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Is suicide selfish?

peoplesuck

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I got this from some anti bullying video. said that suicide hurts everyone who knows you so its selfish. I disagree, anyone who wants you to be miserable, wanting to die every day doesn't even like you. imo :l just to clear this up im not suicidal was just an argument i had with myself xD
 

OrLevitate

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I'm gonna go buy some doritos with the 30$ I just made for being a hero. Call me Moneybags.

If the misery is sincerely too much for too long and incurable then the people who would stop you are selfish.

Edit: I often wondered what kept more slaves from killing themselves but it's the social bonds that kept them going and kept them from quitting. They seem to have continued to respect the ones who did off themselves from the stuff I read probably because they had no qualms about knowing that in the end it's everyone own choice.
 

Grayman

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I got this from some anti bullying video. said that suicide hurts everyone who knows you so its selfish. I disagree, anyone who wants you to be miserable, wanting to die every day doesn't even like you. imo :l just to clear this up im not suicidal was just an argument i had with myself xD

Depends. A person who kills themself without thinking about thier loved ones who depend on them is objectivley selfish but then they likely think they are doing everyone a favor if they are at that point because they hate themselves as much as they hate life. From that perspective it could be considered selfless.

I would say that some people are objectively selfless if they are a serial killer or something and they commit suicide.
 

Pyropyro

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A bit dehumanizing but one can argue that by killing oneself, you are denying others of your skills and talents. You are also denying others of a potential customer which others can earn money from.
 

peoplesuck

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as if they deserve it, also that is very selfish.
 

Red myst

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A bit dehumanizing but one can argue that by killing oneself, you are denying others of your skills and talents. You are also denying others of a potential customer which others can earn money from.

If you are productive.... you are denying others as you say, including the government of your income taxes.
But if you are just leaching off of the system, well then maybe not so selfish.

But really, its a choice. And I could just as easily say that it is selfish to want to prevent someone from killing themselves because you are making profit off of their skills and talent.

Or say elderly people who want to die with some dignity, but the health care system want them alive as patients as long as they can pay. I know this is a gross exaggeration, but it does happen.
 

Grayman

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If you are productive.... you are denying others as you say, including the government of your income taxes.
But if you are just leaching off of the system, well then maybe not so selfish.

But really, its a choice. And I could just as easily say that it is selfish to want to prevent someone from killing themselves because you are making profit off of their skills and talent.

Or say elderly people who want to die with some dignity, but the health care system want them alive as patients as long as they can pay. I know this is a gross exaggeration, but it does happen.

I dont have a problem with it either... unless they are responsible for someone like a child.

Likely reason is not a part of their decision making process.
 

Suicicidad

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Some cultures consider suicide honourable, others a self sacrifice but I guess it really comes down to what OrLevitate says. If life really is more painful than any perceived pain caused by the act then have at it. I personally would have undertook the task myself many years ago if it wasn't for the grief my family have already experienced. Tick ticking away.
 

RaBind

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You might want to read this thread, it's a thread about the same topic with the same title. I thought someone necroed that thread when I saw this one -http://intpforum.com/showthread.php?t=15868&highlight=suicide+selfish

To make any decision requires a reason. When individuals decide to act upon a reason that they feel is the most logical, or selfless or good... whatever the reason, they will still have had to come to a conclusion that their own judgements outweighed the judgements of others. This is selfish as the individual undervalued and doesn't give as much importance to the judgements of others, as he or she does to his or her own judgements. Anytime you feel that your judgements are of more importance, than to the judgements made by others, you are being selfish so every action based upon a judgement is selfish, including being in existence. But in this sense what isn't selfish?
- I still kinda feel the same way, although obviously this was from a rational perspective, as the idea is different as an emotionally driven subject. I am still of the view that selfish is a very subjectively , ambiguously and arbitrarily used description.
 

Grayman

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I am still of the view that selfish is a very subjectively , ambiguously and arbitrarily used description.

