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Thread: Is Suicide Immoral ?

  1. #1
    Archangel Guest

    Is Suicide Immoral ?

    Should it be considered illegal as it currently is ? Does Society have the right to stop someone from killing themselves when it is able to intervene and stop it ?

  2. #2
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    A person's life is their own.

    If an individual member of society stops a suicide, this should not be a crime.

    But nor should suicide itself be a crime.

    The problem is with the conflation of "society" and "government".
    He or she who supports a State organized in a military way Ė whether directly or indirectly Ė participates in sin. Each man takes part in the sin by contributing to the maintenance of the State by paying taxes.

    ~ Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Should it be considered illegal as it currently is ? Does Society have the right to stop someone from killing themselves when it is able to intervene and stop it ?
    I am not certain suicide is illegal. If it is, I would like to know how to prosecute it.

    Suicide can be the fatal complication of depression. In that case, it is ethical and necessary to attempt to prevent that complication of a treatable disease. In the absence of depression, for example with the presence of a terminal illness, the decision to commit suicide may be perfectly rational. That is a different story.

    What is it you are trying to get at here?

    PS. I note the thread's heading asks "is suicide immoral?" but the thread only speaks to legality. Are you confusing legality with morality?
    Last edited by thelmoose; 08-13-2007 at 10:52 AM. Reason: addendum added
    "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin

    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision" - Bertrand Russell

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    Before, most who've desired to commit suicide have been viewed as mentally unbalanced as it was believed that no one in their right and healthy mind would want to terminate their own life.

    Personally, I don't think it should be illegal but the reasons one would want to self terminate explored and alternatives sought if viable.

    If there is no viable alternative then self termination could be viewed as acceptable.
    -God couldn't be everywhere, that's why we have America.
    -Use the Force...because prayer doesn't work.
    -If I mock you on a forum board...and you're too stupid to know...are you really being mocked?
    -Joseph of Nazareth said: "Healthy White baby, 5 year wait? What else you got?" to which the adoption agency replied "A Norse kid born with his heart on the outside. Hey, Zeus come 'er!"
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelmoose View Post
    I am not certain suicide is illegal. If it is, I would like to know how to prosecute it.

    Suicide can be the fatal complication of depression. In that case, it is ethical and necessary to attempt to prevent that complication of a treatable disease. In the absence of depression, for example with the presence of a terminal illness, the decision to commit suicide may be perfectly rational. That is a different story.

    What is it you are trying to get at here?

    PS. I note the thread's heading asks "is suicide immoral?" but the thread only speaks to legality. Are you confusing legality with morality?
    Morality and legality are two different aspects of the same issue. And I believe that suicide is illegal in every State in the Union except Oregon if I'm not mistaken. What I find interesting is that any person stopped from
    actively committing suicide is booked by the Police and then sent to the nearest mental institution for mandatory observation. So they are not treated like other law breakers in that the Courts don't prosecute under threat of Prison but they are prevented from being allowed to end their lives anyway.

    The question of morality goes to the Social attitudes about suicide and the way it is almost universally frowned upon, even by people who claim no Spiritual foundation. That question interests me as to why even people who are atheists stand against suicide as a reasonable way for dealing with an unfulfilled life. I wonder why that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Morality and legality are two different aspects of the same issue. And I believe that suicide is illegal in every State in the Union except Oregon if I'm not mistaken. What I find interesting is that any person stopped from
    actively committing suicide is booked by the Police and then sent to the nearest mental institution for mandatory observation. So they are not treated like other law breakers in that the Courts don't prosecute under threat of Prison but they are prevented from being allowed to end their lives anyway.

    The question of morality goes to the Social attitudes about suicide and the way it is almost universally frowned upon, even by people who claim no Spiritual foundation. That question interests me as to why even people who are atheists stand against suicide as a reasonable way for dealing with an unfulfilled life. I wonder why that is.
    I do not think suicide is illegal anywhere in the US. Regarding Oregon, I think you are confusing it with assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Attempted suicide is not illegal either, that is why they are not treated like law breakers. They are not sent to a mental institution for mandatory observation. If this person is taken to a medical facility they may possibly be held against their will. In most states, there is something called a two-person hold, where if two doctors deem this person is mentally incapacitated to the point where they feel the patient is a danger to themselves or others they may be held for three days until seen by a judge who then determines what to do. Almost never are they held after that. In most cases, the situation can be calmed down so it never gets to a court. In the case of the attempted suicide, one must determine if they are "actively suicidal", or likely to attempt it again soon. Most often, if there is some support system, they can be discharged to someone else's care. It is now uncommon for folks to be admitted to the psych unit. One reality is that there simply are not that many psych beds any more do to lack of funding.

