A “Must Read” Childfree Themed Book

After one of my semi-regular commenters suggested this title, I picked up the Kindle version of the book and took my sweet bippy time reading it and really trying to digest it. It’s become one of my favorite books of all time.

All of my readers need to check out David Benatar’s excellent book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. Concerning breeding and morality, this book is the absolute gold standard and provides an absolutely irrefutable argument as to why having children is morally wrong. In brief, here’s the argument:

*It is morally wrong to cause another sentient being harm and/or to suffer.

*Bringing a child (who is a sentient being) into this world is to cause all the harm and suffering in that child’s life.

*The act of procreation is the act of bringing a child into this world.

*Therefore, procreation is morally wrong.

As far as some of my favorite quotes from the book, here are a couple:

“Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad—and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.”

“It is unlikely that many people will take to heart the conclusion that coming into existence is always a harm. It is even less likely that many people will stop having children. By contrast, it is quite likely that my views either will be ignored or will be dismissed. As this response will account for a great deal of suffering between now and the demise of humanity, it cannot plausibly be thought of as philanthropic. That is not to say that it is motivated by any malice towards humans, but it does result from a self-deceptive indifference to the harm of coming into existence.”

“As we have seen, nobody is lucky enough not to be born, everybody is unlucky enough to have been born – and particularly bad luck it is.”

“We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child—pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, and death. For any given child we cannot predict what form these harms will take or how severe they will be, but we can be sure that at least some of them will occur. None of this befalls the nonexistent. Only existers suffer harm.”

You can buy the book (either hard copy or Kindle version) on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Better-Never-Have-Been-Existence/dp/0199296421


About coolchildfreeguy

Childfree guy living in Mexico City. Professional pilot by day, all-around fun guy by night.

Posted on October 1, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for the tip – I’ll definitely get this on the Kindle 🙂

    If you’re not already familiar with it, you’d probably enjoy the blog The View From Hell. The author uses extensive empirical data and philosophy to back up her anti-natalist arguments, which based on what you’ve written here seem to mostly mirror those of Mr Benatar.

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