It seems that way from the way most people use it.<O:p</O:p

I generally consider selfish as ignoring the 'needs' of others as opposed to ignoring their desires. This means to me, mental stability, food, water and general health. It does not mean their every concern or desire<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

I see everyone committing to selfishness all the time but I don't use the word as a form of judgment but as simply defining the process.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

I leave it up to the person to decide if their selfish act is necessary and I do not judge them as immoral although I might disagree with the outcome of their decision and appose it.

EDIT: Simplified... I see selfish as it is actually defined while others use the word to describe when they feel selfishness has reached a level they find inappropriate. They attach a moral judgement to it and base their definition off that judgment.

I don't believe in morality in the same sense that they do.<O:p</O:p

EDIT: I tried fixing these weird glitches with the faces once and they just reappeared but differently. I really did not put those in there.
 

digitalbum

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I dont have a problem with it either... unless they are responsible for someone like a child.

Likely reason is not a part of their decision making process.

Yeah, I tend to agree. If you leave a child you brought into this world, I think that's being pretty selfish.

Otherwise, I think it's retarded that legally (I believe?) you're not allowed to take your own life. They'll put you in a psych ward if you fail and put you on suicide watch.

If one is in total agony, mental or physical, and has tried everything, I think it should be their right. Think that's how Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson went out.
 

Hawkeye

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I think it's the other way around. Those that call those who voluntarily leave this world selfish are really the selfish ones.

They blame the dead for their own sadness without contemplating why these souls committed suicide in the first place.
 

Grayman

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...without contemplating why these souls committed suicide in the first place.

For many people it is more of an inability to understand. Extreme and constant physical pain is not often the reason for suicide. Not that you are assuming this but from the perspective of those who disagree with you it would seem to be a mental disorder as apposed to a reasonable choice.

My question is if it is a natural instinct for someone to stay alive, how do they get to a point of ignoring it?
 

Red myst

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Apathy?, and the ease and/or convenience of the method? I think the biological instinct to live is separate from the psychologically will to live. That being said, I don't think biologically, some one could stick their face in a bucket and drown themselves, their biological instance to breath would take over, but psychologically, someone could put a gun to they head and pull the trigger, or throw themselves off a cliff.
 

Void

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The people you hurt have no right to expect from you to not commit suicide, unless you yourself said otherwise.
 

cooperbrown504

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I won't mind.
 

Jennywocky

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It seems pretty situational to me, I'm not sure how we can blanketly determine one side or the other is being selfish until we know context... and even then, ultimately, it's really up to the individual.
 

MichiganJFrog

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FWIW Thomas Joiner's book Why People Die by Suicide said it has to do with a "thwarted sense of belongingness." You interpret other people's actions to mean that they don't want you around, and you act accordingly. So, not selfish then, I guess.
 

digitalbum

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For many people it is more of an inability to understand.

That's just a poorly written suicide note.

My question is if it is a natural instinct for someone to stay alive, how do they get to a point of ignoring it?

This is actually a great question. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think to call someone who kills themselves "weak" is mostly B.S. IMO, that takes some balls to go against every cell in your body saying, "Um don't do that." I think it takes someone suffering for a loooooong time before they do it.

I had a high school acquaintance commit suicide about a year ago, hung himself. I had seen him 2 weeks earlier at a bar, all smiles, talking about how excited he was to be engaged. Also weird how some people, you'd never guess.

You know Kevin Carter? Journalist from South Africa that grew up during Apartheid.

Took this photo, and killed himself 1 year after:




"To escape from the infantry, he enlisted in the Air Force, which locked him into four years of service. In 1980, he witnessed a black mess-hall waiter being insulted. Carter defended the man, resulting in him being badly beaten by the other servicemen."

Suicide Note:

"I'm really, really sorry. The pain of life overrides the joy to the point that joy does not exist... depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners ... I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky."
 

Bock

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You're brought into this existence without your consent, and then you're selfish if you decide to leave?

:facepalm:
 

Grayman

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You're brought into this existence without your consent, and then you're selfish if you decide to leave?

:facepalm:

Both are selfish but niether are wrong or immoral.
 

doncarlzone

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It seems pretty situational to me, I'm not sure how we can blanketly determine one side or the other is being selfish until we know context... and even then, ultimately, it's really up to the individual.

