Is suicide Natural Selection?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by seithkein, Jun 10, 2008.

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  1. seithkein

    seithkein Well-Known Member

    Is suicide Darwin's theory of only the fittest survive. Is suicide nature way of telling us suicidal people that it doesn't want us. I don't know it just came to my mind the other day.
  2. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    I don't think it is. There are too many variants that would come in to play. It really has nothing to do with the fittest. Some of the strongest people succeed while the weakest fail in their attempts.
  3. Darken

    Darken Well-Known Member

    No. It's a bit random. There is lots of people with horrible lives that want to live. Lots of people with great lives that want to die. Successfull, unsuccessfull, every thing inbetween. So I don't see how suicide can be compared to nature taking out the weak. (Which I don't really believe anyways)
  4. Kirilov

    Kirilov New Member

    I could see it as a form of natural selection in some cases. Genes that carry higher probability for a mental illness, depression being a prime example, would "weaken" the species. Killing themselves would stop the carrier from reproducing, thus stopping the line of "bad genes." However, suicide as a result from a traumatic life experience doesn't really fit.

    This almost has a Social Darwinism ring to it, a theory I thoroughly detest. Even if suicide were directly linked to Darwinian evolution by irrefutable proof, I still think that the only moral thing to do would be to attempt to help those contemplating it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2008
  5. Lead Savior

    Lead Savior Well-Known Member

    From a purely biological standpoint it can be seen as natural selection. For example, someone with naturally low output of the neurotransmitter serotonin might be depressed and off him or herself before having children, thereby removing one instance of that trait from being carried forth.

    My opinion, though, is in agreement with Gentlelady's: there are too environmental forces working on people that live within complex societies in this day and age to chalk up suicide to natural selection. We are no longer a collection of cave men instinctively bashing things with sticks and fucking each other to survive. There are things such as isolation, anxiety surrounding relationships or financial success, extensive social networks that influence people, and random acts of violence that can cause depression.
  6. touglytobeloved

    touglytobeloved Well-Known Member

    Interesting question, I must say. I dont know, it might be...
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    yea it is a very interesting question... i suppose it is a possibility.
  8. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Could be said so, depression tends to run in familys and theres a significant concordance rate in twins studys.
    But the choice to kill yourself has nothing to do with your genetics, its a cconcious action, not genetic mutation.
  9. carol2237

    carol2237 Guest

    I have no idea... but a very thought provoking question.

  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    I was going to say that evolution favours survival and reproduction, so suicide wouldn't be an evolutionary thing. But then why does life evolve? I mean if life simply wants to survive and reproduce then bacteria are far better at it then we are.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2008
  11. delargeal

    delargeal Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I believe it isn't.

    Depending whether you believe the theory of intelligence making for a higher risk of depression, this is just my experience.

    Most people I have known who have or do suffer from depression are of above average intelligence. And most people I have spoken to on this forum have proved to be of above average intelligence.

    So then why would a large amount of us intelligent people suffer and kill ourselves as part of natural selection? Surely we must be more important to the universe than some dumb chav with an IQ of about 15.
  12. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Because we are expected to do more and make greater achievements, I remember when I was doing G.C.S.E's we were awarded merits for attaining three grade A's in a row on past papers and told how we would fail in all future endevours if we got less than a grade B in science while the lower group were given the merits for things like remembering to bring full equipment to classes.
    I can't imagine it does wonders for ones self worth when you do greater work for lesser rewards and receive greater punishment for lesser mistakes than your peers.
  13. delargeal

    delargeal Well-Known Member

    True, I was in the top set for all my GCSE subjects and always found it daft that we had to do the harder papers where others could get similar grades doing the easier paper.

    It also ticks me off that the government keeps complaining that exams are supposedly too easy (I sat those bloody exams 2 years ago and they were not easy) and yet they continue to harp on about how such a large amount of people fail them.

    Yes, we want less people failing exams. Yes, they are supposedly too easy. Let's make them more difficult so that more people fail them.

    That's government for you: a swirling mass of contradiction.
  14. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Well thats a class thing I think, when it comes to exam results day theres going to a lot of reporting from private schools which tend to so much better when the reality is that the majority arn't finding it nearly as easy it gets made out on GMTV
  15. frankie626

    frankie626 Active Member

    Wow, very interesting.. I was actually thinking the same exact thing a couple of days ago. My conclusion though.. Probably not. Its not only us humans that suffer from depression, and consequently not only humans that attempt suicide. To prove that point here is a video clip to support that.
  16. EmmyLou

    EmmyLou New Member

    Just happened to notice this post, my boyfriend who commited suicide talked about "natural selection" in his suicide note....
  17. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    Sorry to hear about your boyfriend EmmyLou.

    I think many people have thoughts like "My friends and family would be better off without me", and I guess you can even think that nature, the gene pool and the human race would be better off without you too.

    Nature simply doesn't care who survives and who doesn't, but the people you leave behind do. That's what really matters, they see the value of your existence, even if it was only for too short a moment, and in many ways that should help us realise the value of our own existence too.
  18. GaiaMischief

    GaiaMischief Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. This argument angers me so for many reasons. Young people, for one, are so susceptible to being vulnerable emotionally due to going through puberty and a variety of other reasons that have to do with growing up. An issue that makes them no longer have a desire to live may be something they can pull through in another five years.

    Who the hell is to say that a kid who is sixteen who decides to kill himself and succeeds couldn't have been a great scientist or a terrific father/mother? All it might have taken is better parenting or just some words from someone that they valued a lot. This is one of the reasons I get so emotional when I hear someone young has taken their own life.

    But this doesn't even apply just to young people, look at Akira Kurosawa. He is one of the greatest Japanese directors to ever live, and he had problems with depressions and attempted to kill himself at one point in his life. He lived on to create some of the finest cinema the world has ever seen.

    Anyone who tries to tell you it's your destiny to die because you're too weak is wrong. And don't ever let yourself try to believe that.
  19. jonstark

    jonstark Well-Known Member

    If depression induced suicide was natural selection, how come we're here talking about it? We should've been weeded out by millennia of natural selection. And we're not.
  20. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    I would argue that we're not living naturally, that civilization is a man made state of living. You cant expect natual selection to fully apply within an artifical world.
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