Imagine, for a moment, that you are emergency medical personnel. You are working on the victim of a car accident, who is unconcious, and has no pulse.

At that moment - to the person you are working on - it makes no difference if you succeed. Since he is dead, he has no experience of your attempt to save him. It only matters to him if he wakes up. He's not going to put in a complaint if you don't succeed.

But if he does wake up, he might be incredibly grateful. He or she can possibly experience decades of meaningful life. Their dependency on others is morally irrelevant, or we would let people who cannot pay medical bills just die or parents abandon their children.

This seems to be exactly true of either fetuses or children in general: if they are created they can experience decades of life, possibly meaningful.

So the question is What is the difference between not having a child or refusing to call for aid when you drive by a car accident?

In both cases, there are potentially decades of life experience that are lost, whether or not there are rational decisions for those choices...

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    The difference is between a hypothetical person yet to be created, i.e. a figment, and a real person to be saved, here and now. Most consider duty to the living as having higher priority than to the hypothetical. There "can" or "might" be a blissful afterlife and we "can" or "might" be missing out on its benefits, but that does not move too many people either. – Conifold Jan 14 at 6:31
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I'm not going to directly answer your question, but I'll go one better and suggest you look into the works of a South African fellow promoted Anti Natalism, I think it's called, though his thesis may differ from yours, you can find relevant and interesting information regarding the worth of a birth!

He talks of 'a life worth starting versus a life worth continuing', his views are very controversial, definitely worth a look. I don't know his name though, so just watch Michael Sandels videos on youtube about justice. kidding! hes david benatar.

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possibly meaningful, possibly painful. You cannot take responsibility what other people go through, there is no certainty that you are doing good by saving life. It is only relevant to you, how do you feel in both cases? Can you live with actions you took in both cases? That's all that matters.

The question why people go through what they do is very complex, which will move the discussion into religion. In Hinduism there is a concept called Karma you should probably looked into it, it says, everyone's life is independent of every other, though we share a common space, no one is getting anything they are not deserving. According to it, life doesn't end with death, are you can control any one's pleasure or pain.

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  • Welcome to Philosophy SE! It would greatly enhance your answer if you could supply some references, maybe you have read someone that hold these views... – christo183 Jan 14 at 6:37

The future is ambiguous. Sure, any person could have decades of meaningful life ahead of them. They could also have decades of meaningless suffering, or could spend decades inflicting meaningless suffering on others, or could die in a week because of totally unrelated factors. We simply don't know what the future holds for another person, and trying to decide whether to save them on such speculations is a fruitless exercise.

Of course, these situations are not exactly parallel. When you save a person by the roadside your responsibility is ended. You walk away from the wreck with a feeling of (possibly smug) satisfaction, and never have to think about the person you saved again. When you bring a child into the world, you are on the hook for decades of childcare, hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures, and possible legal consequences if you do not fulfill your parental duties to others' satisfaction. If those same conditions applied to good samaritans I doubt many people would provide help. In fact, that's why many states have 'Good Samaritan' laws which prevent people from being sued over impromptu emergency assistance. I commend anyone who chooses to accept that indenture, but I object to the idea that people should be forced into such indenture against their will.

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