Future Generations

There is much talk today of the right of future generations to inherit a more or less undamaged world. Philosophically speaking, the establishment of the rights or the rights-claims of people who do not yet exist a frustratingly intricate problem. Remarkably, however, one hears little or no mention of the fact that it can equally well be argued that future generations must have a no less morally weighty right not to be begotten or not to be thrust into existence. Put more precisely: The human beings living at any given point in time have the duty to refrain from begetting any further human beings wherever there is some indication that the rights, or claims to rights, of those who are begotten will not be able to be satisfied.

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