Is suicide selfish?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-01-2015, 08:40 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
What One Above All said.

Ultimately, suicide is by definition selfish because you are doing it for yourself, except if, for some reason, your suicide saves anyone else's integrity or life - For example, if you are threatened that if you don't kill yourself your whole family dies, and you end up killing yourself, in this case, it's not selfish... Other than that it's a selfish act, but it doesn't mean it's wrong, it is your life and you are entitled to do anything you want with it.

If you are looking for discussions on the morality of suicide, that depends a lot on many variables. It's not immoral to commit suicide. But the choice itself could be immoral if there's someone who desperately needs you and can't survive without you, for example.

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-01-2015, 08:43 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
(29-01-2015 08:28 AM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  
(29-01-2015 08:20 AM)Dom Wrote:  Of course it is selfish - you are doing it for your own self.

Do you mean to ask whether it is inconsiderate? That totally depends and is very subjective.

If you have dependents, your departure will leave them in a worse position.

Does this now make you inconsiderate? Maybe not if you are afflicted with something that affects their lives negatively. Or if you are terminally ill and headed for a long struggle ending with death. Or if you are going down the path of Alzheimer. You could be doing them a big favor, even if they don't see it that way. Care givers suffer right along with the ones they care for, and then some. And then the patient dies and the care giver lives with the horrific memory of their decline.

My rule of thumb here is: No long term solutions to short term problems.

Life takes many turns over time, and heart break and many situations that seem unbearable today will resolve themselves next week. Most times there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Usually thoughts of suicide come and pass. In situations where it is clear that the situation can only deteriorate (as in terminal illness) I would call the person who wants to deny you an exit with dignity the selfish one.

How about if the person in question had no friends, family or acquaintances, and drown himself at sea where nobody would ever know he died. Is the persons suicide still a selfish act? Because selfishness itself is not just an action for ones self, it includes lack of considering of others.

I do agree that my question is a pretty bad question.

It's that "selfish" is a badly abused word and definition has become ambiguous.

We are all totally selfish. We are equipped with an instinct for self preservation. It is NOT a bad thing to be selfish.

What you are talking about is being inconsiderate. And, of course it's not inconsiderate for the guy in your example to drown himself.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
29-01-2015, 08:44 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
I think it's selfish to force someone to suffer because the people around said person would be uncomfortable.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Hobbitgirl's post
29-01-2015, 08:47 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
(29-01-2015 08:43 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(29-01-2015 08:28 AM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  How about if the person in question had no friends, family or acquaintances, and drown himself at sea where nobody would ever know he died. Is the persons suicide still a selfish act? Because selfishness itself is not just an action for ones self, it includes lack of considering of others.

I do agree that my question is a pretty bad question.

It's that "selfish" is a badly abused word and definition has become ambiguous.

We are all totally selfish. We are equipped with an instinct for self preservation. It is NOT a bad thing to be selfish.

What you are talking about is being inconsiderate. And, of course it's not inconsiderate for the guy in your example to drown himself.

Yes, the ambiguity creates a huge problem in this discussion.

Oxford dictionary defines being selfish as both being inconsiderate AND seeking pleasure/gain for oneself. In this case that definition would mean the person is not selfish, would it not?

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-01-2015, 08:51 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
When a word has two seperate meanings, one needs to specify which meaning is applicable or we'll be talking about different things.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
29-01-2015, 10:24 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
(29-01-2015 07:28 AM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  What are your views on this subject?

Why would it selfish? Why not courageous and sacrificial. You took on what everyone else is afraid of, death, and welcomed it on your own terms. You left for everyone what inheritance you had remaining to be equally divided among the lot, a space for someone else to now occupy. You rid the world of one more pollutant footprint, one more mouth to feed, and tend to expensively when you get old and incapable.

Sure a few people, that you could count on one hand, might be sad, but sadness is irrational and fades. If you haven't made much of an impression on their lives, it would likely fade more sooner than you think. Life goes on, as well oiled as it did with you, now without you, and maybe even a little more fluidly in your absence.

Sorry, just serving as the contrarian to popular wisdom.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-01-2015, 10:36 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
I've always held a more Socratic view and to me it's an insult to others and consciousness but not so much a selfish act.

Is running off to be a hermit and study in some lonely cave or temple selfish? I think if someone in a spot of that manner killed themselves, who would be affected? There wouldn't really be someone around to for it to have an impact.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-01-2015, 10:40 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 11:09 AM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: Is suicide selfish?
I think it can depend on the circumstances. In some scenarios it could be viewed as sacrificing one's self for the greater good. For example if you're a soldier facing imminent capture - swallow the cyanide pill and the enemy can't obtain any knowledge you might have about troop positions, tactics, etc. Or if you're incredibly elderly and infirm and feeble and your continued existence is a drain on your loved ones, emotionally, financially, etc. I think it could be seen as selfless to relieve them of the burden of caring for you. Sure, your kids and grandkids may want as much time with you as they can get, but in some views you might be doing them a favor in the long run if you eat a bullet; before someone has to start shelling out thousands of dollars a month to keep you in a nursing home, before there's not much "quality time" left with you anyway, etc. It ought to be your choice, one shouldn't be compelled to eek out every last second if that's not what they want for themselves; if that's not their definition of living.

I think about my wife's grandfather, he was diabetic for 50 years, lost fingers and toes over it, had at least 6 "close calls" even in just the 10 years I knew him before he ultimately died. The last 6 months or so of his life he was essentially bed-ridden incapable of taking any kind of care of himself whatsoever. The grief and feelings of loss started LONG before he actually died. If he'd "accidentally" taken too much insulin several years earlier, we would have had the same feelings of grief we ultimately had anyway, but the family might have been spared several years of having to watch him decline. I think there's something to be said for dying with dignity, and it should be at the discretion of the person who has to do the dying.

I think it's unfortunate that so many people kill themselves for reasons we can't always understand; but I also think if we can't choose to take our own lives what freedom or autonomy can we really be said to have?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Mr. Boston's post
29-01-2015, 10:41 AM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
(29-01-2015 08:20 AM)Dom Wrote:  Of course it is selfish - you are doing it for your own self.

Do you mean to ask whether it is inconsiderate? That totally depends and is very subjective.

If you have dependents, your departure will leave them in a worse position.

Does this now make you inconsiderate? Maybe not if you are afflicted with something that affects their lives negatively. Or if you are terminally ill and headed for a long struggle ending with death. Or if you are going down the path of Alzheimer. You could be doing them a big favor, even if they don't see it that way. Care givers suffer right along with the ones they care for, and then some. And then the patient dies and the care giver lives with the horrific memory of their decline.

My rule of thumb here is: No long term solutions to short term problems.

Life takes many turns over time, and heart break and many situations that seem unbearable today will resolve themselves next week. Most times there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Usually thoughts of suicide come and pass. In situations where it is clear that the situation can only deteriorate (as in terminal illness) I would call the person who wants to deny you an exit with dignity the selfish one.

It occurs to me that when one has a terminal illness, there are no short-term problems, or conversely - all solutions are long-term.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chas's post
29-01-2015, 12:55 PM
RE: Is suicide selfish?
(29-01-2015 10:36 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I've always held a more Socratic view and to me it's an insult to others and consciousness but not so much a selfish act.

Is running off to be a hermit and study in some lonely cave or temple selfish? I think if someone in a spot of that manner killed themselves, who would be affected? There wouldn't really be someone around to for it to have an impact.

It's more of a product of consciousness rather than an insult to it. Though I do understand your point.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: