A Conversation for Suicide, Moral Considerations

Suicide gets you closer to God?

Post 1

The Sciolist

I've always wondered about the religious aspect. It does seem odd that when religion speaks of death it is favourable, but one is not just allowed to go out and join one's God voluntarily. I had it explained to me that the sacredness of life was the reason for religions to be anti-suicide, but I think it makes sense that if every religious person killed themselves to get to God, God would have no one left to worship him
Maybe,
-The Sciolist


Suicide gets you closer to God?

Post 2

njan (afh)

The purpose of religion, or one of the princpal reasons for employing it in so much argument, and a motivating factor in the fact that religion is embroiled in everything from science to philosophy to psychology,is the fact that - independantly of any deity - humans are fundamentally looking for some sort of purpose or reason to be.

Although this is used by many atheists as a postulation as to why religion has been "fabricated" by humans over the centuries, the idea that God (or a God) put humans on the planet in order for them to find some kind of meaning, understand "goodness" more fully, or for some other motivation, and so a transcension to God's plane of existance has to be a termination of this process.

Thusly, if you terminate your own life before you've finished completing the cycle which God placed you on the earth to fulfill, you're not joining God voluntarily, but - moreover - going out of your way to disobey his will....

smiley - hug

- Njan.


God? Which one?

Post 3

Saturnine

This whole "Insulting God" argument is too WEAK. Believe it or not, Christianity does NOT rule the world, and hopefully never will. Just because one mass group of people have one belief, based may I add on a "scripture" that advocates child sacrifice and war, does NOT mean they have the right to use that belief to inflict shame, guilt or any other negative emotion on another. There is nothing wrong with suicide, as there is no need to let a person suffer internally when they could take an action to be happy and get it over with. Insulting whichever God you believe in, is no argument, as we all have our different beliefs. Its ridiculous.
Can anyone ACTUALLY come up with an anti-suicide or anti-euthanasia argument without the Christian God or inflicting on someones freedom? Neither of them do any harm.

And is it not a human reaction to suffering to end it in the quickest way? Does not a fox attempt to chew off a trapped leg? And if you cant find a reason to be...why not end it?


God? Which one?

Post 4

njan (afh)

Firstly, I never advocated the christian perspective, merely presented it.

Secondly, all of those principles and sweeping generalisations are up for much debate, and both have been (and will be) the subject of apologetica for many thousands of years past and to come.

Thirdly, insulting God, by definition, IS an argument, if you believe in a God. The only way in which you can dislaim God as a valid argument for anything is if you either don't believe in God, or take the quasi-existentialist line that you can't prove that God exists, and thus you can't bring God into anything whether he exists or not.

Following in the existentialist scheme, the point I made, briefly and badly, which follows in the steps of Camus and Sartre (that "life's purpose", or "a principle that holds the most happiness and good for everyone" is to find the /most meaning/ in life.), is - as far as I can see - the most effective, appealing, and universally applying anti-suicide argument I can see.

But of course, ultimately, we are all narcissists, and so any rationalisation for or against suicide, or any other moral action, must come from within. It is not just the END (ie. the action) which is important, but the MEANS (ie. how it is done, and why).

The point that humans attempt to prevent suffering is also valid. Thus many philosophies which have ended in more suffering from humankind. Hitler's persecution of the Jews in the middle of the 20th century was, partly, founded on a belief that the jews had caused many of the problems prevolent (so he believed) in Europe at the time. "Prevention of suffering" is a mantra which may be used to rationalise anything.

If my murdering of my work colleagues would allow me to stop suffering, may I do it?

If my slicing of my arms open with a razor blade would relieve inner tension and allow me to stop suffering, may I do it?

If, having been found guilty of murder and imprisoned, I find prison unpleasant, and would end my suffering by overpowering my guards and escaping back into society to continue my actions, may I do it?

The point you made, also, that suffering may "cause happiness" by "ending suffering" is also a fallacy: The two are NOT equal, and not completely connected. And without life, there is no happiness, for there is no medium through which to feel.

smiley - winkeye

- Njan.


Suicide and God

Post 5

Saturnine

Argh. OK...lets get thinking.
I dont believe you can use a religious-based belief in a society that involves SO much diversity.
Morals and ethics can and ARE separate from religion. Like I said, Christianity (which was the only prominent view mentioned) doesnt rule the world in terms of defining what
an individual does. Didnt mean to imply I thought you were advocating that particular perspective.

Re : Hitler and the rhetorical questions.
Firstly, I do not believe anyone has the right to take anothers life, based on prejudice. Hitler is
a difficult topic - he was an abused child, rejected painter...so many good and bad textures/reasons to what he did.
Re : Murdering your colleague...depends on the circumstances!
Re : Slicing of arms - would that be self-harm or suicide? Elaborate if you could?
Re : Escaping from prison - being convicted doesnt mean you are a murderer, OR that you are a danger to society.

And the last paragraph was a little wrong. I believe in freedom to be comfortable in life (as long as you are hurting no one else...obviously)
and so far I've seen no rational argument. "Without life there is no happiness"? Well if life = unhappiness for
individuals, logic tells me that the ending of that unhappiness would equate relief...

But my main point in all this was that I dont see how anyone has the right to set personal standards for anyone else, if it harms no one
and benefits the individual...one persons steak is anothers dog food...


