• Apologies for the issue with a bizarre redirect on the site earlier today. There was a large server update and an error in an IP address had the traffic routing wrongly. No hacking or anything nefarious and nothing to worry about. Sorry for any stress/anxiety caused. Very best wishes - SF Admin

Suicide: Bravery or Cowardice?

Not open for further replies.
This is a question that I have been toying with for a very long time now. Some people say it is cowardly to commit suicide because you are just taking the easy way out of all you're problems, and that you are selfish for not thinking of what effect it would have on your loved ones. But some people (like the chinese back in the days of Sidoku) think it is an honorable and brave act, becuase lets face it, you have to have a lot of balls to kill yourself and enter the unknown that is "after life". It's not a thing any ordinary person can do under ordinary circumstances. So which do you think it is, bravery or cowardice?


it all depends on you're own beliefs in my opinion, it is neither, its not cowardice, i'd actually choose its more akin to honorable (seppuku), but suicide, in my opinion, is neither brave nor a cowards Way out.


Staff Alumni
Neither, I think it is ignorance.

it is a brave act that takes a lot of guts but based on the assuption that it is the way out. The idea that in death we are free from our pain is a theory at best.

I my opinion suicide is an ignorant action because it is baised on assuptions that are skewed in their present depressive.anxiety episode.

Be well,

Judy C,


SF Supporter
Suicide is a choice. Even if it feels sometimes like the only choice. Some people who want to die do so because they are very ill and suffering with disease. Some people want to die because the pain in their minds makes everything in the world gray. Is it cowardly to end suffering? Would it be cowardly to put a bandage on a cut or recieve an anesthetic?
Is it really ignorance that drives us to suicide when you could be called ignorant for carrying on living as well?
Is it brave to die rather than own up to your demons?
As far as I can see there isnt a set answer to the question. Look at the individual and they will tell you.


Well-Known Member
Well it's definitely abnormal since we all have an internal drive to survive. I think a lot of people who don't understand depression and are not able to empathize with the suicidal would say it's a coward's way out, that failing to face up the problems of life is a coward's way out. And although I believe that attempting suicide is an escape plan, looking at the suffering with compassion will tell you that they are not cowards: they are just too tired to keep going, and that's understandable. And also it definitely takes guts to attempt it.

It's like someone who escapes from prison--you don't say they're a coward for not serving their time, and it takes courage to go through with the escape I think.

worlds edge

Well-Known Member
So which do you think it is, bravery or cowardice?
I think it can be either thing...or it can be neither thing. Sufficiently zen for y'all? :smile:

An example of bravery would be the soldier who throws himself on top of a live hand grenade to prevent others from dying.

An example of cowardice would be an acquaintance of mine who managed to get three different women pregnant. He found the idea of paying child support on that level so onerous that he drove into a tree at high speed and died. I guess in this case we could argue whether or not what he did was suicide, (in fact it was not ruled that, but we all had our doubts) but assuming it was I would call that cowardice. He spoke to several people about how he had to get out from under this "burden."

An example of neither would be some poor soul suffering from schizophrenia or some such condition where their rational faculties have utterly deserted them. Where there is no capacity to make judgments, there's no capacity to act in a brave or cowardly fashion.

Another example of neither would be someone who's philosphy of life dictates that in certain circumstances suicide becomes an eminently logical act. Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations puts it quite poetically:

As thou intendest to live when thou art gone out,...so it is in thy
power to live here. But if men do not permit thee, then get away out
of life, yet so as if thou wert suffering no harm. The house is smoky,
and I quit it. Why dost thou think that this is any trouble? But so
long as nothing of the kind drives me out, I remain, am free, and
no man shall hinder me from doing what I choose; and I choose to do
what is according to the nature of the rational and social animal.
I guess if he continued to hang around after he'd determined he was no longer permitted to live as he wanted that might be cowardice, but I doubt he'd consider suicide bravery. Simply a rational response to the conditions where he found himself.


Active Member
Suicide is a choice.
I agree h2osmack. Whoever says suicide is cowardice hasn't got the smallest hint of what they are saying. You can't say: SUICIDE IS this or that. Suicide is nothing but a choice, and like all choices, it depends on the individual, of his life, of what he has been through, of his feelings, etc, etc. There are people that wanna suicide because they're suffering, others cause of some trauma they have been through, others cause of love, others cause they're just curious about death, and the list goes on. Is there really one single atribute that can describe what all suicides are?

