Philosophers and Suicide

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Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 05:02 am
Holiday20310401;49855 wrote:
Life is absurd. Without one's constant pleasures, would it be more unreasonable to commit suicide dying a happy man than a sad one?

IMO, happiness and pleasure are two very distinct paradigms. Pleasure has very small significance in what it is to be happy. If you regard them as the same, you will go mad as you eventually turn to stone as your senses reach saturation for there is nothing else to live for. Happiness is a mind thing and will last you forever. :a-ok:

Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 11:37 pm
Khethil;16832 wrote:
... as far as a general notion. To me suicide does one thing only: It removes any chance for my future or happiness getting any better. As such, in my mind, I couldn't ever justify it.

I've heard it said that for some people, the pain of living becomes too much. I could see this 'pain' (depending on rather terrible circumstances) getting unbearable, I'm just not prepared to remove any positive future potential I might have.

By suicide, you equally remove any chance for future misery. How can anyone say that the total elimination of all possible future pain and misery is not a great good?

---------- Post added 12-30-2009 at 12:39 AM ----------

Aedes;16857 wrote:
A slight tangent is that one philosopher, Albert Camus, felt that the question of suicide was absolutely central to philosophy. In fact he felt that the question of "why do we bother to live" is the fundamental philosophical question. He writes about this in the Myth of Sisyphus, which everyone should read.

Indeed. The motive for living is not provided by reason, but is instinctual. This is shared by the stupidest animals. Suicide is an act of a higher order.

---------- Post added 12-30-2009 at 12:44 AM ----------

Holiday20310401;17011 wrote:
Is this even allowed to be discussed on the forum, but seriously, if anybody has reason to commit suicide would they share it. Here's a better question. Is suicide an action generally committed by the insane (or mentally hindered), or by the sane, just not at the same standpoint as the intellect of the social norm.

In the U.S., there is a strong prejudice against suicide, such that anyone who does so is presumed to be mentally unbalanced. However, I have never read any anti-suicide essays that are more rational than the best pro-suicide essays. Here are links to three:

Moral letters to Lucilius/Letter 70 - Wikisource

Moral letters to Lucilius/Letter 77 - Wikisource

Hume, Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, Part III, Essay IX, OF SUICIDE | Library of Economics and Liberty

The two by Seneca are more poetic and beautiful, but the one by Hume addresses more of the concerns that are common among modern people, showing the absurdity of the usual objections.
Alan McDougall
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 01:24 am
Suicide might be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire

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