Evil of Non-Existence

To whomever expresses regret over the burdensome fate he is suffering, and most certainly to whomever reproaches his parents with having imposed this fate upon him, the retort is always ready to hand: “Be content that you have come into the world as a test-tube baby/as deaf and dumb/as someone sick with AIDS/as a future casualty of war/as an unemployed person/ as someone sick with cancer. Because the alternative would be your not having existed at all – and surely you would not have wanted that?” But anyone who makes such an argument is committing an onto-ethical fallacy. They are falling under the spell of one of the great myths of modernity, whereby we were, “pre-existentially”, some sort of àquasi-existent or >infinitesimal “self” which was “freed” from this most pitiable of all “conditions” only by the act of conception or the experience of birth.   

If, in the case of such a myth as this, any greater degree of existence is morally preferable to a lesser degree, then “no existence at all” – which is surreptitiously enhanced to become a “quasi-existence” – must represent a great evil which needs to be remedied at any cost.

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