The intuition of neutrality and consequentialist thinking: potential antinatalist implications
2013 (English)In: SpringerPlus, ISSN 2193-1801, Vol. 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Many people seem to share some version of what has been called the “intuition of neutrality” aboutcreating new people, which, roughly, says that there exists a certain range of levels of well-beingsuch that creating people within this range is, in itself, morally neutral, but creating people with alevel of well-being outside this range is not morally neutral. In this paper, I will discuss differentinterpretations of this intuition, and specifically distinguish between what I will call counterfactualinterpretations and Do-interpretations of the intuition. I will argue that it is hard to interpret theintuition in a way that does not give rise to antinatalist moral reasons, i.e. reasons favoring an emptyfuture population, when it comes to choices of social policy. In particular, this holds if we assume aconception of relevant outcomes of actions reflecting consequentialist moral intuitions. In the end, I will formulate a normative principle of welfare promotion which I argue respects the most plausiblecounterfactual version of the neutrality intuition.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. Vol. 2
Intuition of neutrality, Population ethics, Necessitarianism, Antinatalism, Consequentialism
Research subject Practical Philosophy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196589DOI: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-99OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-196589DiVA: diva2:610391