Yep.

It depends entirely on the circumstances. Suicide can be incredibly selfish in some cases and perfectly rational in others. Just think of two black and white situations, it's not that difficult.

Now what makes a suicide rational or irrational in grey situations is a difficult topic.
 

h0bby1

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suicide and/or depression are still often linked with a negative view of self, negative perspective of self and the future, so it can be told in that sense it's linked to focus on self, it's action motivated by perception of self mostly in general, for the depressive kind of suicide at least, but it's not really selfish in the sense only seing personal gain, or in the materialistic sense, because i don't see what a person gain by killing himself lol
 

h0bby1

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I think it's the other way around. Those that call those who voluntarily leave this world selfish are really the selfish ones.

They blame the dead for their own sadness without contemplating why these souls committed suicide in the first place.

i always remembered a thing my latin teacher said from ethymology of selfishness, calling someone selfish is not saying that he only thing about himself, but complaining that he doesn't think about you, which in fact calling people selfish is being selfish, it's reproching people not to think about you enough, and it's more often used in that sense, in relation to the attention that the 'selfish' person don't give to the person calling him selfish
 

Grayman

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Suicide is only selfish if you have offspring. Also, procreation is worse than murder.

It is irresponsible if you have offspring. If it hurts anyone it is selfish. It is your life so then it is yours to do with as you please. It is still selfish.
 

Pizzabeak

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accusing someone of being selfish is selfish
 

Hawkeye

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Suicide is only selfish if you have offspring. Also, procreation is worse than murder.

I'd say taking your offspring with you is selfish.
 

lonewolf

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accusing someone of being selfish is selfish

This. I think telling someone they're selfish because they want so badly to escape from here that they even "forget" about their natural (isn't it?) survival instinct is one of the most selfish things one could possibly do. It's like saying that you don't care if they suffer, you just need them to stay and face a painful life so that YOU don't feel sad for their death, so you're more important than them because you'd rather have them suffer than suffer yourself. On the other hand, being willing to suffer is not what I'd call healthy.

(Too many "suffers", sorry)

Then, if you have particular responsibilities such as children or something important to do with work, it would be like turning your back on people who need you (which is selfish)... But you've already pointed this out.
 

someoneshady

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I don't believe it's selfish to take your own life if you do not wish to live anymore. It's your own life to end. I do believe that you can eventually overcome the things that are bothering you and find your will to live again.
 

nexion

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Depends on the intent, really.

I've always maintained that the idea that one could consider a desire to end his own life as selfish to be a result of the inherent selfishness of others. So either you commit suicide and be selfish or you don't and condone the selfishness of others.
 

Yellow

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So, I was thinking of starting a thread on almost exactly this subject. I'm not sure which is more frowned upon: duplicate threads or thread resurrection, but I've yet to be corrected for resurrection, so I'm doing it.

At work, I have an ethical obligation to call emergency services for anyone I believe to be suicidal (it's more complicated than that, but that's the gist). However, the ethical codes have changed slightly in recent years. Now, if a client/patient has a terminal illness (from which they are close to dying.. not something a decade out), it is up to my discretion whether I report it. I think this is a step in a good direction. Many of my colleagues disagree.

I rarely discuss my opinions on any topic with colleagues for obvious reasons, but in this case, when talking about terminal cases, I spoke up. I firmly believe that people should be free to name their own terms when it comes to death, especially in the case of inescapable suffering. So I argued that our role as mental health providers was not to convince the person to cling on for a few more months/weeks of misery, but to help them go out with as much peace as possible. The conversation didn't go over well with them, and I kept the rest to myself, but maybe I can ramble here and test whether I still appear to be off my rocker.

It is incredibly important for most terminal people to know that it's okay to die. We have so many obligations and worries, people who will miss us and grieve. People who won't understand, even if it's an expected death. When a person is dying, or considering a defensive suicide, they crave peace of mind. They want to know that they won't be resented for leaving, that they aren't leaving too much work undone. That it's okay to let go.

