myth of sisyphus and other essays. Translated by Justin O'Brien. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  4. Davies, G., Klaassen, D., Längle, A. (2014). Purpose in life test. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Haybron, D. M. (2008). The pursuit of unhappiness: the elusive psychology of well-being. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Himma, K. E. (2010). Birth as a grave misfortune: the traditional doctrine of hell and christian salvific exclusivism. In J. Buenting (Ed.), The problem of hell. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Himma, K. E. (2016). The ethics of subjecting a child to the risk of eternal torment. Faith and Philosophy, 33(1), 94–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Rosenthal, B. G. (1975). Dmitri Sergeevich Merezhkovsky and the silver age: The development of a revolutionary mentality. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shiffrin, S. V. (1999). Wrongful life, procreative responsibility, and the significance of harm. Legal Theory, 5(2), 117–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Weinberg, R. (2015). The risk of a lifetime: how, when, and why procreation may be permissible. Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190243708.001.0001.
  11. Wolf, S. (2012). Meaning in life and why it matters. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Young, T. (2001). Overconsumption and procreation: Are they morally equivalent? Journal of Applied Philosophy, 18(2), 183–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations