Bionomic Propositions

Bionomic propositions are formulations which thematize our pre-conscious determination to go on living, which tends to persist quite regardless of our will or freedom of choice. They shed a stark light on why, when we ask such questions as “Are you glad that you were born?”, we must always expect to receive pronatalistically distorted answers. From such bionomic propositions we can also clearly see why it is cynical to suggest to a refuser of existence: “Well, you should just kill yourself, then!” (->Suicide Cynicism):

 

Gandhi (1869–1948)

“Our body itself is so made that it makes us work for it, even if we are unwilling.“ (Works Vol.. 37, p. 329)

 

Bloch, Ernst (1885–1977)

“No one is alive because he wants to be. But once someone is alive, he has no choice but to want it.” (Naturrecht und menschliche Würde, p. 15) So as to avoid possible misunderstandings, let us reformulate this in the following way: “no one wanted to begin to live; but once one’s life has indeed begun, one finds oneself pushed and pressured to live on by both bodily organism and psyche – regardless of whether one wants to live on or not.”

Bloch’s bionomic proposition sheds a stark light on why, when we ask such questions as “Are you glad that you were born?”, we must always expect to receive pronatalistically distorted answers.

The bionomic proposition is contested by, for example, the considerations advanced by Hans Saners, for whom a real possibility of freedom is to be found in a supposed “ability to initiate” endowed upon us at and by our birth (see Saner, Geburt und Phantasie, p. 31). Saner, however, fails to take account here of what Bloch calls the freedom-negating claims of the organism.

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