Morals...

Post 6

Saturnine

And after an hour of thinking...I cant really see what is immoral about suicide. Yes, its sad. Yes, all routes should be taken to show the individual/self that there is just so much left uncovered in life...but as far as Im concerned, its not immoral.


Morals...

Post 7

njan (afh)

As far as it being not immoral, I quite agree. (To digress, and make an important point, quite a lot of the time I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, to be contentious or play devil's advocate, rather than because I feel it a burning desire of my heart's true affection to prosletise to the world in general the point of view which I find closest to my own personal morality)...

...and, having used the word "morality", I should probably move onto that. There is no morality. The idea of an omnipresent, ether-esque morality which we can hang our ethical philosophy on and justify our actions on is a misnomer. Unless we believe in a god. either way, It's still impossible to grab HOLD of, understand, or even perceive or gain insight into something which there is no evidence for whatsoever.

Morals and morality are completely relative, and depend on individual people. Morality as it pertains to groups of people (and on which "justice" and law is based) is completely seperate to any sort of "morality" which pertains to individuals, particularly when you're talking about suicide...

You can most certainly use a religious belief in a society with diversity. What you're saying is, you can't apply it to everyone. Which is really rather of a truism, since it applies to any idea, and basically boils down to the fact that nobody's going to agree on any one idea. This rather contradicts my statement that I'm not arguing my own viewpoint, but I am arguing A viewpoint, and I don't expect everyone to agree with it. If /any/ of that makes sense. smiley - biggrin

a chain of references is building up...

Re: Hitler, the idea was it completely conformed to a justification you gave of someone's actions, the "is it not a human reaction to suffering to end it in the quickest way?". In saying that one of the motivations behind one of the greatest atrocities ever perpetrated by humans was to end the suffering of Europe, say, that would justify his actions. To sanction the unilateral "[ending of] suffering", you open up the path for many many actions that would later, based on peoples' personal and religious morality, be condemned.

Re: Murdering the colleague, the example was meant to be trivial: If a colleague's flicking paper balls at you and you happen to have a handgun in your desk drawer (not that I'm saying I have a handgun in my desk drawer, just CD cases, pens, an empty beercan and old chocolate packets), would you be justified in shooting the colleague if it would mean you could get in with your work?

Re: Slicing of arms, I did mean Self-Injury, which is something condemned by many because they FEEL that it's wrong. The feeling approach to moral philosophy (if you've ever read the Introduction to Mill's "On Liberty", you'll know what I mean, in spite of the fact that the text was written on political philosophy.. if you haven't, it's worth it) is one that always restricts personal liberty, and contrasts sharply with something else you said...


...that "if it harms no-one and benefits the individual [it is justified]". This sounds like a formulation of the "harm principle", or the french phrase "La Liberté s'arrete aux buts (?) des autres", or freedom stops with regard to other people: In a fair society (so some say), you're free to do what you want providing it doesn't harm others or their rights.

Is it possible to justify suicide by those means, though?

In the words of Camus, "There is only one serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide". It's one of the most complicated, and most honourable, philosophical problems to ponder, and ultimately one of the ONLY that has any practical or implementable consequences.

smiley - smiley
smiley - hug

- Njan.


Morals...

Post 8

Saturnine

I shall go sit in the corner and ponder.
The problem with debates, and really humanity, is that there are too many sides to one issue.
I think there is a Wiccan phrase that goes something like "There is a candle surrounded by a jar, and we are all looking through different panes of glass"...or something like that...my cognitive skills are awful at the moment. I blame society!

RE : Murdering colleague. If someone was doing that, I wouldnt necessarily kill them, but I would certainly threaten them. Useless people like that need motivation...

smiley - smiley


Harm Principle!

Post 9

Saturnine

To quote Anton LaVey!
"When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there. If a guest in your lait annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy."

Just one of the doctrines I take inspiration from!


Harm Principle!

Post 10

njan (afh)

Quite. smiley - smiley... but then, nothing gets accomplished by debating, anyway. They're really only academic playthings, allowing people to gain amusement by advocating their own, or other peoples, points of view.

It's quite nicely summed up by Russell. "Philosophy, if it cannot answer so many questions as we could wish, has at least the power of asking questions which increase the interest of the world, and show the strangeness and wonder lying just below the surface even in the commonest things of daily life."

All of the important things, arguably, are either left unsaid, or already known to the majority to whom it matters. (I think I've just created a logical paradox)

I quite agree. smiley - biggrin


Important things...

Post 11

Saturnine

Important things are known, fun things are to be uncovered, interesting things are to be created and disected and crap things are to be avoided like the plague...

Oh look...we've slipped off the suicide path...

Morbid topic anyway. Like self harm, its better to avoid it.

Zzzz sleeeepy...


Important things...

Post 12

njan (afh)

*nods*... this is quite true.

But it's also fair to say that things are only important because we've labelled them as such, and that all that means is that some of the things we know are important, and paves the way for the implication that there are yet important things that we have yet to see. Like the next series of Ally MacBeal. smiley - winkeye

smiley - biggrin... yeah. smiley - tongueout

But if we're generalising, that must mean we've finished with the nitpicking and are broadening out to a universal conclusion of everything.. right?

*nods*... I'm inclined to agree. SI is to be avoided.


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