Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence

Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence


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Most people believe that they were either benefited or at least not harmed by being brought into existence. Thus, if they ever do reflect on whether they should bring others into existence—rather than having children without even thinking about whether they should—they presume that they do them no harm. Better Never to Have Been challenges these assumptions. David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm. Although the good things in one’s life make one’s life go …

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You should check out the Better not to have been book. The general idea is that it is more beneficial to have never been born. But, suicide is so hard to accomplish – mentally and physically – that it might not be beneficial to kill yourself.

Besides there are costs involved – say I’m 24, I have finally moved out from parents, live on my own. I have never been as free in my life before. All the childhood that sucked, the school are left behind. Im finally my own person. Health wise this is one of the highest point in one’s life. From 30 it’s going to go on downhill. Basically this and the next decade are going to be the best time of my life. Might as well make use of it if only to compensate for the shitty early part of my life. If/when it gets bad in my 40s+ I might just opt out of this game, and no family would be great in that regard – I would always be able to leave whenever I would want.

Life is essentially about costs and benefits. Most people trudge on because the pleasure shots they get out…

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David Benatar

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Oxford University Press

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Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence

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