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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - the custodians of the country in which we meet - and acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

The Case for Not Having Children

David Benatar [STH. AFRICA]
Chaired by Matt Beard
Sun 25 August 1:45pm
Sun 25 August 1:45pm
Why having kids dooms them to suffer.

Parenthood is a tremendous responsibility. Not least because it involves bringing into this world a being who otherwise would not have existed. But, as we all know, life is filled with suffering. Every life ends in death. So, is it ethical to bring a child into this world when they’re guaranteed to suffer? Especially because, not bringing people into the world does them no harm. Philosopher David Benatar, a leading proponent of anti-natalism, believes that no matter how counter-intuitive it might sound, we have a moral responsibility to not have children. 

David Benatar appears exclusively in Sydney at FODI. 
On request of the speaker, no cameras (including camera phones) are permitted TO BE USED in this session. 
There is something hopeless and psychologically distressing about the nature of sentient life that makes anti-natalism the correct position to hold.
David Benatar

David Benatar [STH. AFRICA]

David Benatar is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town. His books, which have been translated into multiple languages, include Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (2006), The Second Sexism: Discrimination against men and boys (2012), and The Human Predicament: A candid guide to life’s biggest questions (2017). He has held visiting positions in the United States, at Brandeis, Emory, and Princeton universities, and at National Institutes of Health, and in Canada at Western University, and the University of Toronto.


Matt Beard

Dr Matt Beard went to philosophy school so that you don’t have to. He is the Program Director of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship at The Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership. He is an award-winning public philosopher, kids podcaster, ethics advisor and leadership facilitator. Matt works as a storyteller of ideas: helping people find their unique connection points to ethical reasoning and philosophical wisdom, with a sense of practicality and play.

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25 August
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