Morality of Suicide

What would you do if?

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Andre_5772
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Morality of Suicide

Post #1

Post by Andre_5772 »

For quite some time, I have been of the opinion that suicide is always immoral. This intuition arises out of my awe at how complicated and delicate the human body is, yet how elegantly all these systems work together, for the most part.

However I read something the other day which was to the effect of, "Life is for learning and growing, not for suffering through." I have to admit that this makes a lot of sense to me, too. But this leads to the possibility that at times suicide is justified. Specifically, when one can reasonably expect an excess of suffering in the future, and this condition will prevent any significant growth as a person, contribution to society, or whatever that person finds meaningful.

When I thought about this further, I realized that I probably wouldn't begrudge someone who committed suicide, provided they had rationally come to the conclusion that these criteria were satisfied. While I would never advise suicide, I think my view has changed to the point where I can accept it in certain circumstances without condemning it. I'm wondering what others think about the morality of suicide. Is it on par with murder because it ends a human life? Or is it a different act because rational beings are free to choose death for themselves although not for others?

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JoeyKnothead
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Post #2

Post by JoeyKnothead »

I hope I would have control over my own end. I would rather be dead than be hooked up to some machine with no hope for recovery.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

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justifyothers
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Re: Morality of Suicide

Post #3

Post by justifyothers »

Andre_5772 wrote:For quite some time, I have been of the opinion that suicide is always immoral. This intuition arises out of my awe at how complicated and delicate the human body is, yet how elegantly all these systems work together, for the most part.

However I read something the other day which was to the effect of, "Life is for learning and growing, not for suffering through." I have to admit that this makes a lot of sense to me, too. But this leads to the possibility that at times suicide is justified. Specifically, when one can reasonably expect an excess of suffering in the future, and this condition will prevent any significant growth as a person, contribution to society, or whatever that person finds meaningful.

When I thought about this further, I realized that I probably wouldn't begrudge someone who committed suicide, provided they had rationally come to the conclusion that these criteria were satisfied. While I would never advise suicide, I think my view has changed to the point where I can accept it in certain circumstances without condemning it. I'm wondering what others think about the morality of suicide. Is it on par with murder because it ends a human life? Or is it a different act because rational beings are free to choose death for themselves although not for others?
Though I have great respect for the gift of life, I think suicide is one of the many times we cannot judge, not being in the shoes.
I have had/have three good friends in my life that have each had their father commit suicide. Two were for unknown reasons, other than clearly they were distrought, and one did so under a terminal cancer diagnosis.

It is so sad for children to cope with this type of trauma, yet the dead fathers were obviously dealing with their own traumas. I think if we are distressed enough to feel this is the only alternative, things must be so much worse than can be seen.

So, to answer the OP, yes, I think at times it can be understood, but this should never give us the idea that if we can't understand it, it isn't acceptable.

ChristianGuy
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Post #4

Post by ChristianGuy »

As a Christian, I believe that suicide does go hand in hand with murder. You are taking a human life. I think we should die when God takes us and never try to bring death upon us. For those of you who have no god I still think that you should not have reason to kill yourself. I am of the opinion that tommorrow is always another day. Though things may seem bad at one time, I think that good will come of it. Even in the bleakest of times I could not even think of leaving my (future) kids fatherless. I just don't think that it could be considered justified. Unless you're trying to catch the next comet that comes by and you have matching sneakers :P

(its called a joke, so don't get any ideas)

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Fallibleone
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Post #5

Post by Fallibleone »

How much of a consolation is it to someone with a degenerative disease, who knows that eventually they will be left in a persistent vegetative state, that tomorrow is another day?
''''What I am is good enough if I can only be it openly.''''

''''The man said "why you think you here?" I said "I got no idea".''''

''''Je viens comme un chat
Par la nuit si noire.
Tu attends, et je tombe
Dans tes ailes blanches,
Et je vole,
Et je coule
Comme une plume.''''

ChristianGuy
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Post #6

Post by ChristianGuy »

Well, as an atheist you are not going to like my response, but you just have to trust God. No matter what the situation is.

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McCulloch
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Post #7

Post by McCulloch »

ChristianGuy wrote:Well, as an atheist you are not going to like my response, but you just have to trust God. No matter what the situation is.
And if he gives you a life of pain and suffering, just remember that the afterlife will be much longer and much pleasanter.

Would you like to buy a pig in a poke?
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Fallibleone
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Post #8

Post by Fallibleone »

ChristianGuy wrote:Well, as an atheist you are not going to like my response, but you just have to trust God. No matter what the situation is.
I guess that I would find it hard to trust in a being who feels it would be better for my children to watch me slowly and painfully deteriorate into a senseless vegetable who needs to be fed through a tube than to have to come to terms with my absence, but remember me as a functioning human being who knew who they were.
''''What I am is good enough if I can only be it openly.''''

''''The man said "why you think you here?" I said "I got no idea".''''

''''Je viens comme un chat
Par la nuit si noire.
Tu attends, et je tombe
Dans tes ailes blanches,
Et je vole,
Et je coule
Comme une plume.''''

ChristianGuy
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Post #9

Post by ChristianGuy »

McCulloch wrote:Would you like to buy a pig in a poke?
How exactly is this a "confidence trick?" Do I appear as though I am trying to befriend any of you by giving you my totally opposite view on matters or was this statement intended to mean something else?
Last edited by ChristianGuy on Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChristianGuy
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Post #10

Post by ChristianGuy »

Fallibleone wrote:
ChristianGuy wrote:Well, as an atheist you are not going to like my response, but you just have to trust God. No matter what the situation is.
I guess that I would find it hard to trust in a being who feels it would be better for my children to watch me slowly and painfully deteriorate into a senseless vegetable who needs to be fed through a tube than to have to come to terms with my absence, but remember me as a functioning human being who knew who they were.
I have relatives who have been through what you have described and I have not remembered them by how they died but rather how they lived. They are just as much in Heaven as the ones that died differently, so I still have them to look forward to.

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