So rather than spending all of my energy telling a terminal client that it's not okay, I think it is most ethical and beneficial to work with client and help the family and friends to understand and show support for the decision.

In general, I think that if we were less accusatory and dismissive of people who have or are considering suicide, it would serve to not only encourage conversations that would prevent it, but help with the bereavement process of those left behind.
 

Jennywocky

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...I firmly believe that people should be free to name their own terms when it comes to death, especially in the case of inescapable suffering. So I argued that our role as mental health providers was not to convince the person to cling on for a few more months/weeks of misery, but to help them go out with as much peace as possible. The conversation didn't go over well with them, and I kept the rest to myself, but maybe I can ramble here and test whether I still appear to be off my rocker.

It is incredibly important for most terminal people to know that it's okay to die. We have so many obligations and worries, people who will miss us and grieve. People who won't understand, even if it's an expected death. When a person is dying, or considering a defensive suicide, they crave peace of mind. They want to know that they won't be resented for leaving, that they aren't leaving too much work undone. That it's okay to let go.

So rather than spending all of my energy telling a terminal client that it's not okay, I think it is most ethical and beneficial to work with client and help the family and friends to understand and show support for the decision.

In general, I think that if we were less accusatory and dismissive of people who have or are considering suicide, it would serve to not only encourage conversations that would prevent it, but help with the bereavement process of those left behind.

Well, I would draw a distinction between suicide and euthanasia (which seems to be what you are discussing). The first covers a broad range of self-termination including perhaps just losing hope in a situation that is actually reasonably hopeful and thus needlessly ending one's life whereas perhaps the problem could have been resolved and the patient happy living a continued existence; you seem to be discussing a very narrow subset of this where a person is diagnosed as terminal and within a very defined range of time (weeks/months). in that latter case, I think it's very reasonable for mental health staff to help patients and their families come to terms with their imminent death and make it a formative, positive process rather than adding more guilt and stress to what is already no doubt traumatic for all involved.

I think there's just a huge barrier there with things like the Hippocratic Oath (although that applies to medical doctors?) and never "doing any harm." Traditionally in the medically ethic sense that line seems strongly policed so as to avoid the possibility of contributing to harm; it's just in this case, the patient is already harmed terminally, without the doctor's involvement, and you're just provide transition services so to speak. If a consenting adult with awareness of their situation doesn't want to prolong life with aggressive treatment, why should they be forced to do so? They didn't get to choose their illness, but hopefully they can choose how to approach it if the end is already predictable.
 

TBerg

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I firmly believe that suicide should remain a taboo in every society. For a society to accept it, then it must accept the behavior of ultimate self-destruction.

When we consider whether we approve of a suicide or disapprove of it, we slip into accepting the psychological state of the person as it was at the time of suicide. This is simply to accept the myopia of the condition of an extremely disturbed person. I have been under the spell of that myopia a time or two. It is extremely important that society did not recognize my myopia at the time and continued to show me that I was wrong at the time. It is important to castigate the most extreme expressions of my disturbance.

The reality of life is that there are highs and lows. The sane person recognizes and accepts these descensions and ascensions as facts of life that cannot and should not be eradicated. To do so would be the eradication of character itself. What the taboo against suicide does is prevents the floor of descension from being holed out for more and more people. I am generally for leaving people alone, but I say that the most extreme social disturbances require castigation and rectification in ways appropriate to the situation. If someone is obviously psychotic, then a quite aggressive posture might send them over the edge, or it might shock them out of a train of psychosis. I don't know the answer for every situation, but I still believe in the pursuit of the right answer to keeping someone from killing themself.
 

Jennywocky

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I firmly believe that suicide should remain a taboo in every society. For a society to accept it, then it must accept the behavior of ultimate self-destruction.

When we consider whether we approve of a suicide or disapprove of it, we slip into accepting the psychological state of the person as it was at the time of suicide. This is simply to accept the myopia of the condition of an extremely disturbed person. I have been under the spell of that myopia a time or two. It is extremely important that society did not recognize my myopia at the time and continued to show me that I was wrong at the time. It is important to castigate the most extreme expressions of my disturbance.

