- Chapter 14 discusses several issues that arise in connection with procreation or bringing people into existence. The main issue is whether it is wrong to create people.
- One line of thought is this: suppose that if we create someone her life will be worth living but just barely so - that is, what is good in her life more than offsets the bad, but not by much. When we focus on how low such a person's prospects are, it might seem objectionable to bring her into the world. But is it? Were we not to bring her into being, she would not exist at all; for her, the only alternative to a marginally good existence is none at all. This suggests that it is rarely wrong to procreate, since most people would prefer even a marginally good existence to none at all.
- On another way of looking at things, however, procreation seems to be entirely unacceptable. David Benatar asks us to consider a merely possible person named Fred. We do not think that Fred is harmed by not being made actual, even if it means he will miss out on a very good life. However, we do think that Fred is harmed by being made actual if it means that he will endure a very bad life. Hence we should maintain Fred's status quo as merely possible, which is unobjectionable, for fear of subjecting him to a bad existence, which is objectionable, and the same goes for any possible person.
Book Chapter, but pdf downloaded from Cambridge Core. Filed in zip with full book.
Footnote 1: Taken from "Luper (Steven) - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death: Introduction".
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