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Procreation and ParenthoodThe Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children$
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David Archard and David Benatar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590704

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590704.001.0001

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In Defence of Genethical Parity

In Defence of Genethical Parity

(p.31) 2 In Defence of Genethical Parity
Procreation and Parenthood

Tim Bayne (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Can a person be harmed or wronged by being brought into existence? Can a person be benefited by being brought into existence? Following David Heyd, the chapter will refer to these questions as ‘genethical questions’. The chapter examines three broad approaches to genethics: the no‐faults model, the dual‐benchmark model, and the parity model. The no‐faults model holds that coming into existence is not properly subject to moral evaluation, at least so far as the interests of the person that is to be brought into existence are concerned. The dual‐benchmark model allows that coming into existence can be subject to moral evaluation, but holds that our judgements about the kinds of lives worth starting ought not be aligned with our judgements about the kinds of lives worth sustaining. The chapter argues against both the no‐faults and dual‐benchmark models. In their place, the chapter argues for a parity approach to genethics, according to which our judgements about the conditions under which life is worth creating ought to be constrained by our judgements about the conditions under which life is worth continuing.

Keywords:   genethics, life worth starting, life worth continuing, harm, wrongful life

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