When is it okay to kill?
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21-05-2015, 11:27 PM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(21-05-2015 09:14 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(20-05-2015 09:30 PM)Nurse Wrote:  I personally don't support the right to suicide in all situations. It's a grey area for me. While I support it for terminal illnesses and severe pain, I don't support it merely for depression - I view it as a tragedy.

Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

(21-05-2015 06:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Much stronger psychological challenging needed here. Are they depressed? existential angst? bored?............

Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

I worked with this brilliant dude who was a pioneer of the Bluetooth communications protocol. One day out of the blue he just threw himself off a bridge. Tragedy for the rest of us yes, but it wasn't our call. Same with the comic genius Robin Williams. Same with Alan Turing. Their loss is a tragedy for the rest of us but I don't question their call.

It's not their call when it comes from major depressive episode. Not when they are mentally incapacitated rendering them incapable of making decisions for themselves. Sometimes all it takes to save a life is a friend saying "I care." Sometimes meds and counseling. Sometimes forced psychiatric treatment. When the fog lifts and the world returns to color, most people are gonna be thankful they had help when they were down and too lost to help themselves.

1/2 of American adults with depression seek treatment with therapy and/or meds - and 80-90% are treated successfully. Most suicidal people don't want death - they want the pain to stop. http://www.save.org

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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22-05-2015, 05:52 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(21-05-2015 11:27 PM)Nurse Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 09:14 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Maybe so, but it ain't your call.


Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

I worked with this brilliant dude who was a pioneer of the Bluetooth communications protocol. One day out of the blue he just threw himself off a bridge. Tragedy for the rest of us yes, but it wasn't our call. Same with the comic genius Robin Williams. Same with Alan Turing. Their loss is a tragedy for the rest of us but I don't question their call.

It's not their call when it comes from major depressive episode. Not when they are mentally incapacitated rendering them incapable of making decisions for themselves. Sometimes all it takes to save a life is a friend saying "I care." Sometimes meds and counseling. Sometimes forced psychiatric treatment. When the fog lifts and the world returns to color, most people are gonna be thankful they had help when they were down and too lost to help themselves.

1/2 of American adults with depression seek treatment with therapy and/or meds - and 80-90% are treated successfully. Most suicidal people don't want death - they want the pain to stop. http://www.save.org

On the topic of Robin Williams - supposedly he was depressed. He also had been told he had a degenerative disease.

For me, a degenerative disease would be cause to exit before the misery sets in. The conundrum would be the timing, not the act.

Who can tell for sure what another person's limits are? We don't all feel the same way. Pain is not the same to all of us. We all have different thresholds.

If and when I choose to exit, I don't want anyone messing with it. It will be a well thought out decision. Others will not be aware of this and I strongly doubt that being tossed into a facility for treatment will increase my enjoyment of a life that is heading for a downhill spiral.

Also, be aware that people's attitude towards death changes as we age (thankfully!!!). While of child rearing age, our instinct for survival is much stronger. So people of child rearing age tend to apply this "survive at all cost" to the older generation. But as you get older, your attitude changes along with your body. Death does become your friend. Many old people struggle to live because their relatives want them to and their god forbids an early exit, not because they get pleasure from living.

The great majority of suicides is older folk who get sick of having trips to the toilet be the greatest accomplishments of their days.

The general concept is that people who commit suicide are hurting themselves. They are not. They are stopping the pain. The people who remain alive are the ones who will hurt from the act.

I most certainly hope that no one takes it upon themselves to "rescue" me when I choose the exit. It is my decision, and mine only.

[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
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22-05-2015, 07:51 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
I'll clarify a bit. Under 65 without serious health conditions.

The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning and suicide attempts is significantly higher among adults aged 18-29 than among adults aged 30+. (CDC)
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)
Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)


Do I support Robin Williams decision? Yes. He had complex health problems and was on the decline, compounded by addiction, divorce and depression.

Do I support an 18 year old's decision to swallow a bunch of pills after getting dumped? Or a 12 year old boy that shoots himself in the head after getting in trouble for a bad report card? Nope.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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22-05-2015, 07:58 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
Some of us are, for a variety of reasons, driven to harden ourselves against the inevitability of death earlier than others, while some never do. Those who never confront that fear are, ironically, the ones who are more likely to be stressed and depressed in their old age.

There's something incredibly freeing about coming to terms with your mortality regardless of age. Life is just much easier without being unnecessarily burdened by chronic fear of something which we have very little control over.

We'll all have to face that music one way or another. None of us are going to make it out alive in the end. Given that insurmountable reality, the concept of judging the value of life based solely on our survivability is what I find depressing.

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22-05-2015, 08:56 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(22-05-2015 07:51 AM)Nurse Wrote:  I'll clarify a bit. Under 65 without serious health conditions.

