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Better never to have been : the harm of coming into existence

Author: David Benatar
Publisher: Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Most people believe that they were either benefitted or at least not harmed by being brought into existence. Thus, if they ever do reflect on whether they should bring others into existence - rather than having children without even thinking about whether they should - they presume that they do them no harm. Better Never to Have Been challenges these assumptions. David Benatar argues that coming into existence is  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: David Benatar
ISBN: 0199296421 9780199296422 9780199549269 0199549265
OCLC Number: 70881677
Description: xi, 237 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Contents: Why coming into existence is always a harm --
How bad is coming into existence? --
Having children: the anti-natal view --
Abortion: the 'pro-death' view --
Population and extinction.
Responsibility: David Benatar.
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Abstract:

Argues for a number of views: coming into existence is always a serious harm; it is always wrong to have children; it is wrong not to abort foetuses at the earlier stages of gestation; it would be  Read more...

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This isn't a new book, but it is generating increasing discussion in university departments and elsewhere: hence this review... If you enjoy an ethical challenge, then read this book. Malcolm Torry, Read more...

 
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   schema:reviewBody ""Most people believe that they were either benefitted or at least not harmed by being brought into existence. Thus, if they ever do reflect on whether they should bring others into existence - rather than having children without even thinking about whether they should - they presume that they do them no harm. Better Never to Have Been challenges these assumptions. David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm. Although the good things in one's life make one's life go better than it otherwise would have gone, one could not have been deprived by their absence if one had not existed. Those who never exist cannot be deprived. However, by coming into existence one does suffer quite serious harms that could not have befallen on had one not come into existence. Drawing on the relevant psychological literature, the author shows that there are a number of well-documented features of human psychology that explain why people systematically overestimate the quality of their lives and why they are thus resistant to the suggestion that they were seriously harmed by being brought into existence."--Jacket." ;
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