The Procreation Asymmetry : The existence-requirement strategy and some concerns on incompatibility
Abstract: According to the procreation asymmetry there is no moral reason to create a new and foreseeably happy person just because this person will be happy, but there is however a moral reason against creating a new and foreseeably unhappy person just because this person will be unhappy. A common way to defend this conjunction of claims is by employing a so-called existence-requirement, according to which the happiness of a given person p in a world w depends on it being possible to understand p as an existing person in w. The aim of this paper is to consider whether this existence-requirement strategy is compatible with other intuitions and convictions held in normative moral theory and populations ethics. This aim will be achieved by considering whether the existence-requirement strategy is compatible with three plausible desiderata for a solution to the (normative) procreation asymmetry. Although some solutions to some potential incompatibilities are suggested, the thesis that will be argued for is that every instance of the existence-requirement strategy is incompatible with at least one of the relevant desiderata. Where the common denominating incompatibility for all instances of the existence-requirement strategy is to be found in an inability to be sufficiently action-guiding.
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