My Ideal Foil?
By Bryan Caplan
Most people believe that they were either benefited or at least not harmed by being brought into existence… 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 one had one not come into existence… The author then argues for the ‘anti-natal’ view—that it is always wrong to have children—and he shows that combining the anti-natal view with common pro-choice views about foetal moral status yield a ‘pro-death’ view about abortion (at the earlier stages of gestation). Anti-natalism also implies that it would be better if humanity became extinct.
This book confirms my theory that every logically possible view will eventually have a proponent somewhere. Unfortunately, life is already too short to read it. If only I had an infinite supply, I might spend some of it hearing why my optimal supply of life is zero.