The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 19, Issue 3, Autumn 2019

Marcus William Hunt
Pages 377-389

Asymmetry and the Afterlife
A Christian Response to David Benatar

According to David Benatar’s asymmetry argument, the transition from nonexistence to existence is always a harm, and procreation always a pro tanto wrong. This argument fails to reach its anti-natalist conclusion if we maintain the view that there is no temporal relationship between our worldly lives and our afterlives. On this view, since anyone who will be freely procreated has an existence in the afterlife that is atemporal with respect to worldly time, procreators do not move those they procreate from nonexistence to existence and so do not harm them. This view provides a reason to reject Benatar’s stringent “life worth starting” criterion for procreation.