Don't judge people without knowing them!


Well-Known Member
Hmmm well it is hard to say. With Sidkou it was done in the name of honor. You die while you still have it or something like that.

But today, it is hard to say. I sometimes say it is courageous to accept that no matter how badly try you will not live forever. Sometimes it is thought of cowardly because we are not trying to make our situation any better.

I am torn on the issue too. It really depends on my mood.


Well-Known Member
With Seppuku, suicide was a way to retain or regain honor after being captured/shamed by one's enemies. This practice only applied to Samurai. Seppuku was a horribly painful way to die, as it involves disemboweling oneself with a sword.

Since (in the West), we do not have a system of honor as they do in the West, it is very difficult for me to equate Seppuku with suicide as we know it in this part of the world. Doing so merely glorifies an act that essentially amounts to one's inability or unwillingness to cope with life as it is (please note that I am not trivializing the emotional and/or physical problems that lead people to suicide). It also belittles the Eastern tradition of Seppuku, which was a highly ritualized undertaking and was only performed for VERY specific reasons (emotional and/or physical pain would not be included among these).

worlds edge

Well-Known Member
Since (in the West), we do not have a system of honor as they do in the West, it is very difficult for me to equate Seppuku with suicide as we know it in this part of the world.
Peanut, do you have any thoughts on the life and death of Yukio Mishima? I'm afraid I find his translated poetry nothing but irritating, his neo-fascist tendencies appalling, but at the end of the day I still must admire the man to a degree for the way handled himself. Or am I wrong, and his suicide was nothing but gaudy grandstanding?


Well-Known Member
His attempted revival of Bushido seems to indicate that he did in fact find honor in the Samurai code, but he apparently also had masochistic tendencies and a morbid fascination with death. It seems he was intrigued by the idea of dying while in perfect physical shape (hence the possible reason why he worked out religiously in the last 15 years of his life).

Rather than his suicide being a means of retaining or recovering honor, it actually seems that he had it planned out for quite some time, possibly years. He obviously wasn't messing around...anyone who disembowels themselves is pretty fuckin' serious about it :) But I think that whereas a Samurai is ready and willing to commit Seppuku at the precise moment it becomes necessary for their honor, his act seems to have been very premeditated, something a true Samurai would probably not do, I think.

I think he probably romanticized it a great deal, on top of feeling the guilt of having dodged serving in the Japanese Army.

I haven't read anything beyond his bio, though, so I could be WAY off base :)


The bravery or cowardice aspects of killing oneself is mostly a cultural consruct ( as has been stated ) so opinions will vary.

Whether one feels suicide is honorable or not is secondary to the fact that in killing oneself a person must struggle to overcome their instinctive fear of death.
Only a monumental commitment overcomes this natural instinct and that could best be described as having an extremely high level of resolve.

Unless a suicide victim was in a psychotic state at the time of their death, then extremely powerful instincts had to have been overcome by sheer force of will. If anyone thinks that committing suicide is taking the easy way out then they are definitely living in another universe.


Well-Known Member
Suicide is, without a doubt, an act of bravery. It takes courage to physically kill yourself. What courage does it take to live life under some delusion that happiness exists? People say that depression distorts life and makes everything seem bad. It doesn't - It shows the truth of the world.
The only reason i'm still alive is because I haven't had the guts to kill myself. The reason I haven't had the guts to kill myself? The post death humiliation. People will think I was a big loser that couldn't handle life (yes I care about retaining honor to my name even after death). So I will only kill myself once I find a way to die without anybody noticing (dispose of the body and dying at the same time). As of right now my #1 choice is to sink myself in the ocean with weights attached firmly to my body (and shark food). Problem is I don't have a boat (nor the money to buy one).

Fact is that people here in America have no respect for your choices in life. They expect you to live life in a certain way. They can't accept that everyone's different, that everyone... whatever.

I also have a big ego and am very arrogant. I have superiority complex you might say.

PS: I'm also very curious as to what happens after death. I believe life is pointless. We are born, live, then die. What garbage!
Not open for further replies.

Please Donate to Help Keep SF Running

Total amount