Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Better Never to Have Been – The Harm of Coming into Existence - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence

David Benatar


This book argues for a number of related, highly provocative views: (i) coming into existence is always a serious harm; (ii) procreation is always wrong; (iii) it is wrong not to abort foetuses at the earlier stages of gestation; and (iv) it would be better if, as a result of there being no new people, humanity became extinct. Although these conclusions are antagonistic to common and deeply held intuitions, the book argues that these intuitions are unreliable and thus cannot be used to refute it's grim-sounding conclusions.

Keywords: existence, harm, procreation, abortion, future people, extinction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199296422
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296422.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Benatar, author
University of Cape Town
Author Webpage