February 24, 2013
Reproduction is undeniably the key to the continuation of the human species. However, this does not mean that every single human being on the planet should have children. There are a lot of things that should be considered before having a child. Personal choice, emotional, mental, and financial stability are a few examples. These factors can have a huge influence in the quality of a child’s life, and it is morally wrong to give life to a child if you do not plan on giving that child the best possible life it could have. Therefore, it is wrong to procreate because you are knowingly and purposely exposing a being to pain without their consent.
Still, even then, who is to blame for all the negative experiences of a child’s life? Is it the parent’s responsibility to attempt to avoid any and all unpleaseantness that their child may face? Wouldn’t it be better, nay, morally correct to never have a child in order for that child to never have to face any hardships or challenges? Many would say that these challenges are necessary for the development of a human being and that the lessons gained from them are valuable. This brings up the issue of just what can be considered good and what can be considered bad.
According to Benatar, “the presence of pleasure is good,” and “the presence of pain is bad.” This is true – in a sense. There are so many varying degrees of pleasure and pain, it’s hard to discern where one begins and the other ends. Can it really be said that ALL pain is bad? There are times when pain is acceptable – take for instance the actual process of childbearing and childbirth. Most women (with some exceptions) will agree to the testimony that carrying another life around for nine months is not their idea of pleasure, as well as it being physically uncomfortable or painful. However, they will also claim that the benefits of this pain greatly outweigh the negative aspects. There are...