The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning and suicide attempts is significantly higher among adults aged 18-29 than among adults aged 30+. (CDC)
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)
Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)


Do I support Robin Williams decision? Yes. He had complex health problems and was on the decline, compounded by addiction, divorce and depression.

Do I support an 18 year old's decision to swallow a bunch of pills after getting dumped? Or a 12 year old boy that shoots himself in the head after getting in trouble for a bad report card? Nope.

I would agree with you on the teenagers. The "drama" phase of life is emotionally too unstable to make a clear decision.

Why 65? Do you think people are not mature enough to decide about their own life until they are 65?

Quote:U.S. Suicide Statistics (2001)

Actual Suicides

1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.

On average, one suicide occurs every 17 minutes.

On average, an elderly person dies by suicide every 1 hour and 37 minutes.

On average, a young person (age 15-24) dies by suicide every 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all Americans.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds.
(1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide)

Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for young people aged 5-14 year olds.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for males.

Suicide is the nineteenth leading cause of death for females.

More males die from suicide than females.
(4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide.)

More people die from suicide than from homicide.
(Suicide ranks as the 11th leading cause of death; Homicide ranks 13th.)

73% of all suicide deaths are white males.

80% of all firearm suicide deaths are white males.

Among the highest rates (when categorized by gender and race) are suicide deaths for white men over 85. (54 per 100,000)

And it doesn't count the many suicides that are achieved by simply ceasing to take meds.

Is it suicide to refuse treatment when the inevitable outcome is death? Sure it is, it is a decision to die. That is the manner in which countless old folks choose to die. My own mother chose to refuse any further dialysis. It was definitely suicide, and it will never show in stats.

[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
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22-05-2015, 03:55 PM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2015 04:02 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(22-05-2015 07:51 AM)Nurse Wrote:  Do I support Robin Williams decision? Yes. He had complex health problems and was on the decline, compounded by addiction, divorce and depression.

Do I support an 18 year old's decision to swallow a bunch of pills after getting dumped? Or a 12 year old boy that shoots himself in the head after getting in trouble for a bad report card? Nope.

Made my first exit bag when I was 19. Just knowing that I have it close at hand has kept my sorry ass alive for more than 3 decades now. It's my security blanket.

My point is that it is not my place to support or not the most intimate decision a person can make. Ain't my call. It's not my place to even question it or try to understand or rationalize it. (I admit that this is in the purview of the head shrinkers 'cause it's their job and shit.) Some people just get tired of living sooner than others.

EDIT: Grounding my own lyrical references. I knew I stole that from some song.

Then she looks up at the building
and says she's thinking of jumping
She says she's tired of life
she must be tired of something




There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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22-05-2015, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2015 05:11 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(21-05-2015 11:27 PM)Nurse Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 09:14 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Maybe so, but it ain't your call.


Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

I worked with this brilliant dude who was a pioneer of the Bluetooth communications protocol. One day out of the blue he just threw himself off a bridge. Tragedy for the rest of us yes, but it wasn't our call. Same with the comic genius Robin Williams. Same with Alan Turing. Their loss is a tragedy for the rest of us but I don't question their call.

It's not their call when it comes from major depressive episode.

I've had numerous major depressive episodes. It's still my call. It's always my call. Your implication is that during a major depressive episode I am non compos mentis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those are my moments of greatest clarity. I am not alive by default, I am alive by choice as a result of deliberate consideration. Can you say the same?

"The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully." - Samuel Johnson

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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22-05-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(21-05-2015 09:14 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(20-05-2015 09:30 PM)Nurse Wrote:  I personally don't support the right to suicide in all situations. It's a grey area for me. While I support it for terminal illnesses and severe pain, I don't support it merely for depression - I view it as a tragedy.

Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

(21-05-2015 06:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Much stronger psychological challenging needed here. Are they depressed? existential angst? bored?............

Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

I worked with this brilliant dude who was a pioneer of the Bluetooth communications protocol. One day out of the blue he just threw himself off a bridge. Tragedy for the rest of us yes, but it wasn't our call. Same with the comic genius Robin Williams. Same with Alan Turing. Their loss is a tragedy for the rest of us but I don't question their call.

Well yes essentially that is so, but that does not prevent some efforts, albeit ultimately futile, to get across to them. Conversely people such as Kervorkian could have non intentionally further depressed them.
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22-05-2015, 05:10 PM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(22-05-2015 03:55 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Made my first exit bag when I was 19. Just knowing that I have it close at hand has kept my sorry ass alive for more than 3 decades now. It's my security blanket.

That is what makes the "death with dignity" laws so great. Instead of living in fear of what's to come and being unable to enjoy what's left of one's life, the knowledge that there is a way to escape when needed makes life in peace possible again.

