David Benatar Famous Quotes & Sayings

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19 David Benatar Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

David Benatar Sayings: Finally, the optimist's impatience with or condemnation of pessimism often has a smug macho tone Finally, the optimist's impatience with or condemnation of pessimism often has a smug macho tone to it (although males have no monopoly of it). There is a scorn for the perceived weakness of the pessimist who should instead 'grin and bear it'. This view is defective for the same reason that macho views about other kinds of suffering are defective. It is an indifference to or inappropriate denial of suffering, whether one's own or that of others. The injunction to 'look on the bright side' should be greeted with a large dose of both scepticism and cynicism. To insist that the bright side is always the right side is to put ideology before the evidence. Every cloud, to change metaphors, may have a silver lining, but it may very often be the cloud rather than the lining on which one should focus if one is to avoid being drenched by self-deception. Cheery optimists have a much less realistic view of themselves than do those who are depressed.
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David Benatar Sayings: The pro-death view should be of interest even to those who do not accept it. The pro-death view should be of interest even to those who do not accept it. One of its valuable features is that it offers a unique challenge to those pro-lifers who reject a legal right to abortion. Whereas a legal pro-choice position does not require a pro-lifer to have an abortion - it allows a choice - a legal pro-life position does prevent a pro-choicer from having an abortion. Those who think that the law should embody the pro-life position might want to ask themselves what they would say about a lobby group that, contrary to my arguments in Chapter 4 but in accordance with pro-lifers' commitment to the restriction of procreative freedom, recommended that the law become pro-death. A legal pro-death policy would require even pro-lifers to have abortions. Faced with this idea, legal pro-lifers might have a newfound interest in the value of choice.
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David Benatar Sayings: On my view there is no net benefit to coming into existence and thus coming On my view there is no net benefit to coming into existence and thus coming into existence is never worth its costs.
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David Benatar Sayings: We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child - pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child - pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, and death. For any given child we cannot predict what form these harms will take or how severe they will be, but we can be sure that at least some of them will occur. None of this befalls the nonexistent. Only existers suffer harm.
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David Benatar Sayings: Discussions about the ethics of suicide are immediately biased by the verb that customarily attaches Discussions about the ethics of suicide are immediately biased by the verb that customarily attaches to it in English. One "commits" suicide. Because this presupposes the wrongfulness of the suicide, I avoid that verb, opting instead for "carry out" suicide. This is evaluatively neutral, avoiding both the usual bias against suicide and the unusual bias in favor of it that the verb "achieve" would effect. "Carry out" is preferable to "practice", which implies something ongoing. Finally, "carry out" also implies a suicide that is completed rather than merely attempted.
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David Benatar Sayings: Parents with dependents are somehow thought to count for more. If, for example, there is Parents with dependents are somehow thought to count for more. If, for example, there is some scarce resource - a donor kidney perhaps - and of the two potential recipients one is a parent of young children and one is not, the parent, all things being equal, will likely be favoured. To let a parent die is not only to thwart that person's preference to be saved, but also the preferences of his or her children that their parent be saved. It is quite true, of course, that the death of the parent will harm more people, but there is nonetheless something to be said against favouring parents. Increasing one's value by having children might be like increasing one's value by taking hostages.
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David Benatar Sayings: I am under no illusions. My position, no matter how clearly stated, is likely to I am under no illusions. My position, no matter how clearly stated, is likely to be misunderstood.
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David Benatar Sayings: Some anti-natalist positions are founded on either a dislike of children or on the interests Some anti-natalist positions are founded on either a dislike of children or on the interests of adults who have greater freedom and resources if they do not have and rear children. My anti-natalist view is different. It arises, not from a dislike of children, but instead from a concern to avoid the suffering of potential children and the adults they would become, even if not having those children runs counter to the interests of those who would have them.
David Benatar Sayings: I shall not assess arguments and evidence for competing views about when human extinction will I shall not assess arguments and evidence for competing views about when human extinction will occur. We know it will occur, and this fact has a curious effect on my argument. In a strange way it makes my argument an optimistic one. Although things are now not the way they should be - there are people when there should be none - things will someday be the way they should be - there will be no people. In other words, although things are now bad, they will be better, even if they first get worse with the creation of new people. Some may wish to be spared this kind of optimism, but some optimists may take a measure of comfort in this observation.
