A challenge to the permissibility of procreation
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The Non-Identity Problem (the NIP) raises a series of problems to the morality of procreation. The NIP, I believe, highlights a fundamental problem concerning the justifiability of procreation. In chapter 1, I introduce the NIP and show that the logic of the NIP does not rule out the anti-natalist claim. Moreover, there are reasons, which are independent of its capacity to solve the NIP, to accept the anti-natalist claim. However, the anti-natalist claim poses a serious justificatory challenge to the permissibility of procreation. To see whether we can restore the permissibility of procreation, I examine the impersonal pro-natalist claim in chapter 2 and argue that there is not only no good reason to believe that whatever makes life worth living gives us an impersonal reason to procreate but good reason not to believe that. In chapter 3, I examine the justifications for the right to procreate and argue that most promising ground – that is, parenting interest – fails to establish a moral right to procreate. Therefore, the justification of procreation is in trouble, at least, at the individual level because there is a reason against procreation out of concern for possible people and no impersonal reason to procreate and the moral significance of parenting interests fails to justify imposing the harm of coming into existence. This is, nevertheless, a somewhat moderate conclusion because it does not defend that procreation is all-things-considered wrong. More works need to be done to show why procreation is morally permissible (or impermissible).
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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