David Benatar

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Are fetuses, at any stage of their development, capable of feeling pain? In his paper, "Locating the Beginnings of Pain," Stuart Derbyshire argues that they are not. We argue that he reaches this conclusion by way of conceptual confusion, a misreading of the available scientific data and the inclusion of irrelevant data. Despite his assertion to the(More)
ID societies in which sex discrimination has been recognized to be wrong, the assault on this form of discrimination has targeted those attitudes and practices that (directly) disadvantage women and girls. At the most, there has been only scant attention to those manifestations of sex discrimination of which the primary victims are men and boys. What little(More)
In a recent paper, Rob Lawlor argues that moral theories should not be taught in courses on applied ethics. The author contends that Dr Lawlor's arguments overlook at least two important roles that some attention to ethical theories may play in practical ethics courses. The conclusion is not that moral theory must be taught, but rather that there is more to(More)
Lindsay Kelland has taken issue with a claim I made in a book titled The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys. In response to this claim, she has argued that when a woman is raped, it matters that her rapist is a male because "her situation as a woman under patriarchy is partly constitutive of the harm that she suffers" in being raped. In my(More)
It is widely recognized that one person's freedom may be limited to prevent harm to another (non-consenting) person. It is curious, therefore, that where a right to reproductive freedom is recognized, there is considerable reticence to limit or override it in cases where reproduction harms those people who are brought into existence. I argue that this is(More)
A number of problems plague universal declarations. To the extent that those drafting and adopting the declaration represent a range of different views, consensus can only be obtained if the declaration makes minimalist claims that all can support, or makes claims that are vague enough that they can be interpreted to everybody's satisfaction. To the extent(More)
Opinion about neonatal male circumcision is deeply divided. Some take it to be a prophylactic measure with unequivocal and significant health benefits, while others consider it a form of child abuse. We argue against both these polar views. In doing so, we discuss whether circumcision constitutes bodily mutilation, whether the absence of the child's(More)