David Benatar Sayings: Notice, by extension, that in a democracy those committed to non-procreation could never, in the Notice, by extension, that in a democracy those committed to non-procreation could never, in the long run, prevail politically against those committed to procreation.
David Benatar Sayings: Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad - and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.
David Benatar Sayings: Never to have been born is best But if we must see the light, the Never to have been born is best But if we must see the light, the next best Is quickly returning whence we came. When youth departs, with all its follies, Who does not stagger under evils? Who escapes them?
Sophocles'
Sleep is good, death is better; but of course, The best would be never to have been born at all.
Heinrich Heine2
David Benatar Sayings: Coming into existence is always bad for those who come into existence. In other words, Coming into existence is always bad for those who come into existence. In other words, although we may not be able to say of the never-existent that never existing is good for them, we can say of the existent that existence is bad for them.
David Benatar Sayings: It is unlikely that many people will take to heart the conclusion that coming into It is unlikely that many people will take to heart the conclusion that coming into existence is always a harm. It is even less likely that many people will stop having children. By contrast, it is quite likely that my views either will be ignored or will be dismissed. As this response will account for a great deal of suffering between now and the demise of humanity, it cannot plausibly be thought of as philanthropic. That is not to say that it is motivated by any malice towards humans, but it does result from a self-deceptive indifference to the harm of coming into existence.
David Benatar Sayings: It is curious that while good people go to great lengths to spare their children It is curious that while good people go to great lengths to spare their children from suffering, few of them seem to notice that the one (and only) guaranteed way to prevent all the suffering of their children is not to bring those children into existence in the first place.
David Benatar Sayings: Fulfilled desires, like pleasures (even of the intrinsic kind), are states of achievement rather than Fulfilled desires, like pleasures (even of the intrinsic kind), are states of achievement rather than default states. For instance, one has to work at satiating oneself, while hunger comes naturally. After one has eaten or taken liquid, bowel and bladder discomfort ensues quite naturally and we have to seek relief. One has to seek out pleasurable sensations, in the absence of which blandness comes naturally. The upshot of this is that we must continually work at keeping suffering (including tedium) at bay, and we can do so only imperfectly. Dissatisfaction does and must pervade life. There are moments, perhaps even periods, of satisfaction, but they occur against a background of dissatisfied striving. Pollyannaism may cause most people to blur out this background, but it remains there.
David Benatar Sayings: Those who take their own lives, especially when the quality of those lives is much Those who take their own lives, especially when the quality of those lives is much less bad than those of the cancer patient or the concentration camp prisoner, fly in the face of the normal will to live. They are seen as abnormal, not merely in the statistical sense of being unusual, but of being defective, either morally or psychologically.
David Benatar Sayings: One particularly poor argument in defence of eating meat is that if humans did not One particularly poor argument in defence of eating meat is that if humans did not eat animals, those animals would not have been brought into existence in the first place. Humans would simply not have bred them in the numbers they do breed them. The claim is that although these animals are killed, this cost to them is outweighed by the benefit to them of having been brought into existence. This is an appalling argument for many reasons. First, the lives of many of these animals are so bad that even if one rejected my argument one would still have to think that they were harmed by being brought into existence. Secondly, those who advance this argument fail to see that it could apply as readily to human babies that are produced only to be eaten. Here we see quite clearly that being brought into existence only to be killed for food is no benefit. It is only because killing animals is thought to be acceptable that the argument is thought to have any force.
David Benatar Sayings: Creating new people, by having babies, is so much a part of human life that Creating new people, by having babies, is so much a part of human life that it is rarely thought even to require a justification. Indeed, most people do not even think about whether they should or should not make a baby. They just make one. In other words, procreation is usually the consequence of sex rather than the result of a decision to bring people into existence. Those who do indeed decide to have a child might do so for any number of reasons, but among these reasons cannot be the interests of the potential child. One can never have a child for that child's sake.