Suicide as a means to improve society . . .

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Dave Spart, Jun 18, 2009.

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  1. Dave Spart

    Dave Spart New Member

    I'm a new poster here but all too familiar with suicidal thoughts. Don’t be misled by the title of this thread as its not what you might have taken it to be.

    My first suicidal thoughts occurred long before the internet changed the world the way it has, but they occasionally resurface.

    Suicide becomes a possibility when circumstances have become intolerable and there appears to be no chance that matters could improve. While suicide becomes a possibility, for most its not an easy option.

    I've often heard people say that suicide is for cowards but that's to ignore some crucial points.

    Considerate people contemplating suicide will encounter a lose-lose situation. They understand that taking their own life will cause pain to others. Unwilling to cause hurt to others they refrain from the act and return to the same psychological pain that drove them to contemplate suicide in the first place.

    Intelligent people contemplating suicide will be plagued by existential issues. Will taking their life actually end the pain? Will their memory and cognitive abilities continue in some other form after their death? Is it really the end?

    Religious people contemplating suicide will be wracked by supernatural issues. Will taking their life result in punishment? Will they be made to suffer eternal damnation in Hell as punishment?

    To some people, none of these reasons are sufficient to prevent themselves from taking their lives and they go to their deaths with ease.

    On the flip side you can be sure that there must be many millions of suicidal people around the world who despite being at peace with these issues are still unable to go through with it. These people are in the worst of all possible places and on many occasions I have been there myself. Many who have come this far down the path to suicide are then confronted with how to commit the act. Most would want the quickest most painless death but society makes suicide quite difficult.

    For instance, I am in the UK where guns are practically impossible to get hold of.

    < Mod Edit Hazel: Methods >

    Let's face it, anyone wanting to commit suicide would want it over quickly, cleanly and painlessly and that means something like < Mod Edit Hazel: Methods > but these are very difficult to get hold of.

    And this gets to the crux of the matter. If society is so happy to be so cruel as to drive people to suicide, why not make suicide easier to commit?
    Human society is structured by status and plagued by sociopaths and psychopaths who use others to climb socially, ruining lives on the way up. Whether its conmen defrauding others of their life savings, treacherous spouses getting kicks betraying their loyal other halves or leaders sending soldiers half way round the world to die destroying the lives of harmless innocents, some people have a need to abuse others for their own ends.

    I am now nearly 40. In those 40 years there has been a lot of societal change. One of those changes has been this notion of schadenfraude – taking pleasure from other people’s pain. I do not come from a particularly religious family but I do know right from wrong. Sure, you have you take the context into account, but to me for the most part schadenfraude - taking pleasure from someone else’s pain - is just damned immoral.

    In any society there’s always going to be a certain proportion of sociopaths and psychopaths. However the spreading of the schadenfraude habit has turned a great deal of easily influenced youngsters into mini-psychopaths. They weren’t born as proper psychopaths but through the media and so on they have developed some unpleasant psychopathic traits. In years gone by they would be have sharply corrected and told in no uncertain terms such behaviour was disgraceful, but that seems no longer to happen.

    Victims of people as despicable as sociopaths and psychopaths are made to feel low so that the perpetrator can feel good about themselves. Many of their victims develop long term feelings of suicide yet, for the reasons I outline above they will not be able to end it. The mini-psychopaths feel free to inflict just the same behaviour, making sure to put their victims lower down the pecking order.

    Would they be quite so ready to inflict pain if suicide was easy to commit?

    If you could get hold of< Mod Edit Hazel: methods > at any corner drug store would society find it quite so easy to inflict pain and suffering on others? I bet the answer is no – because with that “bottom” layer of society having disposed of itself the inflicters would themselves would fall closer to societies lower ranks.

    Here’s another point: We’ve all heard of those Japanese internet suicide pacts, right? What if all the world’s suicidal people arranged to commit suicide in a coordinated manner on a secretly organised International Suicide Day?

    If a million people take their own lives around the world each year could you imagine how society would cope if a million people took their lives all on the same day? The shock might make society think twice about its own behaviour.

    Could you imagine if everyone one of those victims named and shamed the individuals and circumstances and reasons for taking their lives. We’d soon find out who the villains are and what heinous acts caused such a holocaust.

    There’d soon be a clearout of the bad guys.

    PS Not one person in the history of mankind was ever asked if they wanted to be born before being so.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2009
  2. Mortem

    Mortem Well-Known Member

    Well, it's an interesting theory and yeah, sure... perhaps some would become more careful if they more directly were able to see the result of their actions.
    I dunno tho, to me it seems infinitely more complex. Seeing that the vast majority of people more of less have a sociopathic, egoistic side, which sometimes takes over, some times people step on others by mistake or ignorance. People also seem to gain more sentiment as they grow older etc.
    But yeah, if suicide was made easier perhaps it would bring some kind of change... and, who knows, maybe in the long run even lower the suicide rates?
  3. aznbirdflu

    aznbirdflu Member

    Of course if you had more people committing suicide you would see a drop in the suicide rate in the long term. It seems that some forms of mental illness has a genetic component. Fewer suicidal people surviving to have children would result in a decrease of potentially suicidal people being born.

    The main question, to me, is as follows: Would encouraging suicide result in a societal gain? I would answer no, it does not. Those suffering from mental illness, or from horrid situations that make suicide seem like a reasonable option, still have much to contribute to society as a whole. With therapy and treatment, the passion and creativity that people suffering from clinical depression, bi-polar disorder, etc, can be harnessed. We, as a society, can reap tangible rewards from people afflicted by these problems.

    The second question, though the most important to me, is the question of morality. Would it be morally permissible to encourage others to commit suicide? I don't think so. Encouraging suicide comes too close to murder for my taste. I think that this life is all we are going to get. The morally correct thing to do would be to encourage others to live, and do our best the help them overcome their pain and problems.
  4. Ignored

    Ignored Staff Alumni

    The whole point of psycopaths or sociopaths is their lack of empathy or feeling for others. It is not so much that they choose not to care for their victims or the consequences of their crimes, they just can't. So making the outcome of their crime more visible or drastic wouldn't help.
  5. james555

    james555 Member

    Great post, lots of great thoughts in it. However:

    I strongly believe that in the end, a few years later, noone would care much. How often did humanity go 'Never Again!'? How many people thought that the First World War would be the war to end all wars?

    We never learn. A million people committing suicide would have little to no impact on society in the long run, just like the deaths of everyone in WWI, or WWII, or the Crusades, or the Inquisition, or... you get my drift.

    Wikipedia has to breakdown its list of wars into several categories, by date, region, country, etc. because they don't really 'fit' on one page.
    Also 'interesting':
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2009
  6. Dave Spart

    Dave Spart New Member

    You're quite correct about about sociopaths and psychopaths - they feel no remorse.

    I was alluding to those people who were not born as psychopaths but who learn some psychopathic traits. They aren't true psychopaths and the shock of seeing a million people take their own lives simultaneously might shake them out of their bad behaviour.

    But I also agree with James555 in that the effect would wear off.

    Personally I think that as the memories of world war two fade human society is falling back into its worst habits.
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