Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Your views about suicide.

  1. Nov 7, 2013 #1
    Is killing yourself cowardice? Or, acknowledgment of fact that you deserve better than this life?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2013 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    When you kill yourself, there is "nothing". It is the "end". If a person's mystical beliefs drives to them commit suicide because they believe in a better "afterlife" then I see that as a serious problem.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2013 #3

    Akaisora

    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    Or you have nothing to offer, nor you have any higher goals towards science and human evolution.
     
  5. Nov 7, 2013 #4
    I think people who kill themselves genuinely believe that not existing is preferable to existing. If you're that miserable that you'd rather die than live then that is their prerogative. I think terminally ill people or people with serious illnesses / disabilities should be allowed to chose whether to end their life or not.
     
  6. Nov 7, 2013 #5
    How do you know? I do agree though with the third sentence. I think a lot of victims of suicide could have been saved had they gotten proper treatment for their depression.
     
  7. Nov 7, 2013 #6
    I'll defer to Schopenhauer.

    "They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice... that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person."
     
  8. Nov 7, 2013 #7
  9. Nov 7, 2013 #8
    It isn't necessarily cowardly. If a person has been diagnosed with ALS and would rather get it over with than physically deteriorate, then he/she has my sympathy. What makes the issue complex, though, is that it's easy to say the above when the victim isn't somebody who is close to you.

    When it comes to something like major depression, it's easy for others to condemn the suicide because a relatively small number of people have actually experienced major depression--which is, by the way, a very serious physical illness. How can we blame somebody for ending his/her life when he/she has lost virtually all hope and feelings of self-worth?

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000945.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  10. Nov 7, 2013 #9

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The times my life has been affected by suicide, I was always left with the same sad conclusion: what a stupid, selfish, and -- most of all -- MEAN thing to do.

    The people left behind are devastated, with guilt and pain that is not fixable. And it seems that is what the person intended. It's contemptible.

    But this is just based on my experiences, which are all drug-abuse related. I don't feel this way about people with terminal illness who choose to die on their own terms.
     
  11. Nov 8, 2013 #10

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Please note, if your post was deleted, this is a mainstream science forum, religion, mysticism, and woowoo are not allowed here, so please do not post it.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  12. Nov 8, 2013 #11
    I'm from Wonderland and even I didn't get that particular dialect of jabberwock....
     
  13. Nov 8, 2013 #12
    I'm all for suicide. There are reasons for which suicide is perfectly sound.

    I don't quite understand what you mean by "acknowledgment of fact that you deserve better than this life?". I think everyone who kill themselves think they deserve better. However, one should know that there's nothing other than "this life". When one suicides, one should think of "better" as the "lack of worse" and not some after-life ********.
     
  14. Nov 8, 2013 #13

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I've had personal experience with people who have suffered from suicidal depression. In that circumstance they literally can't see an alternative and have a strong impulse to end it all. People often think of the depressed as weak but they aren't, they've suffered and continue to suffer in ways people can't imagine to the extent that their brain no longer allows them to think or feel properly. In that case I understand completely why a person commits suicide but it saddens me and I'd much rather they receive help.

    However when you're in a condition for which there is no help available, perhaps because there is no medical treatment, you should be allowed to commit suicide if you go through a process with enough checks and balances.
     
  15. Nov 8, 2013 #14
    They're giving up aren't they? There's a whole spectrum of fight-ness in people, Nature and nurture conspiring to present their wares for consideration by Selection. In the raw, cold, uncaring world of life on earth, fighters win and it is for the benefit of us all that they do. We are strong, superbly so, because of this design and while I too am touched by the tragedy of suicide, especially the young, I recognize it is probably best for us all that Nature remains less so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  16. Nov 8, 2013 #15

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    That is absolutely ridiculous. First for employing the naturalistic fallacy and secondly if you're going to invoke natural selection in an argument you better make sure that what you're arguing about is under control of natural selection. Suicide is a behaviour with a vast array of causes, how many of them are strongly influenced by hereditary biological factors? Of those (if there are any) how many actually lower fertility as opposed to having an effect later in life?

    Lastly it's incorrect to regard organisms that have a higher evolutionary fitness as fighters. There are many traits resulting in greater fitness that have nothing to do with perseverance, and quite a few that encourage literally not fighting.
     
  17. Nov 8, 2013 #16
    I respectfully disagree and believe what I said makes perfect sense: we are all affected by environmental (social) pressures we find ourselves in and these pressures act as selective forces affecting gene frequencies. Suicidal tendencies in the young, reproductive population are not conducive to survival and reproductive success : suicide in this group, although upsetting, is, in the hard cold world of life, a de-selection of the unfit in my opinion.

    Edit: For the record, when I said "fight" I did not necessarily mean physical fighting but rather fight to survive and make in in the world.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  18. Nov 8, 2013 #17

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It makes no sense at all. If propensity to suicide before reproduction is not strongly biologically determined (and I don't see any evidence that it is and plenty of reasons to think that it isn't) then it is not an evolutionary trait.
     
  19. Nov 8, 2013 #18

    Choppy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    When someone decides to commit suicide, it is quite often because that person is in so much pain (physically, socially, emotionally, psychologically) that suicide is seen as the only way to bring that pain to an end. I would hesitate to apply a blanket label to such situations as "cowardly" because that person is stuck in a metaphorical corner. I don't think anyone lightly choses to end their own life.

    I am generally in favour of euthanasia - particularly in situations where a person is facing an inevitable, slow and painful natural end to their life. There is a dignity in controlling your own end and I don't think we, as a society, should judge anyone too critically for that. I do however have major concerns about elder exploitation, or creating situations where people feel the need to commit suicide so as not to be a burden on those they love. This is not an easy problem where a blanket solution applies, however, I strongly feel that it is one that there needs to be a lot of serious dialogue about.
     
  20. Nov 8, 2013 #19

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If one's life is painful and unbearable (in some respects), why not do one's best to improve the situation? Some of us live with chronic, debilitating conditions and manage to cope as well as possible. During a few down moments, I have flirted with the thought of suicide, but when I think of my wife, and our dogs, it passes.

    I should confess that if I developed a cancer that was not only debilitating, but painful, I might want to take a walk in the woods and never come back. Not just for my own release, but to take pressure off loved ones. My opinion only.
     
  21. Nov 8, 2013 #20

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Why can't we just let people do to themselves whatever it is they want to do to themselves? Why do we always have to judge everyone about their choices regarding their own lives?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Your views about suicide.
Loading...