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Antifrustrationism is an axiological position proposed by German philosopher Christoph Fehige, which states that "we don't do any good by creating satisfied extra preferences. What matters about preferences is not that they have a satisfied existence, but that they don't have a frustrated existence." According to Fehige, "maximizers of preference satisfaction should instead call themselves minimizers of preference frustration."

What makes the world better is "not its amount of preference satisfaction, but the avoided preference frustration." In the words of Fehige, "we have obligations to make preferrers satisfied, but no obligations to make satisfied preferrers." The position stands in contrast to classical utilitarianism, among other ethical theories, which holds that creating "satisfied preferrers" is, or can be, a good in itself. Antifrustrationism has similarities with, although it is different from, negative utilitarianism, the teachings of Buddha, Stoicism, philosophical pessimism, and Schopenhauer's philosophy. In particular, negative preference utilitarianism states that we should act in such a way that the number of frustrated preference is minimized and is therefore directly based on antifrustrationism. The difference is that antifrustrationism is an axiology, whereas negative preference utilitarianism is an ethical theory.

The moral philosopher Peter Singer has, in the past, endorsed a position similar to antifrustrationism (negative preference utilitarianism), writing:

The creation of preferences which we then satisfy gains us nothing. We can think of the creation of the unsatisfied preferences as putting a debit in the moral ledger which satisfying them merely cancels out... Preference Utilitarians have grounds for seeking to satisfy their wishes, but they cannot say that the universe would have been a worse place if we had never come into existence at all.


Antifrustrationism Wikipedia

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