Chapter

In Defence of Genethical Parity

Tim Bayne

in Procreation and Parenthood

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590704
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595547 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590704.003.0002
In Defence of Genethical Parity

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Can a person be harmed or wronged by being brought into existence? Can a person be benefited by being brought into existence? Following David Heyd, the chapter will refer to these questions as ‘genethical questions’. The chapter examines three broad approaches to genethics: the no‐faults model, the dual‐benchmark model, and the parity model. The no‐faults model holds that coming into existence is not properly subject to moral evaluation, at least so far as the interests of the person that is to be brought into existence are concerned. The dual‐benchmark model allows that coming into existence can be subject to moral evaluation, but holds that our judgements about the kinds of lives worth starting ought not be aligned with our judgements about the kinds of lives worth sustaining. The chapter argues against both the no‐faults and dual‐benchmark models. In their place, the chapter argues for a parity approach to genethics, according to which our judgements about the conditions under which life is worth creating ought to be constrained by our judgements about the conditions under which life is worth continuing.

Keywords: genethics; life worth starting; life worth continuing; harm; wrongful life

Chapter.  9168 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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