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I looked up Benatar's Asymmetry and he says that suffering outweighs joy because in his words:

the existent feel suffering: bad
the existent feel joy: good
the nonexistent don't feel suffering: good
the nonexistent don't feel joy: not bad

So his point is that the only "bad" result is in the existent option. But I don't understand this argument because the above can be reworded to:

the existent feel suffering: bad
the existent feel joy: good
the nonexistent don't feel suffering: not bad
the nonexistent don't feel joy: not good

And now the only "good" result is in the existent option, and the asymmetry goes away. Basically, my question is: why does he think "the nonexistent don't feel suffering" is "good", when the correct conclusion is that it's just "not bad" since existence precedes goodness?

  • I'd agree with your assessment; the absence of suffering isn't so much "good" as it just "not bad". I think they would need to make a case for counting one experience quality of the nonexistent but not the other. – Uueerdo Dec 5 '19 at 17:24

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