Human Extinction and Our Obligations to the Past

Utilitas 32 (2):199-208 (2020)
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Abstract

On certain plausible views, if humanity were to unanimously decide to cause its own extinction, this would not be wrong, since there is no one whom this act would wrong. We argue this is incorrect. Causing human extinction would still wrong someone; namely, our forebears who sacrificed life, limb and livelihood for the good of posterity, and whose sacrifices would be made less morally worthwhile by this heinous act.

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Author Profiles

Patrick Kaczmarek
Cambridge University
Simon Beard
Cambridge University

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
On the survival of humanity.Johann Frick - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):344-367.
Causing People to Exist and Saving People’s Lives.Jeff McMahan - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (1):5-35.

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