Is suicide wrong in extreme circumstances?

  • Thread starter nix
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  • #1
nix
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Im catholic and as part of catholicism we are taught that suicide is the one thing that God will never forgive you for, because you will never get a chance to repent for your sins...but what if in an extreme circumstance, say you're going to be bombed (i apologize for being so morbid..:frown: ), and you were offered a cyanide pill..would it be wrong to take it even if you knew for certain that your death was imminent?

Any opinions?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Zantra
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I wish I could related, but I'd never resort to suicide. I'd intstead try to find a way to live. I'll go out fighting
 
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
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Originally posted by Zantra
I wish I could related, but I'd never resort to suicide. I'd intstead try to find a way to live. I'll go out fighting
How about a suicidal fight? A one-way mission?

God's a smart guy. He can evaluate unique situations.
 
  • #4
nix
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Zantra,

i actually agree with that view but saying it is easy...when you're in that situation actually doing it is probably incredibly tough
 
  • #5
Zantra
763
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Originally posted by nix
Zantra,

i actually agree with that view but saying it is easy...when you're in that situation actually doing it is probably incredibly tough

I can only imagine how tough it would be, but just giving up is tougher. If there's a chance, I wouldn't pass it up. Life's too short as it is- the longer it lasts the better.
 
  • #6
THANOS
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im guessing that those who go on suicidal fights are not aware or refuse to believe that the fight is suicide.
 
  • #7
Dissident Dan
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2
There are plenty of situations in which it is acceptable to commit suicide. There is a lot of stigma on suicide, but I would probably not stop anyone, unless I had a personal connection to that person's well-being, or if I knew that the death it would cause great pain to others.

Who would I be to condemn such a person? In some cases, suicide may be the best option (for example, if you are otherwise going to be tortured until you tell classified information and then be killed). There are cases where it is not the best option, but not such a horrible one, either.

Mindlessly following religious dogma is not a wise way to live.
 
  • #8
THANOS
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Best option for most maybe. But some may view suicide as a dishonorable way to die. Thier pride may be so high that dying a painful death is better then dying without honor and pride.

Native americans are a good example. Warriors did not believe in surrendering for thier pride was too great.
To live without freedom was to live without living.
Well of course smallpox came in and wiped out most of the native americans and warriors. So to live without living didn't sound that bad after all.
 
  • #9
nix
43
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In any normal situation, i would try and stop someone from committing suicide. Often suicide is just a way to get out of problems, and there is always a better option than to kill yourself. I believe that life, any form of life, is better than death.

Mindlessly following religious dogma is not a wise way to live.

I am not mindlessly following my religion, i do believe that suicide is wrong, but i question it in those extreme circumstances.
 
  • #10
Gale
663
2
God's forgiving anyways. If your christian your ticket to heaven is just undeniable faith in christ. Supposedly if you have that, then no matter what you do, you're ok. but suicide isn't even the worse thing the bible condemns. You know, if you're circumsized your worse off, cause not only are you condemned but you lineage for the next 10 generations is too. There isn't any law that says you need to repent... just that it'd be nice... faith is all you need.

~
Anyways, maybe my opinion will be special because i used to be morbid and have thought about my suicide and demise in many numerous exciting ways....
I think, that even at the height of my depression, i'd not have suicided in some extreme situation. That'd be the one time when life would be worth living in my opinion. If you get into one of those situations, then i kind of see it as fate. If its your time to go, and your sitting there waiting to die, then that means your whole life has been boiling down to that moment. Why blow it by killing yourself?
-Personally, if i knew i was about to be bombed... you can bet i'd be out having the time of my life... (probably with some tall, dark, handsome stranger:wink: )
 
  • #11
Who says so?
No wonder there are so many religions to choose from, I guess that's why I like a little bit of all of them, but still most times people do it not because their death is certain and gruesome but because they have given up hope, I think once you get to really know someone we've all been there once in awhile but long term thoughts of suicide are more likely a chemical imbalance and that is probably the result of an imbalance in the environment, even a little thing like not having any play/sports type interaction with others for a long time can wear down the brain, pills are usually the commercialized solutions, it always seems odd to me to see so many older people watching sports on tv instead of playing them, I mean which is more fun?
 
  • #12
Suicide is a mortal sin. Suicide is the murder of oneself.
 
  • #13
Mumeishi
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Suicide is wrong according to Christian morality. Since when was Christian morality subject to questioning by mere mortals?

Suicide is a sin (for Christianity). End of story.
 
  • #14
It's not only Christians that cherish life, Jews, Muslims and Hindu's also consider life precious and condemn suicide. A society that condones suicide is sick.
 
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  • #15
Mumeishi
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And a society that not only condones, but insists on, an agonising, paralysed existence with a terminal disease is beyond reproach?

How do we know suicide is wrong? Because the Bible says so.

And how do we know the Bible is correct? Because the Bible says it is the Word of God. Amen!

Right...
 