There is a serenity in knowing one has the power to prevent the worst scenarios from happening. In effect, contradictory as it seems, having suicide as distinct possibility is sometimes instrumental in choosing life.

The mere knowledge of the possibility and ease of suicide can make life enjoyable again.

[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
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09-06-2015, 08:41 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(20-05-2015 04:46 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  I know this is opening a huge can of worms, but I have a sincere desire to hear the different perspectives of those of you on this board. This is a serious question for which I am seeking serious consideration.

First, some background on my question. I grew up and have lived my entire life in Alabama. Most of that time I attended Southern Baptist churches, with the exception of the last 7 years where I attended a United Methodist church until my recent de-conversion. The political viewpoints of the majority of Alabamians are influenced by a hodgepodge of the old southern democrats who supported farmer subsidies and state's rights and right wing Christian conservative republicans. Both of those groups have demonstrated a mastery of the art of appealing to fear and faith to polarize and solidify their constituency over the years. Willful ignorance, nationalism/patriotism, left-over racial tensions, and poverty also play a significant role in molding the mentality of the American southerner.

I have always been much more of a moderate in my political leanings. On some subjects, e.g., gay marriage, I have political stances that are in stark contrast to most of my conservative neighbors. However, I readily admit that on other subjects I have internalized biases that I, until now, have not even realized I needed to examine. Due to my participation in a recent thread on the death penalty, I realize that the topic of the death penalty is one of those heretofore un-examined biases, which leads me to the question:

Under what circumstances is it acceptable to take the life of another?

This will be my first time to really think through this topic with the religious constraints removed from the equation. Theists are welcome to respond with the caveat that biblical references or other divine revelations will not be considered legitimate arguments.

Some discussion starters:

Politics: Why is it that the conservative agenda supports the death penalty yet vehemently opposes a woman's right to an abortion while the liberal agenda passionately opposes the death penalty yet views abortion as a fundamental right?

Is it ok to kill one to save the life another? Who determines which life is more valuable?

Self-defense: What if the other person perceives you as a threat to their life?

Abortion: Is it ever ok to abort a healthy fetus five minutes before a healthy woman would have gone into what would be considered a routine labor? Are there certain identifiable thresholds in the development, consciousness or awareness of any living thing the crossing of which renders the killing that living thing acceptable or unacceptable?

Infanticide: If a child is born to a mother with no access to birth control and in extreme poverty, under what circumstances would infanticide be considered merciful or at least an acceptable act of survival of the mother and/or her other children?

Mercy: Are there conditions where a person should take the life of another to alleviate pain and suffering? I.e., if a person is in extreme pain and their death is imminent and unavoidable would giving them a quick death be acceptable, or even preferable?

Assisted Suicide: When should a person be allowed to determine the time and means of their own death?

Capital punishment: Does a group of people who live together have the right to determine when one member of the group offends and is no longer allowed to be a part of the group? If exile is not feasible, is it acceptable to deprive the offender of life or liberty (for the remainder of their life?)

Whether or not killing another person is acceptable seems to be determined by a set of social rules and prohibitions. However, from what I have read and understood there does seem to be a limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships, that this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size.

This can be mitigated by efficiencies in communication, (according to Dunbar).

"The group size predicted for modern humans by equation (1) would require as much as 42% of the total time budget to be devoted to social grooming.
...
My suggestion, then, is that language evolved as a "cheap" form of social grooming, so enabling the ancestral humans to maintain the cohesion of the unusually large groups demanded by the particular conditions they faced at the time."


If Dunbar is correct then this would mean there is a biological imperative for the development of language - quite a compelling thought (i.e. more efficient communication leads to a larger group = better survival odds) - but more importantly that his findings suggest there is, in neurological terms, a functional limit to the size of any social group.

This functional limit will dictate the nuances of those social rules and prohibitions - as any prohibition too onerous to communicate will not be administered by a social group fully. We can already see that simple instructions (e.g. Thou shalt not kill) are much easier to spread among the variety of social groups. The fact that that particular commandment has undergone a transformation from 'thou shalt not commit murder', as administered by the Jewish tribes, to Thou shalt not kill', administered by a much larger, less centrally controlled Christian group, seems to fit Dunbar's theory well.

This also helps explain the dogma differences that has led to over 34000 Christian denominations (according to the World Christian Encyclopedia published in 2001), or why Communism doesn't work.

Humans may dream of large harmonious social groups but unfortunately our biology precludes this. Killing and its various interpretations of what is and what is not socially acceptable are a complex artefact of humans stabilising at micro-social levels. We can debate until we are blue in the face but we are never going to reach a consensus. Our Morality is set by our micro-social strategies and 'mixing it up' doesn't work - biologically speaking.

Archi

"I love the term magic realism. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered to think this is what the world is. Everything's saying 'That's the world.' And it's not the world. The world is a million possible things." - TG

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