2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Should Humans Continue to Procreate?

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:

2022 Abstracts Stage 2

The Appeal of Violence and Suffering in Marina Abramović’s Performance Art

The use of pain, violence and suffering is a huge pattern in the performance artwork of Marina Abramović. She pushes herself to physical and mental extremes, creating shocking self-sacrificial performances. Despite this, she is one of the most renowned artists in the world, and audiences of thousands gather to see her perform. This project will investigate the reasons for this great appeal of violence and aim to demonstrate that there is a more profound experience occurring during the observation of Abramović’s suffering. The particular philosophers I am using to investigate this are Georges Bataille, with major works Theory of Religion and Erotism: Death and Sensuality. Also Julia Kristeva, with her work Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

Defining our Existence through Suffering

The Aim of this project is to explore suffering in society. My project initially centred on answering the following questions 1 What is suffering? 2 Does suffering help define our existence? 3 If so, why do we use suffering to define ourselves? 4 Does suffering help us understand the problems we face, or create more? 5 Why do we use suffering more than other emotions, such as happiness, to examine and define our lives? After answering these questions I then applied the answers I found plus the theses of the two philosophers above to the crisis of depression in the modern rich western society.