2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Should Humans Continue to Procreate?

Katrin Mihalova, 2022, Stage 2

Anti-natalism and value creation: should humans continue to procreate?

It is not worth being brought into existence if one can potentially experience
any form of suffering. The philosopher David Benatar argues that whilst life can
consist of pleasures it also always consists of some form of suffering (making
living harmful for people and the world). “while existence brings pains as well
as pleasures, non-existence is a lack of pains and pleasures. While pain is bad,
absence of pain and pleasure is not bad, so it is always worse to be than not to
be” (Brake and Millum, 2021). It means that even if life consists of 99%
pleasure and 1% suffering then it still would have been better to have never
As controversial and counterintuitive it may seem to desire to stop humanity
from bringing more people into the world, it also does not violate the moral
law to live. Kant conveys strong beliefs surrounding the idea of suicide but
never conveys it in a way that would take future generations into
consideration. Implying that as long as the individual had not yet come into
existence then one does not go against basic moral rights. It is not our duty to
consider the life of potential future generations, but it is our duty to live our
lives once we have been born (, 2019).
The arguments put forward by anti-natalists challenges common beliefs in
relation to procreation and examines the roots of where various normative
views stem from and whether they are adequate justifications for procreation.

Benatar, D. (2013). Better never to have been : the harm of coming into existence. Oxford, England:
Clarendon Press (2019). Philosophy Now. [online] Available at:

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