Procreative Generosity: Why We Should Not Have Children

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2023-10-16
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
1-11
Series
Philosophies, Volume 8, issue 5
Abstract
We should not have children because (i) we have no child-regarding reasons to do so, (ii) we have child-regarding reasons not to do so, and (iii) although we have other-regarding reasons to do so, these reasons are not decisive. Objections to (i) include that life is always good and that possible individuals would choose life if given the opportunity. These fail if there is no duty to create even a good life (the argument from asymmetry), all lives are bad (the argument from quality of life), and potential parents are not entitled to produce lives without the permission of the offspring (the argument from assumed consent). The failure of the objections is not, however, self-evidently inevitable if a hedonistic axiology is used. It becomes inevitable with a switch to an autonomy-respecting, need-based theory of value. There is no need to become existent (i), and there is a need to avoid frustration, pain, and suffering once an individual has been brought into existence (ii). Since any life can be or turn out to be very bad, potential parents put their children in harm’s way by creating them (the argument from risk). To see this and to see how the preferences of the potential parents do not change the situation (iii), it is necessary to assume a concept of gambling that allows genuinely serious harm in case the player loses.
Description
Publisher Copyright: © 2023 by the author.
Keywords
antinatalism, asymmetry, consent, quality of life, risk, value of life
Other note
Citation
Häyry , M 2023 , ' Procreative Generosity: Why We Should Not Have Children ' , Philosophies , vol. 8 , no. 5 , 96 , pp. 1-11 . https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8050096