    You are right. Morality and legality are different. There are many immoral things that are not illegal. You say they are two sides of the same issue. What issue is that?

    Suicide is frown upon because we don't want to see a life wasted. This has nothing to do with spiritual foundation. Human lives are considered by most to have great value. The depressed person is not thinking rationally. Death seems preferably to life in the distorted thought processes of depression. Most depression can be treated.

    Again, what are you trying to get at?
    If you are trying to imply the lack of spirituality means we should not care about human life, you are mistaken.
    "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin

    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision" - Bertrand Russell

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    Samson prayed; "Let me die with the Philistines." And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

    Samson believed he had a quality of life issue. He lost his eyesight.

    Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

    God answered Samson prayer and gave him the strength to take his own life and be the first suicide killer written about.

    But was it right? Clearly no. Samson could have found worth in a life without eyesight. As far as the Philistines killed, only a couple he took the lives of where guilty of his incarceration for attacks he's committed on them in the past.

    Suicide must be considered a crime for the sake and care of the individual. In choosing suicide the individual has shown no effort to seek help. The state has a moral obligation to determine if help is needed.

    biblically, suicide is sanctioned when quality of life issues are beyond what one can bare.

    Saul (the greatest king Israel ever had, he could actually run the place for a decade without having his own children hunt him. And he did not turn the Jews from the God of Moses) Took his own life when the Philistines had him trapped. Doing this; Saul saved Israel from the burden of having their king held hostage. This would be like a man throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. Clearly this is no crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Morality and legality are two different aspects of the same issue. And I believe that suicide is illegal in every State in the Union except Oregon if I'm not mistaken. What I find interesting is that any person stopped from
    actively committing suicide is booked by the Police and then sent to the nearest mental institution for mandatory observation. So they are not treated like other law breakers in that the Courts don't prosecute under threat of Prison but they are prevented from being allowed to end their lives anyway.

    The question of morality goes to the Social attitudes about suicide and the way it is almost universally frowned upon, even by people who claim no Spiritual foundation. That question interests me as to why even people who are atheists stand against suicide as a reasonable way for dealing with an unfulfilled life. I wonder why that is.
    I'm not sure if it's still illegal per se but, I too have heard that in the past that it was illegal.
    -God couldn't be everywhere, that's why we have America.
    -Use the Force...because prayer doesn't work.
    -If I mock you on a forum board...and you're too stupid to know...are you really being mocked?
    -Joseph of Nazareth said: "Healthy White baby, 5 year wait? What else you got?" to which the adoption agency replied "A Norse kid born with his heart on the outside. Hey, Zeus come 'er!"
    -"The only way to win is not to pray." - WOPR

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by richbrmly View Post
    Samson prayed; "Let me die with the Philistines." And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

    Samson believed he had a quality of life issue. He lost his eyesight.

    Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

    God answered Samson prayer and gave him the strength to take his own life and be the first suicide killer written about.

    But was it right? Clearly no. Samson could have found worth in a life without eyesight. As far as the Philistines killed, only a couple he took the lives of where guilty of his incarceration for attacks he's committed on them in the past.

    Suicide must be considered a crime for the sake and care of the individual. In choosing suicide the individual has shown no effort to seek help. The state has a moral obligation to determine if help is needed.

    biblically, suicide is sanctioned when quality of life issues are beyond what one can bare.

    Saul (the greatest king Israel ever had, he could actually run the place for a decade without having his own children hunt him. And he did not turn the Jews from the God of Moses) Took his own life when the Philistines had him trapped. Doing this; Saul saved Israel from the burden of having their king held hostage. This would be like a man throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. Clearly this is no crime.
    Interesting perspective on Sampson and Saul. The only thing I disagree with you on, and it's a point of scriptural clarification only, is the claim that Saul was the greatest King Israel ever had. That claim is patently false as Saul lost Gods blessing and protection for seeking the advice of a Seer rather than His Prophet who was Gods messenger to Saul. Saul is used as an example of a man with great potential who squandered it by seeking after false gods.

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    I am thinking Saul's sin can not match the horror of being sent to die so your king can take your wife, or being forced into Bal worship where you had to sacrifice your own first born child so a King could please one of his many wifes. If I where a voting Jew, in my mind, clearly Saul defended the realm well if one considers children worthy of any form of protection. Its clear to me that religion seems to cloud moral judgment, which is one of its many negative side effects.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Should it be considered illegal as it currently is ? Does Society have the right to stop someone from killing themselves when it is able to intervene and stop it ?
    Is suicide currently illegal? I'd like to see a source on this one.

