A Right Response to Anti-Natalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most people think that, other things being equal, you are at liberty to decide for yourself whether to have children. However, there are some people, aptly called anti-natalists, who believe that it is always morally wrong to have children. Anti-natalists are attracted to at least two types of arguments. According to the Positives Are Irrelevant Argument, unless a life contains no negative things at all, it is irrelevant that life also contains positive things. According to the Positives Are Insufficient Argument, while life does contain some positive things, as a matter of fact, almost everyone’s life contains more negative things than positive things. In this article, I first offer new reasons to reject these arguments. I then offer a positive, human rights account of why not only is it not wrong to bring people into existence, but parents in fact have a human right to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-471
Number of pages23
JournalRes Philosophica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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