We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child—pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, and death. For any given child we cannot predict what form these harms will take or how severe they will be, but we can be sure that at least some of them will occur. None of this befalls the nonexistent. Only existers suffer harm.

— David Benatar

The most passioned David Benatar quotes to discover and learn by heart

As we have seen, nobody is lucky enough not to be born, everybody is unlucky enough to have been born – and particularly bad luck it is.


Notice, by extension, that in a democracy those committed to non-procreation could never, in the long run, prevail politically against those committed to procreation.


Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence.

That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad—and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.


It is curious that while good people go to great lengths to spare their children from suffering, few of them seem to notice that the one (and only) guaranteed way to prevent all the suffering of their children is not to bring those children into existence in the first place.


I am under no illusions. My position, no matter how clearly stated, is likely to be misunderstood.


Coming into existence is always bad for those who come into existence.

In other words, although we may not be able to say of the never-existent that never existing is good for them, we can say of the existent that existence is bad for them.


On my view there is no net benefit to coming into existence and thus coming into existence is never worth its costs.