The reality of life is that there are highs and lows. The sane person recognizes and accepts these descensions and ascensions as facts of life that cannot and should not be eradicated. To do so would be the eradication of character itself. What the taboo against suicide does is prevents the floor of descension from being holed out for more and more people. I am generally for leaving people alone, but I say that the most extreme social disturbances require castigation and rectification in ways appropriate to the situation. If someone is obviously psychotic, then a quite aggressive posture might send them over the edge, or it might shock them out of a train of psychosis. I don't know the answer for every situation, but I still believe in the pursuit of the right answer to keeping someone from killing themself.

Did you read Yellow's post in detail?

It sounds like you're just talking about suicide in general, from the best I can tell. Or are you saying that to permit a terminal patient to not indulge the most aggressive form of treatment regardless to be a slippery slope that condones self-destruction on a broader level?
 

TBerg

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I did not mean my analysis to be applied to people who are really terminally ill and have no other options but deciding how they will die and not whether to die. I intended my analysis for those who have real life left in them regardless of their mental state. But, after thinking about medical suicide more, I have changed by opinion from acceptance of those who choose it to ambivalence about the possibility of allowing for a slippery slope of self-destructive logic to unfold. As someone with libertarian proclivities, I have real problems with criminalizing self-destruction, though.
 

vladmirus

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As a person that believes some very weird things and sees value in absurdism, I think that living without purpose is the same (if not worse than) dying.
Suicide doesn't need to be selfish, it doesn't need to be considering.
Suicide in essence is a personal decision, if the person still saw value in the ones left behind, then there is something to live for and suicide doesn't seem to have a point.
If there is no value in the ones left behind, and thus, no value or meaning to the person concerned then suicide has a point.

At some point the person will die, if it seems justified to the person that commits suicide I look upon it as any other death -- part of life.
 

nanook

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I think it's rather unethical to call services on anyone without asking them if they want services applied to them. If you can offer services, you may ask anyone, if they need it, not just those, who need it the most, according to your opinion.

Society is not smart enough, to know how my life is working out for me, because whether i suffer or not depends only on how my brain is working and society can't even fix a brain, in fact it outlaws ayahuasca and any other medicine that might be able to fix a deeper case of bad wiring and antidepressants are less effective than good food and sun and sport. I'd be happy to receive some real help, in the meantime fuck off, society.
 

TBerg

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And, the reality is that the mere discussion of suicides encourages copycat episodes.
 

Sid99

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As a person that believes some very weird things and sees value in absurdism, I think that living without purpose is the same (if not worse than) dying.
Suicide doesn't need to be selfish, it doesn't need to be considering.
Suicide in essence is a personal decision, if the person still saw value in the ones left behind, then there is something to live for and suicide doesn't seem to have a point.
If there is no value in the ones left behind, and thus, no value or meaning to the person concerned then suicide has a point.

At some point the person will die, if it seems justified to the person that commits suicide I look upon it as any other death -- part of life.


This is the point TBerg was making, against your point. When you said you believe very weird things, i knew you were going to argue this point. It almost seems as though you decided to argue the point most sought against, which is fun, though not always entirely productive. Whereas I did not experience death yet, I would still like to argue the point that TBerg makes, though with some minor changes, to make it sound a bit more moderate.

The point of the taboo in society concerning suicide is mainly driven by an unconscious constant, which is unchanging in the fact that is must always be. This constant is that life must be considered sacred, so to speak, and that wasted life in murders or suicide are to be looked upon as negatively. Again, I have not yet experience any deaths in family, so I cannot make a case of this point with emotional evidence, though I do understand it from others. Others do consider this constant to be true, no matter what.

Now, suicide is ultimately taboo, and we can go on to prove why suicide is a bad thing. The first item that comes to mind is the fact that it gets better, and one can even come to regret their suicidal thoughts or attempts, which proves this to be reversible and therefore reasonable to combat. Again, one would combat it because life is sacred. Now, as to your point of everyone dies anyways, I would say that this point is true, although strictly in the most unbiased and therefore inconsiderate sense. It is a bad way to look at things, since it is unproductive and ultimately incorrect in (and when considering) society.