  • #16
Are you suggesting we condone doctor assisted suicides?
Well I hope we never go down that road. Where would this insanity stop. It's not beyond the realm of imagination to see a time when certain doctors would assist in the suicides of people with chronic back problems or deep depressions. Doctor's playing the role of God is wrong.
 
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  • #17
Mumeishi
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If you seriously think any medical professional would be allowed to help someone to die in these situations you are being unrealistic.

Also if you think it is wrong to kill yourself or aid suicide under any circumstances for religious reasons that's fine - that's your choice to base you life on a particular set of religious beliefs.

But what of those with other beliefs or who lack religious convictions?

The law cannot impinge on their right to choose. And Christianity cannot impinge on humanists' rights to decide what is and is not acceptable behavior.
 
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  • #18
But what of those with other beliefs or who lack religious convictions?

The law cannot impinge on their right to choose. And Christianity cannot impinge on humanists' rights to decide what is an is not acceptable behavior.

So, if the fringe minority condones the killing of oneself, the vast majority that cherishes the sanctity of life must consent to it. Or, are you proposing we should live in an anarchistic society where everything goes and no one is held responsible for his acts.
 
  • #19
Mumeishi
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The nonreligious minority (assuming they are a minority in the country in question) would have no right to force the religious majority (assuming that the religious people are in agreement) to take any part in assisted suicide. So its not a matter of the minority forcing their beliefs on anyone - its a matter of the minority no longer being prevented from acting according to their beliefs when all parties are consenting.

Anyway, in many countries in Europe the majority is secular humanist.

ADDED: Do you think its fair that the religious minority in those countries should be able to force the secular majority to consent to their psychotic ritualistic practices? I'm not so sure now...
;)
 
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  • #20
In the United States, where I’m from, we have religious freedom. People can practice any religion they like without persecution so long as they don’t break the law. Our forefathers saw the dangers of a State religion when they were crafting our constitution and omitted its recognition. The laws of the United States are, however, based on Judeo/Christian beliefs. If you violate the law and are found guilty you go to jail. These laws apply equally to the majority and the minority.
 
  • #21
EvilPoet
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3
To be or not to be ...

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is
suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to
answering the fundamental question of philosophy."
-Albert Camus, The Myth Of Sisyphus
 
  • #22
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
1
Greetings !

I'm for the "never surrender" principle in general.
However, there are certain very rear situations when
there's no less and even more honor in recognizing your
defeat and/or even turning it into a victory rather than
continue a futile struggle.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #23
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
1
Originally posted by Robert Zaleski
... Muslims ... also consider life precious and condemn suicide.
A society that condones suicide is sick.
Well, at least you got the last sentence right...:wink:
 
  • #24
Chemicalsuperfreak
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All right look. If the shadows have got you pinned on a balcony over looking a bottomless pit and the disembodied voice of Ambassador Kosh tells you to leap to certain death, your going to do it. I don't care how holier-than-thou you are.
 
  • #25
TonySlim
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what about choosing to commit suicide so that the others in your soccer team/castaway group could eat a nice meal (a.k.a. you)?
 
  • #26
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by TonySlim
what about choosing to commit suicide so that the others in your soccer team/castaway group could eat a nice meal (a.k.a. you)?

Seems like the ultimate altruistic act to me!
 
  • #27
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
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Originally posted by TonySlim
what about choosing to commit suicide so that the others in your soccer team/castaway group could eat a nice meal (a.k.a. you)?
I guess that if there was really no other way we'd
draw sticks or something.
 
  • #28
EvilPoet
20
3
Schopenhauer on Suicide

"As far as I can see, it is only the monotheistic, that is to say Jewish, religions whose members regard self-destruction as a crime. This is all the more striking in that neither in the Old nor in the New Testament is there to be found any prohibition or even dissapproval of it; so that religious teachers have to base their prosciption of suicide on philosophical grounds of their own invention, which are however so poor that what their arguments lack in strength they have to try to make for by the strength of the terms in which they express their abhorrence; that is to say, they resort to abuse. Thus we hear that suicide is the most cowardly of acts, that only a madman would commit it, and similar insipidies; or the senseless assertation that suicide is 'wrong', though it is obvious there is nothing in the world a man has more incontestable right to than his own life and person." -Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms
 
  • #29
nix
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what about choosing to commit suicide so that the others in your soccer team/castaway group could eat a nice meal (a.k.a. you)?

I know that dying so that others may be saved is not really considered suicide in Christianity. Afterall, Jesus died for that exact reason.

though it is obvious there is nothing in the world a man has more incontestable right to than his own life and person.

As far as i know, Christians (im not sure about other religions) believe that God has "lent" them their lives, it is our responsibility to take care of it. Suicide is considered wrong because we are taking away something that doesn't belong to us (it is not our life to take).

This is all the more striking in that neither in the Old nor in the New Testament is there to be found any prohibition or even dissapproval of it;

I have heard that the reaon why Judas ( the man who betrayed Jesus) is condemmed is not because of the betrayal but because he committed suicide...

