What I, a classical utilitarian, learned from suffering-focused ethics

I recently attended a retreat focused on suffering-focused ethics. It is the new ā€œumbrella term for views that place primary or particular importance on the prevention of suffering,ā€ encompassing also negative utilitarianism and, by implication, anti-natalism. Although my skepticism about these views was not relieved, I found the retreat very valuable: I learned a lot and I made new allies in the mission to improve the long-term future. I think …