Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
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24-09-2010, 07:21 PM
Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
Okay, so I had been wondering about this question for awhile. If religious people believe that heaven is real, and is a much better place than here, then why don't they commit suicide? I thought perhaps that maybe suicide was prohibited in the Bible, but since I am still becoming acquainted with it, I wasn't sure. Then, yesterday, I was talking with a fellow atheist who brought it up. He went to Catholic school, and he's read the Bible, so he could tell me that there was no reference to a prohibition of suicide in the Bible, but that the Church still forbid it. I guess in the Middle Ages, the Church had to establish a rule against it in order to keep serfs from killing themselves (because then who would work the land?)
So my question is, has anybody come across this anywhere in the Bible? Or has anybody had any discussions with theists about this?

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24-09-2010, 07:29 PM
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
The Book of Mormon lists suicide as a 1 way ticket to hell, but I don't think it's in any version of the bible.

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24-09-2010, 07:33 PM
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
I know at least Catholics consider it a mortal sin but I don't know if there is biblical authority for that. I always assumed it was in the text, but maybe not. There is definitely leeway on the issue within the church, though. Committing suicide does not automatically get you kicked out of the Church, but I don't know what the rules are.

Now, interestingly, dying in the service of God is permitted in most of the monotheistic traditions and is actually encouraged. So, killing yourself for no obvious reason is bad, but killing yourself for a reason, no matter how dubious, where you take a few non-believers with you is not only perfectly acceptable but rewarded in the afterlife. That may be more a result of religion in practice then religion as written, though.

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24-09-2010, 08:38 PM
 
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
We were definitely taught that those who end their own lives go to hell. When one of our teachers in high school committed suicide, all the ministers in town came to school to console the kids. (Presumably because one of our teachers was then roasting in hell.)

I've never understood how anyone who has an inkling about how depressed a person has to be to commit suicide could ever assume that they would be held accountable by a loving god.
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24-09-2010, 11:22 PM
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
Suicide is a mortal sin for most religions.

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25-09-2010, 12:26 AM
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
(24-09-2010 07:21 PM)SecularStudent Wrote:  I guess in the Middle Ages, the Church had to establish a rule against it in order to keep serfs from killing themselves (because then who would work the land?)

My guess is that your guess is about as dead-on as a guess can be. How could the church control anyone if they kept escaping by committing suicide?
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25-09-2010, 09:43 PM
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
I just Googled references to suicide being expressly prohibited in the bible, and apparently it isn't. HOwever, there are some references to suicide in general (people committing suicide)
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27-09-2010, 02:21 AM
 
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
Evidently, the bible doesn't say expressly "Suicide is forbidden on pain of damnation to hell." but the clergy's interpretation is to declare it to be a "mortal sin" - one that's an express train to hell. This is necessary because if the clergy are proclaiming that an afterlife is one of milk and honey, too many people leading lives of misery and pain would be offing themselves at the earliest opportunity.

See: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-dml/dml-y038.html
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27-09-2010, 03:25 AM
 
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
I was looking for an answer to this one and came across Mano Singham. He has a pretty interesting blog. Here are his thoughts on it:

http://blog.case.edu/singham/2010/05/18/...ut_suicide
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28-09-2010, 06:48 AM
 
RE: Suicide, the one-way ticket to heaven?
I came across This expanation which is a bit puzzling but would certaunly convince a Christian the suicide was sinful.
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