Whether or not suicide is selfish is entirely based on values, which have not yet entirely matured in me, so I would venture to (attempt to) outline various ways of looking at this, which is 1) the way that people are affected by their loved ones being lost is a negative impact wrought upon a certain "escape," therefore it is selfish. 2) loved ones experiencing this loss should be considerate of the fact that this individual was in distress, therefore it is not to be considered selfish as the individual was the victim.

Based on my assertion that "life is sacred" and "it can be treated and ultimately dealt with," I would answer the overall question with no, the question is loaded and lends itself to varying (though there is a majority in thought, which I believe is "yes") answers. The question "is suicide wrong," which is still a kind of bad question, would be productively answered, in that it is wrong.

Sorry for the possibly incoherent rambling and the possibly annoying use of "therefore," I hope this was a productive post?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jennywocky

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Here's an interesting comment:
The first item that comes to mind is the fact that it gets better....

Does it?

At what point can a person reasonably decide that it might not get better? Does such a point exist?

(Now I'm reminded of "The Hours," interestingly enough, or at least Virginia Wolf's last (?) note to her husband:

 

Sid99

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Here's an interesting comment:


Does it?

At what point can a person reasonably decide that it might not get better? Does such a point exist?

(Now I'm reminded of "The Hours," interestingly enough, or at least Virginia Wolf's last (?) note to her husband:



I'd like to say that this is the case for the majority, and though I do not believe the implied minority in this instance is necessarily an outlier, I'd like to first speak about this group which can be talked about productively. If this minority in which "it does not get better" truly exists, then it would be similar to the case of euthanasia, no?


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Seteleechete

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The right to commit suicide is one of the few things I believe very strongly in. I do not care about the suicide itself but rather about the right to make a choice. A person should always have the right choose and the ultimate choice is suicide. I might choose to take your freedom away by putting you in prison then your choice is to accept it, try to fight it or try to escape it (suicide). Fighting will inevitably fail and the remaining choices are accepting it or escaping it. I am fine with the last scenario as long as the person has a choice, I am very big on the concept of people having personal freedom and the way I prevent different peoples choices from clashing in my head is reminding myself that the other side still has a choice in the matter. That choice might sometimes be to kill himself. Basically that is where I draw a line to my belief in personal choice, when one persons choice (preventing suicide) prevents all choices of another person.

That does not mean that you shouldn't try to dissuade suicide and maybe even delaying it so the person has some time to think but I think it's wrong to take the persons choice away and outright stopping it.

Mind you this way of thinking is not based in reality. I often live in (pretend to live in) my own fantasy worlds created in my mind where concepts such as eternal torture and magical slavery often exist. I just hate the thought of being caught in such a fate and not being able to commit suicide. In real life it would be something like crippling mental or physical issues while being unable to commit suicide. My belief in personal choice usually supersede my moral values and heavily restricting the choices of one person is usually the choice of another person/group of people. However it is my/the societies personal choice to prevent someone from committing certain acts.

This concept might come off a bit jumbled but basically the entire line of thinking ends up with; allow the person you impose on the right to commit suicide and while I might still dislike what you do, it isn't too bad since that person has the personal choice of committing suicide or accepting the matter.

This entire scenario becomes far more iffy when a person doesn't posses all his mental faculties particularly temporarily. It is also further complicated with my belief that your life is your mind. I feel the best choice if possible is to wait until the person can think clearly and if he still wants to commit suicide after a few days allow him. If he is permanently mentally ill then the person he was is already dead and the choice should then fall on the mentally ill person. A lot of this depends on case by case basis I cannot put a general rule on how I should think for these kinds of situations.

Also yes I believe committing suicide is selfish, but I am a doubter to the concept of selflessness I think every action someone commits are for selfish purposes. If someone commits a selfless action he does so to appease his own morals/consciousness/pride/w/e. Basically I think every selfless action has a core selfish reason. There are selfless actions but no selfless reasons for such actions. I am more open to neutral reasons, just not selfless once. As for if the act of suicide is a selfish action it depends on perspective and differs on a case by case basis.
 
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