SIO23: Is It Morally Acceptable to Have Children? with Travis Rieder

Joining us today is Travis Rieder! Travis is a philosopher at Johns Hopkins who deals with Population Ethics and related questions. Find his academic page here. Given the uncertainty of outcomes of our potential children, and given the many problems humanity faces due to overpopulation, is it morally acceptable to have children? Travis and I discuss that question and many related ones in a fascinating philosophy edition of SIO!

Here are Travis’s main works on these questions, for further reading:
1. Adoption and Procreation
2. Population Engineering
3. Small Family Ethic (book)
Highest-impact Media Pieces:
4. NPR Profile
5. Response to Critics

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Derek Dadey
Derek Dadey

Very interesting conversation. As the father of a young daughter I recognize that most logical arguments( especially the utilitarian/ consequentialist ones) are against it but screw it I’m a virtue ethics kinda guy. I think you are to Thomas. You and Sam Harrris both seem to me to be backwards virtue ethics believers. When presented with a logical consequence of a utilitarian( or consequentialist, im going to just use the shorter one from now on) you retreat to an ad hoc “consequence” that you wouldn’t want to live in a world where for instance a doctor harvests your organs to… Read more »