Is Having Children Wrong? | Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

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September 30, 2016
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Is Having Children Wrong? | Philosophy Tube

TL;DR

The video explores the philosophical debate on whether it is morally wrong to have children, with philosopher David Benatar arguing that being created is a harm due to the asymmetry of pain and pleasure.

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Key Insights

  • 💖 The question of whether it is morally wrong to have children sparks a debate between David Benatar, who believes being created is a harm, and Christine Overall, who challenges the asymmetry of pain and pleasure.
  • 🫵 Benatar argues that avoiding suffering is what matters from the point of view of non-existence, while Overall questions the idea that potential people have a point of view.
  • 🗯️ Benatar's perspective challenges traditional notions of procreation and implies that having reproductive rights is morally problematic.
  • 👶 Overall's argument highlights the importance of considering the moral implications and responsibilities associated with having children.

Transcript

looking at my audience demographics it's statistically likely that you either have young children already or having children is something that you're thinking about and here's a controversial idea having children is wrong you should not create people and you yourself were wronged by being created disgust first of all though it's important that we r... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why does philosopher David Benatar argue that having children is wrong?

Benatar believes that being created is a harm due to the asymmetry between pain and pleasure. He argues that the absence of pain is good, but the absence of pleasure is only bad if someone exists who is missing out.

Q: What is the asymmetry of pain and pleasure?

The asymmetry refers to the idea that avoiding suffering is what matters, but there is no obligation to create new people for them to experience pleasure. According to Benatar, this explains why creating someone who will suffer is wrong, but not creating someone for pleasure is not seen as wrong.

Q: How does Christine Overall challenge Benatar's argument?

Overall questions the asymmetry by arguing that potential people don't have a point of view. She asserts that if avoiding suffering is good, it must be good from the point of view of people who already exist.

Q: Is it better to have never been born, according to Benatar's argument?

Yes, according to Benatar's argument, it is better for someone never to have been born because even if they live a great life with only a second of pain, they would have missed out on that pain if they had never been created.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video discusses the idea that having children is wrong, as philosopher David Benatar argues that being created is a harm and that the absence of pleasure is only bad if someone exists who is missing out.

  • Benatar explains the asymmetry between pain and pleasure, stating that while we generally think it would be wrong to create someone who will suffer, we don't feel obligated to create new people for pleasure because avoiding suffering is what matters.

  • Christine Overall challenges Benatar's argument, questioning the asymmetry of pain and pleasure and arguing that potential people don't have a point of view, and therefore the idea of non-existence being good is flawed.

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