Why we didn’t run a piece endorsing ‘the repugnant conclusion’

Why we didn’t run a piece endorsing ‘the repugnant conclusion’

So, a word on Vox’s policy around freelance, and whether there’s a litmus test around certain issues.

The backstory here is that Dylan Matthews solicited a piece from philosopher Torbjorn Tannsjo. The piece was related to a philosophical idea known as the “repugnant conclusion” — basically, that there’s a moral obligation to maximize the human population’s size because more humans means more happiness, even if every individual human isn’t particularly happy.

We ultimately rejected Tannsjo’s piece, and he published the rejection email, in which Matthews said, “I ran the piece by some other editors and they weren’t comfortable running it; I think the concern is that people will misinterpret it as implying opposition to abortion rights and birth control, which, while I know it’s not your intent, is a real concern.”

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