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“Human Extinction and the Value of Life“ by Prof. Jeff McMahan
30 Nov 2023

Public Lecture (Hybrid)

Many of us believe that human extinction would be catastrophically bad. Some of us believe that, among the events that are realistically possible, it would be the worst. But why? Part of the explanation is that it would be awful for those who would be the last to die. It would, moreover, be bad for all those alive when it began to occur, as it would frustrate most of their aims and ambitions in life. I believe that it would be posthumously bad for people who lived in the past as well. But the main part of the explanation must be that there would be no more lives worth living when there could have been a vast number of such lives. This, however, presupposes that there is a moral reason to cause people to exist just because their lives would be worth living, and this is in tension not only with common-sense morality but also with fundamental principles in “population ethics.” My talk will explore these tensions and in particular will consider whether the value of causing a person to exist becomes greater as the number of preexisting lives becomes lower.

Lecture information:
Date: 30 November 2023 (Thursday)
Time: 16:30-18:00 (Hong Kong Standard Time, GMT +8)
Mode: Hybrid
Venue: LYH201/1, Lau Lee Yuen Haan Amenities Building, Lingnan University* and Zoom
*Limited seating, first-come-first-serve.

Participation is free but registration is required

For enquiries, please call 2616 7445 or e-mail to [email protected]