The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Is Suicide Immoral?

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
Haicoway
Posts: 66
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Haicoway » September 18th, 2018, 9:12 am

Gosh, there are so many definitions and synonyms of “immoral.” It behooves one to state which definition is being addressed. For example, suicide might be biblically sinful but not dishonest.

I know this is pretentious, but…I have perhaps never seen so many pronoun agreement errors as in these comments.

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 20th, 2018, 3:34 am

Haicoway wrote:
September 18th, 2018, 9:12 am
Gosh, there are so many definitions and synonyms of “immoral.” It behooves one to state which definition is being addressed. For example, suicide might be biblically sinful but not dishonest.

I know this is pretentious, but…I have perhaps never seen so many pronoun agreement errors as in these comments.
There are not different definitions of immoral.
There are different opinion as to what is and what is moral behaviour and therefore different versions as to what would constitute an immoral act.

Suicide is not a thing that can be honest or dishonest, as it is not an assertion of a fact.

User avatar
PhilosophyTalks
New Trial Member
Posts: 1
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 1:49 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by PhilosophyTalks » December 31st, 2018, 4:42 am

In my (and the entire scientific community's) opinion various adverse facets of human psychology - be it suicide, addiction, narcissism etc shouldn't be evaluated as morally correct/incorrect. In fact, the idea that such psychological predilections can be categorized as morally right or wrong is primitive thinking. This is because with more and more research being poured into the domain of psychology, findings reveal that addict or a person likely to commit suicide differs from a normal person in two ways

1. The chemicals in the brain that dictate behavior
2. Anatomical differences that give rise to difference in cognition

Ergo, since these are abnormalities of the mental state - the question of right or wrong completely eliminates the actual understanding of the condition and lends to more stigma around mental illnesses.

You can refer to this article https://factdr.com/healthy-living/commo ... disorders/ to gauge why quantifying the morality of mental illness does more harm than good.

Haicoway
Posts: 66
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Haicoway » December 31st, 2018, 12:21 pm

I was interested in this subject because I have a suicide date to exit the planet, and I don’t believe my motive falls exactly into either category you mention, except partially into the second.

As an aside, I think the term, “commit suicide,” implies morality, at least if you consider that laws are often enacted to correspond to society’s ideas around morality.

When my wife lay dying of cancer, she asked me to take my life and go with her, so she wouldn’t have to die alone. I suffer intense guilt over postponing complying with her request, citing that we had a lot of money I could use for a couple of bucket list items, rather than leave it to people I didn’t care about, or the state, and we didn’t even have burial arrangements or a headstone, yet.

I learned a tool to keep commitments, such as the one I made to join her on a certain date. You make it for no reason, putting it into the category, rhetorically anyway, of free will. There’s a process how to learn to make unconditional commitments, which would take up too much space to iterate here.

If you do something for a cognitive reason, or out of a mental disorder, then the reason can change, say from the result of a successful grieving process, or the mental disorder can be resolved, or ameliorated. So I made the commitment, not just because my beloved wife asked me to, but for no reason. It stands on its own, unattached to anything, irrevocably.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by LuckyR » January 1st, 2019, 4:49 am

PhilosophyTalks wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 4:42 am
In my (and the entire scientific community's) opinion various adverse facets of human psychology - be it suicide, addiction, narcissism etc shouldn't be evaluated as morally correct/incorrect. In fact, the idea that such psychological predilections can be categorized as morally right or wrong is primitive thinking. This is because with more and more research being poured into the domain of psychology, findings reveal that addict or a person likely to commit suicide differs from a normal person in two ways

1. The chemicals in the brain that dictate behavior
2. Anatomical differences that give rise to difference in cognition

Ergo, since these are abnormalities of the mental state - the question of right or wrong completely eliminates the actual understanding of the condition and lends to more stigma around mental illnesses.

You can refer to this article https://factdr.com/healthy-living/commo ... disorders/ to gauge why quantifying the morality of mental illness does more harm than good.
You exaggerate your experience in this area as well as the state of scientific consensus. Philosophical thought in this area typically addresses the issue of physician assisted suicide for those with terminal illnesses, not the irrational.
"As usual... it depends."

Jklint
Posts: 1323
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Jklint » January 1st, 2019, 5:13 am

Not in the least providing one's affairs are taken care of including how pets are to be taken care of.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by LuckyR » January 1st, 2019, 5:20 am

Jklint wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 5:13 am
Not in the least providing one's affairs are taken care of including how pets are to be taken care of.
I don't absolutely disagree with you, but would amend your suicide is "not in the least" immoral, to suicide is not necessarily immoral, though it can be.
"As usual... it depends."

Jklint
Posts: 1323
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Jklint » January 1st, 2019, 6:08 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 5:20 am
Jklint wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 5:13 am
Not in the least providing one's affairs are taken care of including how pets are to be taken care of.
I don't absolutely disagree with you, but would amend your suicide is "not in the least" immoral, to suicide is not necessarily immoral, though it can be.
If you can explain how "it can be", I'd be happy to amend it.

