Criminality – “Perpetrators of Existence” are Metaphysically Liable for the Actions of Those They Create

When we speak of “objective criminality” we mean by this that the begetting of new human beings should always be recognized as the condition sine qua non of those crimes and offences which many children, once they have become older (i.e. many younger and older adults) commit. Which means also that these children – that is to say, all human beings, since all were once someone’s children – can legitimately cite the fact of their existence’s having been àBrought About by Someone Else as an exculpation for any behaviour contraventive of social norms that they may have been guilty of:

Since I did not wish, Myself to exist, This existence now brings, Much sorrow to others!

The common legal principle, then, that “parents are liable under law for the actions of their children” has a “criminatalistic” dimension that goes far deeper than its merely juridical one. Criminals, deviants, “good-for-nothings”, hustlers and con-men can all metaphysically excuse their own misdeeds with the argument that their very existence is due only to a wish on the part of their parents and that they found themselves, already burdened with certain essential character traits, cast into an existence which it is no easy thing to reject and escape (>Cynicism of Suicide). The moral “vanishing point” of this line of existential exculpation is the argument, opposed by the delinquent to anyone who might undertake to judge or condemn him for his crimes or moral failings, that, however much of a sinner or evildoer he may have proven to be, the extenuating circumstance must always be taken into account that he is entirely without responsibility for the fact that he is and thus for at least certain essential aspects of how he is (>Heteronomy of Existence). – Walter Hueck has given exemplary expression to this idea: “No human being is responsible for his own personality. He did not choose his own character; one cannot legitimately reproach him with his poor health or the paucity of his intellect. He did not ‘want himself; he was brought into existence without being asked about it and one must therefore take him as he is.” (Hueck Wohin steuern wir?)

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