more from Jonathan Glover

Single Idea 4652

[catalogued under 24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion]

Full Idea

The main utilitarian objection to killing (that it results in the loss of future years of happiness) seems an equally powerful objection to deliberately not conceiving a happy child.

Gist of Idea

If killing is wrong because it destroys future happiness, not conceiving a happy child is also wrong


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 4.4)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.72

A Reaction

This makes perfect sense, unless you give intrinsic value to existing lives, but none at all to potential lives. Virtue ethics helps here, but genetic engineering is a nightmare for Aristotle.