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Permissible Progeny?The Morality of Procreation and Parenting$
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Sarah Hannan, Samantha Brennan, and Richard Vernon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199378111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199378111.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

The Misanthropic Argument for Anti-natalism

The Misanthropic Argument for Anti-natalism

Chapter:
(p.34) Chapter 1 The Misanthropic Argument for Anti-natalism
Source:
Permissible Progeny?
Author(s):

David Benatar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199378111.003.0002

This chapter advances a misanthropic moral argument for anti-natalism. According to this argument, we have a presumptive duty to desist from bringing into existence new members of species that cause vast amounts of harm. Extensive evidence is provided to show that human nature has a dark side that leads humans to cause vast amounts of pain, suffering, and death to other humans and to non-human animals. Some of this harm is mediated by destruction of the environment. The resultant presumptive duty we have not to create new humans is very rarely if ever defeated. Not all misanthropy is about humans’ moral failings. The chapter is followed by an appendix, in which aesthetic considerations against procreating are advanced.

Keywords:   human nature, misanthropy, anti-natalism, harm, animals, environment

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