By David Benatar
Higher by no means to were argues for a couple of comparable, hugely provocative, perspectives: (1) getting into life is often a significant damage. (2) it truly is consistently improper to have young children. (3) it truly is improper to not abort fetuses on the prior phases of gestation. (4) it'd be greater if, due to there being no new humans, humanity grew to become extinct. those perspectives may perhaps sound unbelievable--but someone who reads Benatar can be obliged to take them heavily.
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Extra info for Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence
Comparing somebody’s existence with his non-existence is not to compare two possible conditions of that person. Rather it is to compare his existence with an alternative state of affairs in which he does not exist. It has generally been thought that those cases where the impairment, although severe, is not so bad as to make life not worth living are more difficult than cases where the impairment is so great as to make life not worth living. It has been said that because the former, by definition, are cases of lives worth living, one cannot judge never existing to be preferable to existing with such a life.
It must be dictated (or required) by reason. ¹⁹ In the case of competent beings’ making the judgement that their never existing would have been preferable, he allows that it be merely consistent with reason (that is, not irrational). Although it is much easier for a judgement to satisfy the requirement that it be consistent with reason, it is a fact of human psychology that very rarely do people—even those enduring considerable hardships—prefer not to have existed. The result is that on Professor Feinberg’s view, most beings who are brought into existence with disabilities which although not so bad as to make life worth ending are nonetheless severe cannot be said to be harmed.
Interpreted in this way, however, it is too weak. Avoiding the pains of existence is more than merely ‘not bad’. It is good. Judging the absence of pleasure to be ‘not good’ is also too weak in that it does not say enough. 3. not what we would call good. However, the important question, when the absence of pleasure involves no deprivation for anybody, is whether it is also ‘not bad’ or whether it is ‘bad’. The answer, I suggest, is that it is ‘not good, but not bad either’ rather than ‘not good, but bad’.