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Better to exist: a reply to Benatar
  1. S D Baum
  1. Seth D Baum, Department of Geography, 302 Walker Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; sbaum{at}psu.edu

Abstract

A recent exchange on Benatar’s book Better never to have been between Doyal and Benatar discusses Benatar’s bold claim that people should not be brought into existence. Here, I expand the discussion of original position that the exchange focused on. I also discuss the asymmetries, between benefit and harm and between existence and non-existence, upon which Benatar’s bold claim rests. In both discussions, I show how Benatar’s bold claim can be rejected.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • i Expected utility maximisation reduces to classical utilitarianism for circumstances in which no uncertainty exists.

  • ii A similar discussion of maximin is found on page 173 of Leslie’s The end of the world.6

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