Principle of Presupposed Existence

It is only for already-existing beings that acts or omissions can be better, indifferent or worse.  In accordance with this fundamental-ethical principle of presupposed existence it cannot be possible to make identifying reference to anyone for whom it would be better, indifferent or worse to begin to exist or not to begin to exist.  If I say: “For me, it would have been better/worse not to have begun to exist” I am attempting to “get around” certain logical and ontological circumstances which in fact can never possibly be gotten around. Simple as this insight may be, it proves very difficult to hold to it in the course of actual anti- or pronatalistic argument. Everywhere, there tends to occur a sliding into judgments of the type: with the beginning of our existence there occurred an improvement, or a deterioration, in “our” state. Poets and thinkers often express themselves in just this way, even though the beginning of our existence is really not an event which can be said to happen to us, nor to harm or help us. Inasmuch as it is logically excluded that something exists before it begins to exist the beginning of the existence of a living being can bring this being neither into a better state nor into a worse one.

No one can be identified for whom it would be better to begin to exist than to go on not existing.  

No one can be identified for whom it would be better to go on not existing than to begin to exist.  

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