Why isn't suicide seen as a valid choice?

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by elpepo, Sep 9, 2009.

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  1. elpepo

    elpepo Active Member

    I'm honestly curious, could suicide be one day seen as a valid, legitimate and respectable life choice? Morality has changed on many issues. Things that were once seen as moral (slavery, sex with minors, etc) aren't anymore, same for things that were once immoral (homosexuality, casual sex, etc) and aren't illegal anymore.
     
  2. Axiom

    Axiom Account Closed

    i dont think it is our nature to give up. Society should resemble the best qualities of ourselves. Committing suicide shouldn't gain respect, but we should respect the ability for someone to make that choice. But as a society we shouldnt give up on our own, especially when we feel we can't take anymore or it seems so very pointless. We've been dominated by the fear of the unknown since the dawn of mankind, it'll take time for socitey to look at it's own morality in a calm and understanding fashion.

    Eventually yes, we will
     
  3. ashes_away

    ashes_away Well-Known Member

    except in the case of the terminally ill under extenuating circumstances,suicide should never be "condoned" as a valid choice because that would affect our society negatively on many levels.It would set the stage for situations and social norms and even government policies that do not reflect our current fight for human rights and in the US alone..the mantra of Life ,liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is supposed to be the foundation of our Constitution.
     
  4. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Suicide is a personal decision, period. The reason it's not seen as a valid choice is because people are selfish and do not want to experience the pain of a loved one dying. Instead, they would for some reason prefer to see a loved one suffer.
     
  5. ashes_away

    ashes_away Well-Known Member

    I have to admit I have felt this way myself,too often.
    But stepping outside my personal experience,logically I have to stand by my original answer because as it is now..suicide becomes the last resort for people who do not GET THE HELP THEY NEED in a world that is so dog eat dog.Imagine if it became an acceptable societal norm to commit suicide..."help" and "support" would be virtually non -existent. We GET what little help is available now thanks to the overwhelming human ethical philosophy that suicide is tragic and unnecessary.
     
  6. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    It was seen as a valid choice in Japan at one time, might still be considered so today but it hasn't exactly helped matters.

    I'd rather look forward to a society that puts serious effort into combating the causes behind suicide, rather than one that enables the self destruction of it's people. When it comes to the changing of morality over time, I think we have been so scarred by authoritarianism that we have gone too far in the opposite direction.

    With the possible exemption of the terminally ill, there's nothing virtuous about letting an individual destroy themselves. There is more to morality than autonomy.
     
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    John pretty much summed up my opinion for me :p

    As for the general aversion to suicide you've observed among most humans, it may simply be that we, like all living things, ultimately exist to continue life, placing self-preservation above almost everything else. Thus it is biologically and subconciously against our natural order to want to extinguish ourselves.
     
  8. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Hasn't exactly hurt matters, either, in the sense that Japan is the second largest economy in the world. And this on an island with next to no natural resources. Note that Im not saying there's any sort of causation or even correlation occurring here, simply that there's a greater tolerance for that sort of thing there, and that they seem to be doing alright for themselves.

    I don't think anyone is positing a society that "enables" anyone to commit suicide a la the "Ethical Suicide Parlors" of Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Welcome to the Monkey House." Where do you derive that idea from?

    Well, first you need to define this "morality" of yours, don't you think? Especially since there seems to be quite the iron fist in this velvet glove of your morality. As in, if you do NOT "let an individual destroy themselves," what exactly are you proposing? Locking them up in an institution against their will? Forcing them to take medication? Undergo ECT? And what do you do if they stubbornly insist that they do have a right to end their own life, even after all of this? Keep them locked up forever?
     
  9. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    I'm not arguing that their acceptance of suicide is hurting their economic status. Japan is a large economy and it also has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. I believe that they are only just behind Eastern European countries. It's the high rate of suicide that is a problem.
    From the idea that a society that accepts any behavior, wholeheartedly, will inevitably result in it becoming easier to perform and also increase its frequency.
    Even if there are no solutions at all, there is nothing good about someone killing themselves after trying everything to get better. At best it can be considered the lesser of two evils.

    How about helping them improve their lives instead or at least, giving them some direction in life before they even become suicidal? That seems like the better moral choice. Sure, sometimes it may be impossible but it's a lot better than any action that may increase the rate of suicide. I would rather make it easier for suicidal people to get help, than making it easier to commit suicide.
     
