Existence abstraction as a metaphysical reagent

Antinatalism does not only demand that no more human beings be begotten; with strict consistency, it also advances the thesis that it would be better if none of the already-existing human beings had ever begun to exist. This is sometimes interpreted as meaning that antinatalism requires of the individual human being that he condone and approve of his own destruction. But this is a – perhaps deliberate – misunderstanding. What antinatalism requires is a ’Winding-Back’ to a Point Prior to One’s Own Existence – that is to say, a mental setting-back of the course of events in the world to a point in time before one’s own ‘I’ had begun to exist in order to be able, from the perspective of this imaginary place, to answer the question of whether someone was there who wanted to begin to exist.

We antinatalists invite this “winding-back” to a point before one’s own  Beginning of Life in the conviction that nothing will be found there beyond, perhaps, a wish for children on the part of one’s parents or also – and this will by no means seldom be the case – an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.

This exhortation to a “winding-back” before the beginning of one’s own existence may prove apt to bring about a revealing of certain metaphysical elements within the current forma mentis. Someone who holds the view that ”it” would have been morally wrong if they had not begun to exist hereby becomes obliged to describe this “it” more precisely. But said person can only do this by explaining themselves in metaphysical terms. They might, for example, advance the view that they were, at one point, a kind of àHalf-Existent Entity, a potentiality awaiting its actualization (i.e. that they were, as such a potentiality, “quasi-existent”) and that this potentiality would have been destroyed had they not, in fact, at some point begun really to exist. Or they could say that before the actual beginning of their existence they were a “slumbering soul” that was awakened, or called into existence, only through the act of procreative conception.

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