Alias
Posts: 2684
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Alias » January 1st, 2019, 11:28 pm

Morality, at any level, is subjective. Institutional entities, like a church or a state, base their laws on the moral system to which they subscribe. But none of those moral systems are objective or absolute or permanent.
If we take it down to the level of the individual, we each have convictions, a particular understanding of how we relate to the world; a conception of the standard of behaviour to which we aspire and the standard we're prepared to accept as adequate.
We each have to decide, in every situation, what's moral and what's immoral.
If an individual has done justice to their commitments and met their minimum standard, whatever they decide is right for them.
You can judge them but you can't decide for them.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by LuckyR » January 2nd, 2019, 2:56 am

Jklint wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 6:08 pm
LuckyR wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 5:20 am


I don't absolutely disagree with you, but would amend your suicide is "not in the least" immoral, to suicide is not necessarily immoral, though it can be.
If you can explain how "it can be", I'd be happy to amend it.
Well, you came up with: when one's affairs aren't in order, on your own. As Alias pointed out, more what I was addressing was the situation where an individual decides for any reason (religion, perhaps) that suicide is immoral, since morals exist in individual minds.
"As usual... it depends."

Jklint
Posts: 1323
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Jklint » January 2nd, 2019, 5:19 am

LuckyR wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 2:56 am
Jklint wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 6:08 pm


If you can explain how "it can be", I'd be happy to amend it.
Well, you came up with: when one's affairs aren't in order, on your own. As Alias pointed out, more what I was addressing was the situation where an individual decides for any reason (religion, perhaps) that suicide is immoral, since morals exist in individual minds.
I'm in conformity with the way Alias expressed it separating the institutional versions of morality with the far more deeply personal one. The two are not at all equal and what functions most for each and has the final say, are it's personal varieties. In that sense and in submission to one's remaining responsibilities, there is absolutely no immorality in taking what most privately belongs to you and no other.

If a person decides it's immoral to commit suicide that stance is just as valid for them - for reasons of their own - as its opposite would be for someone else who concludes that morality has no say when submitting to the final solution.

Alias
Posts: 2684
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Alias » January 2nd, 2019, 11:56 am

Jklint -- there is absolutely no immorality in taking what most privately belongs to you and no other.
That's it! The succinct summary.
How often have you wondered at the characterization of suicide as "taking one's own life"?
When you kill another person, you deprive them of their single most personal possession; you take their life away from them.
But you can't take what you already own; you can only repudiate it.
At the same time, when a soldier is killed in battle, "he gave his life"; when he kills other soldiers, he is not said either to "give" or to "take" their lives; enemy combatants are merely killed, while civilians "fall victim" or "become casualties".
If a vagrant addict is found dead in a dumpster, their self-inflicted demise is characterized as "died at his own hand" or just od'd. Unwanted old people and prison inmates merely "passed away" from unknown causes.
Each of those phrases expresses a societal valuation of human lives, with an underlying, largely unexamined, assumption of their ownership.

What does it mean, "He took his own life"?
I believe it's a presumption of shareholding: by killing himself, he took a life out of the human collective, away from his associates; he deprived the family and community of a life in which they held an interest.
If we become more aware of how we evaluate the lives of our fellow citizens, we can make more sound judgments regarding their judgments.

Jklint
Posts: 1323
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Jklint » January 2nd, 2019, 6:39 pm

It's not often I agree so completely with someone's POV. The various ways in which one's life can be annulled relative to how it happens and judged by society gives one further impetus to ponder.
Alias wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 11:56 am
If we become more aware of how we evaluate the lives of our fellow citizens, we can make more sound judgments regarding their judgments.
Unfortunately that kind of necessary inclusion has not yet been sufficiently mastered by society. Most still, without thinking, accept rules and regulations, theistic or secular, as if absolute equally applicable to all regardless of circumstance. The one argument I always found the most despicable is only god can take a life. What total BS! Since when was that ever true!

Alias
Posts: 2684
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by Alias » January 2nd, 2019, 11:25 pm

Jklint wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 6:39 pm

Unfortunately that kind of necessary inclusion has not yet been sufficiently mastered by society.
Still, step by step, inch by inch, more humane laws are enacted.
The one argument I always found the most despicable is only god can take a life. What total BS! Since when was that ever true!
Especially when voiced by advocates of the death penalty and military intervention in foreign conflicts.

Hypocrisy runs shallow, but wide.

User avatar
204
New Trial Member
Posts: 4
Joined: February 22nd, 2019, 6:21 pm

Re: Is Suicide Immoral?

Post by 204 » February 22nd, 2019, 7:16 pm

No; I wouldn't say suicide is immoral, and the reason being that I've tried killing myself before, and this much I know for sure: People who decide to kill themselves are NOT thinking clearly whatsoever....generally speaking. A suicidal individual is so distraught and wracked with emotional overload that they are in absolutely no condition to be making any moral choices.

Is a psychopath guilty for killing someone because they were clearly, in his own mind, a deranged mutant Santa Claus that was trying to kill everyone? Absolutely not; that man is the poster boy for the Insanity defense; he didn't know what he was doing, or the difference between fantasy, and reality, and so he's not really in any position to be judged on a moral basis.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you've reached the point where you believe your only choice left is to end your own life, then you are in a state of consciousness that is BEYOND good versus evil; beyond morality itself. You've officially become little more than a furry animal driven by instinct, and cannot morally be held accountable for your next decision.

If that makes any sense at all.

Post Reply