  10. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    In my opinion, summed up well by Ashes, Blake and JohnAdreams. Just happen to agree with them.
     
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    When a person you love douses themselves in petrol and sets fire to themselves you have to appreciate that it's a 'valid choice', you also have to respect that it's a 'valid, legitimate and respectable life choice'. But it still seems wrong somehow. I guess I'm funny like that.
     
  12. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I know war protesters and others have taken their lives in this manner. It had no effect in my estimation. If it did, then I could understand it. But still, like you, I am conficted in this instance.
     
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    Sometimes I go for a walk and I think of my dead friends, and I imagine them in Heaven, really happy, free from the problems of this world and I wish I was with them, but then I see an interesting building or spectacular scenery and I wish they were with me to appreciate it. Compared to what we've lived through it seems so little, so unimportant, yet it matters so much. I don't know why.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2009
  14. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. I thought you were claiming that Japanese society was in some sense a pathological one.

    I'm not certain I understand what you mean by "accept" here, especially since you're apparently formulating some kind of general principle. As in, does an acceptance of homosexuality lead to an increase in its frequency? Or does an acceptance of drug or alcohol use lead to an increase in its frequency? (FWIW, I'd answer "no" to the first question and "maybe" to the second. Though I guess there's a vocabulary issue here I'd need resolved before I go any further out on a limb.)

    Getting back to suicide, I've read several claims that in societies or countries where suicide is considered a great evil there's widespread under-reporting of individual suicides and consequently of suicide rates. I'm not sure how accurate these claims are, but assuming there's something to them I think it is difficult to say how much acceptance would lead to an increase in the "real" suicide rate.

    An example of the above would be Greece. In Greece 90% (or more) of the population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church. Suicides cannot be buried in Greek Orthodox cemeteries, apparently they're quite strict about that. And...Greece has one of the lowest rates in Europe. I don't think it is too great a logical leap to assume that at least some suicides there -- or even a great many -- are classed as anything but suicide on death certificates.

    I'd say this is for each individual to decide for themselves, ultimately. As to both how much "trying to get better" is enough and whether or not the act is any kind of evil, or not. Though I'd probably have been happier if the opening post of this thread had put the question more in terms of tolerance than what amounts to acceptance.

    I don't disagree with any of this, as long as it is voluntary,* assuming we're talking about adults. But, as you declined to address my points about state-sponsored compulsion, I have no idea if this is your position as well. Is it?

    * - Barring say a very short period of time when I must concede to the state a right of intervention when someone is in a highly emotional state.
     
  15. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    I'd agree that drugs and alcohol is a maybe but, in a fashion, homosexuality is a yes. It's not that there would be more homosexuals but there will be more sexual activity and an increase in relationships. Less gay and lesbians are forced to live a lie if there is some reasonable level of societal acceptance.

    I don't doubt that will be some under reporting going on but I'd also claim that the additional negative consequences for committing suicide in Greece, contributes to their lower rates.

    I don't think we should just let everyone decide right and wrong on a whim. Especially not anyone in the throws of despair and pessimism. It can't be good for the foundation of a healthy society.

    There are plenty of members on this site crying out for some kind of direction in their lives, that has not managed to come from within themselves and is outright refused to them by others. Of course, they'll never ask for help but with some people on here, it's quite clear. For some, everyone in their lives have given up on them and this has led to them giving up on their well being, as well as any serious attempt to help themselves. The reluctance to challenge negative thoughts and behaviors is exactly why a lot of those with poor mental health are stuck in the position that they are in.

    As long as we're talking about adults? Does that mean that ECT for kids is okay? :p

    Compulsion...I'd rather say that, like you, I'm for state sponsored intervention. When we are talking about long term, no one should be locked up unless they are a danger to others or utterly incapable of living in any other way.
     
  16. Righteous

    Righteous Well-Known Member

    U seem to make a lot of sense this time. It does seem that the people who try to talk u out of suicide are the ones that are selfish. They try to make u feel selfish because of your suicidal ways but actually they are selfish because they want u to feel the pain of suffering from everyday life rather than them feeling the pain from u committing suicide. Little do they know that once u commit suicide, u will have escaped from this madness of life; but other people are too selfish because they are thinking about the sorrow they will feel
     
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