Guilt of Children

We encounter the antinatalistic form of this “guilt of children” wherever someone – inverting the real state of affairs – burdens the beginning of their existence with guilt. “Inverting the real state of affairs”, we say, because guilt always presupposes freedom, whereas no one was ever free to choose the beginning of his own existence (contrary to the view of Sartre, who made the incomprehensible attempt to draw even this beginning of one’s existence into his characteristic vision of the individual’s “free choice of his own being”).

A classic topos of “child’s guilt” is the tragic constellation in which the birth of a child occurs together with the death of his or her mother. This constellation is familiar to us, for example, from  Dickens’s Oliver Twist.

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