Source: Benatar, David. Better Never to Have Been (2008 1 edn). pp. 36 Bottom - 37 Top.
The judgements supported by the asymmetry of (3) and (4) are not universally shared. For example, positive utilitarians—who are interested not only in minimizing pain but also in maximizing pleasure—would tend to lament the absence of additional possible pleasure even if there were nobody deprived of that pleasure. On their view, there is a duty to bring people into existence if that would increase happiness. This is not to say that all positive utilitarians must reject the view about the asymmetry of (3) and (4). Positive utilitarians who are sympathetic to the asymmetry could draw a distinction between (i) promoting the happiness of people (that exist, or will exist independently of one’s choices) and (ii) increasing happiness by making people. This is the now famous distinction between (i) making people happy and (ii) making happy people. Positive utilitarians who draw this distinction could then,
consistent with positive utilitarianism, judge only (i) to be a requirement of morality. This is the preferable version of positive utilitarianism. Taking (ii) also to be a requirement of morality mistakenly assumes that the value of happiness is primary and the value of persons is derivative from this. However, it is not the case that people are valuable because they add extra happiness. Instead extra happiness is valuable because it is good for people—because it makes people’s lives go better. To think otherwise is to think that people are mere means to the production of happiness. Or, to use another famous image, it is to treat persons as mere vessels of happiness. But unlike a mere vessel, which is indifferent to how much of a valued substance it contains, a person cares about how much happiness he has.