Paper by Gerald Harrison, published on April 15, 2012 in South African Journal of Philosophy
Harrison shows an argument for antinatalism based on Davind Benatar’s procreational asymmetry, which he finds superior because it does not depend on the view that coming into existence is always a harm for the created being.
His argument is based on the moral duty to prevent pain as well as the duty to promote pleasure. However, since duties need a victim, he suggests that only the former applies to the act of procreation and thus:
- We have a duty to prevent the harms procreating causes, because there would be a victim (the created person experiencing the harms).
- We don’t have a duty to cause the pleasure procreating causes, because there would never be a victim missing out on or being deprived of those pleasures.
Harrison concludes that other things being equal, these generate a duty not to procreate.
South African Journal of Philosophy 31/1 (2012), 94–103