    I'm really not sure what they'd do if it was illegal - fine the family because the person killed themselves?

    I agree with Symbiote on the legality - both should NOT be considered a crime.

    As to morality it isn't wrong for a person to prevent a suicide, but it also isn't wrong for a person to commit suicide.

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    A good example of a clouded Moral Judgment would be with Jesus himself. Where the Jews justified in seeking Jesus death?

    Even today the Jewish state is the Religion. They are one in the same. Israel is a church state. When Jesus attacked the money lenders and church leaders right in the temple, he attacked something like lobbyists and Senators here at home. Jesus spoke against the holding back of taxes to Rome which was being used to suppress his state and her people. Jesus aided a Roman General (healing his servant) who was clearly there to maintain the bondage the Jews where under. This was clearly giving aid and comfort to an enemy combatant.

    In the United States; Itís against the law to give aid and comfort to the enemy. If Michael Moore where to give Osama Ben Laden a band aid, who seek his death? When Jane Fonda spoke against The U.S. military operations in Vietnam wasnít her sin on par with Jesus?

    Now personally, I would not have been one of the Jews screaming for Jesus Death and my life is living proof I would not have been one. I donít seek any punishment for Michael Moore playing around in Cuba and though I think Jane Fonda was way out of bounds doing what she did, Iím not seeking any prison term for her.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by richbrmly View Post
    I am thinking Saul's sin can not match the horror of being sent to die so your king can take your wife, or being forced into Bal worship where you had to sacrifice your own first born child so a King could please one of his many wifes. If I where a voting Jew, in my mind, clearly Saul defended the realm well if one considers children worthy of any form of protection. Its clear to me that religion seems to cloud moral judgment, which is one of its many negative side effects.
    The only point I'm making regarding Sauls Kingship is that he lost Gods support who placed him as King when he sought the council of a Pagan Seer rather than Gods council through Gods Prophet to Israel. That was Sauls sin that cost Him Yahweh's support and led to his defeat by Israels enemy. And if memory serves, Saul didn't kill himself to protect the Jews from suffering from his capture but to prevent his own suffering at the hands of his captors who surely would have tortured him slowly and painfully before allowing him to die.

    But my feelings on suicide and why it's wrong scripturally is because murder is wrong in Gods sight as ALL life is a gift that we have no right to take because we can't return it once taken. For me to murder another is to steal their life and I have no right to take that which I can't return without just cause. So it is with suicide. My life is a gift from God so I have no right to murder myself either since my life is valuable to God even if I no longer value it. That is why suicide is murder in Gods sight.

    Now, is that to say that suicide is an unforgivable sin ? Heaven forbid. Just as murder isn't an unforgivable sin. If it was then the Apostle Paul could never have been saved as he was personally responsible for the stoning death of Stephen, the Saint who was stoned to death for preaching about Jesus in the Temple. Paul also captured many other Christians and led them to death as the Pharisee Saul before being blinded by Jesus and converted on the road to Damascus.

    I found your reference to Samson compelling and rational based on the biblical account and it reminded me of Masada when, I believe, 900 Jews committed mass suicide rather than be captured by the Roman Army.

  14. #14
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    I tried to google "American laws regarding suicide" and everything that came up related only to assisted suicide. Has anyone else had any luck finding anything more conclusive on suicide laws in America ?

    And I googled "police enforce suicide laws in community" and every article was about the high rates of suicide amongst the police.

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    If an Atheist or Agnostic (such as myself; I believe in a God but I know no man through out time has any more knowledge of him than I do) can realize there are worse things than death, surely a religious man should. I donít believe any God would want to keep a man in a constant state of screaming, living with pain when death is the still the greatest painkiller there is. Lifeís meaning is muted by the concept of an after life. Pain killers have their limits.

    If you witness your spouse in constant agony, your first consideration would be to end their life. Its love, which would place so much desire in you to do such a thing. If there is a God and he isnít talking then logically there is a reason. Its clear to me, we are born with every law God would have us follow. Even a Child knows itís sinful to take from the hand of another. You can see the reactions a child has when committing such an act, even though he wasnít told such a thing is a shameful.

    Suicide is a sin under many conditions. People must realize they are not the masters of their own life. I am saying; you do not own yourself. Everyone that loves you owns a little piece of you. When taking your own life you do the ones closest to you great harm. You stole something of great value to them, you took yourself from them.

    But, letís say youíre a father in a hospital. Youíre in great pain and you can see the horror in your familyís faces having to bare your burden along with you. The cost of your dieing this slow death is eating away at your childrenís futures. Is taking your own life a heroic act for the love of your family or a sin? Let each man faced with such a thing, judge their own hearts.

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