"S. Matthew tells us that when Judas saw that Jesus had been condemned, he repented of betraying him and gave the chief priests and elders the thirty pieces of silver. He acknowledge his sin, but the chief priests shrugged it off and said, "What is it to us?" Rejected, overcome with guilt and shame, full of remorse, Judas went and hanged himself. (Mt 27:3-5) His suicide is a great sadness; it diminishes the possibility of reconciliation. Jesus did not condemn Judas...But in this world, Judas condemned himself; he cut himself off from life, from God."
 
  • #30
Chagur
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Suicide is wrong regardless of the circumstance when the person attempting to commit suicide fouls up.
 
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  • #31
Stranger13
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My opnion on the subject.

Maybe this isn't a popular opinion, but I'm gonna say what I think. And that is, who are we to tell someone rather their life is worth living? We're not the one's facing their problems. That person alone knows how it feels and if they honestly decide it's not worth sticking around then I'd encourage them to do whatever made them feel happy, especially if it is a loved one. I personally believe in reincarnation, so it's not like their isn't another chance, maybe with a better setup. We as a society have been programmed to enforce our personal views and values on others. Suicide is not always a weak way out, sometimes it's just the logical thing from where I stand. I mean, if your born into poverty, sickness, disability (be it physical or mental), abusive or dysfunctional families, and are born to suffer, then by all means logick dictates to go ahead and take the plunge. You'll be happier in your next life when you come back without those problems. The cycle keeps going around so one can do this as many times as they'd like until they atlast reach a life their comfortable in. I know this because I've already died and I have come back after 10, maybe 15 minutes. I mean, if you love someone, would you really want that person to suffer a lifetime just to appease you, when you know that they could have a better life elsewhere as someone else?

Brent
 
  • #32
Maybe this isn't a popular opinion, but I'm gonna say what I think. And that is, who are we to tell someone rather their life is worth living? We're not the one's facing their problems.
You tell ‘em…
That person alone knows how it feels and if they honestly decide it's not worth sticking around then I'd encourage them to do whatever made them feel happy, especially if it is a loved one.
I’m not sure I’d say people consider suicide is going to make them happy, necessarily…
I personally believe in reincarnation, so it's not like their isn't another chance, maybe with a better setup.
Yes, but this is just your personal view/value…
We as a society have been programmed to enforce our personal views and values on others.
Is that what you were doing above? :smile:
Anyway, I think it runs deeper than simple societal programming (though I don’t dispute that point).
Suicide is not always a weak way out, sometimes it's just the logical thing from where I stand. I mean, if your born into poverty, sickness, disability (be it physical or mental), abusive or dysfunctional families, and are born to suffer, then by all means logick dictates to go ahead and take the plunge.
I see, you support suicide for the impoverished, hahaha! :uhh:
You'll be happier in your next life when you come back without those problems.
Not everyone shares your optimistic appraisal… :zzz:
The cycle keeps going around so one can do this as many times as they'd like until they at last reach a life their comfortable in. I know this because I've already died and I have come back after 10, maybe 15 minutes.
Well, congratulations are in order ! :wink:
I mean, if you love someone, would you really want that person to suffer a lifetime just to appease you, when you know that they could have a better life elsewhere as someone else?
Careful now, you look to be imposing your beliefs onto everyone else.

PS
Welcome to PF !!
 
  • #33
nix
43
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Quote:
The cycle keeps going around so one can do this as many times as they'd like until they at last reach a life their comfortable in. I know this because I've already died and I have come back after 10, maybe 15 minutes.

(forgot how to quote something.. :cry: )

Thats very interesting Stranger 13, would you care to explain

and what if (since im sure most people reading this have not yet died and just may not believe your beliefs) reincarnation is not true and the life we get is the only one we receive...would you still encourage people to commit suicide if they were unhappy...and if reincarnation did actually exist and people did remember dying then it would be a pretty ridiculous society ...people would be killing themselves at the first sign of trouble because they can be reincarnated into a better life and if the next isnt better, they could just try the next...etc. (noone would ever be satisfied) :uhh:

you also have to realize that many people often go through depressing stages in their lives..maybe not to the extent of suicide but some do..and they get through it with SUPPORT from friends and family and live happy satisfying lives and look back on their suicidal thoughts as crazy.. :eek:

however, i have been fortunate enough to have a generally good life so maybe im lacking perspective, but i still belive (and this is my belief) suicide is not a way out of your problems...people just would never learn to deal with their problems and grow as a person if they could just die and get a better life..

"greatness is not measured by where you get to but by the obstacles you overcome" :smile:
 
  • #34
ponjavic
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0
Seriously if you'd feel better off taking the pill than drowning or whatever naturally you'd take it. If you feel that you'll betray God by doing so well then the drowning part is certainly better.
If you believe that God frowns upon suiciding then thou shall not conduct such actions.

I myself would always take my life if I knew that I'd be better off than living.
 

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