The View from Hell

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Why I Am Not Pro-Suicide

with 3 comments

In the essays that comprise this project, I have been arguing in favor of a general right to suicide, including access to comfortable, effective means of suicide. I am not, however, “pro-suicide” – any more than those that favor reproductive rights are “pro-abortion.” In fact, I have articulated a specifically anti-suicide position in the case of people who have voluntarily reproduced, leaving open the possibility of other cases.

I am not pro-suicide, in the sense that I do not see suicide as a particularly preferable decision, for the same reason that I am not anti-suicide: I believe that each person must be allowed to act on his or her own values, so long as he does not violate the rights of others. I am definitely in favor of kindness and altruism, but I feel that it is neither kind nor altruistic to force a person to stay alive against his wishes. Neither do I think it is kind or altruistic to encourage a person to commit suicide when suicide does not accord with his values.

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Written by Sister Y

June 2, 2008 at 8:32 am

3 Responses

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  1. Very well put and completely reasonable in my book. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I like both the style of your writing and your clear, concise reasoning. Most people are so ignorant and so ill-prepared in reasoning correctly that if you defend the right to suicide they automatically presume you want everyone to put an end to their lives (non sequitur), most of the time followed by an ad hominem-argument (you’re an evil bastard, you force people to kill themselves, you work for satan, go explain this position to the parents of a kid who committed suicide…). A lot, if not the great majority, of people are quite stupid, uneducated, highly emotional (they simply cannot look at things objectively, devoid of personal feelings or interests) and vulgar and their minds are so twisted from years and years of propaganda (in the media, schools, etecetera) they cannot seem to comprehend even the simplest things or grap even the basic notions in logic (like when an argument is correct and when not) and thus are not fit to reason with. Certainly they cannot expect to make good decisions and voice an intelligent opinion on important moral issues like abortion or the right to die. Basically this is why democracy doesn’t work, but that’s a whole other matter.

    To me the whole suicide-issue is quite simple really: since you didn’t elect to be here (it’s a decision your parents made for you, most likely without your best interest as an individual in mind) and a lot of bad things happen to people (this world is far from perfect and actually contains a lot of very intense and oftentimes completely unnecessary suffering) you have the right to decide when it’s enough and you simply cannot take it anymore. Whatever everyone else thinks about your decision is quite irrelevant: for one they can’t feel or experience what you feel and experience so they have no basis to judge wether your suffering is grave or not and secondly it’s simply not their business anyway. Your body is yours and as Schopenhauer put it no-one has a more certain and unassailable right to one’s body and life than the person himself. What I find very ironic is that the state detains people who are suicidal claiming they have their best interest and future well-being at heart (isn’t that sweet and heartwarming: the state watches over you like a concerned parent) yet at the same time they legalized alcohol and tobacco… substances that kill thousands upon thousands each year (not to mention the huge economic costs and the immeasurable suffering involved). It’s clear why the state denies the first category of people the right to self-destruction while promoting it for the other category: there’s a lot of money to be made off alcohol and tobacco but very little off suicidal people. In fact in this case the government will actually lose money since an actual or potential work-force is lost, not to mention the huge decline in consumer-numbers in psychiatry and the related pharmacological industry (if you kill yourself that’s one less patient for a shrink not to mention the amount of fairly useless chemicals they could sell you each year). It’s always the same really: those that have money have power, those that do not have money have no power and thus are easy prey for the powerful. This whole debate on suicide and suicide-prevention has very little to do with morality and a lot with money and power. Let those that can see open their eyes.

    Anonymous

    August 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  2. As to free access to lethal drugs: I agree this would be the best solution for the problem at hand and a logical complement to the right to suicide (if you are free to kill yourself but do not have the means that so-called right means nothing… you could compare it to having the right to an education but not getting into a decent school because you do not have the money to pay for it) but quite frankly I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Besides that there’s a moral problem: it’s perfectly reasonable to respect someone’s right to die yet at the same time refuse to assist him or her in the process. The basic problem here is that the government won’t be able to enforce the free distribution of lethal drugs because a) it would be immoral to make the manufacturers do so if they claim it’s against their conscious – there’s not a lot of money to be made here (suicides will not need a second dose) and thus there’s little incentive, especially when so much more money can be made by promoting psychiatric drugs (most of which need to be taken daily) as ‘solutions’ to this problem – and b) the general public will always oppose this for sentimental reasons so fat chance such a bill will ever get through parliament. This is why democracy doesn’t work. It still surprises me that something that is so clearly a moral problem gets transformed into a medical one through mere propaganda, with so many well-educated and fairly decent people going along with it.

    Sincerely,

    Zara

    Anonymous

    August 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  3. what if a good healthy persone decides to put an end to his/her life?
    What if this person, decides to do so because they feel unfit, or rather they feel that they do not belong to this type of society we live in.
    What if they feel they have become a burden for friends and familly, and that they can no longer face up to debt and to misery.
    What if they lost the wil to live, that they perceive the world(ie:people) as evil and materialistic,were the strong feed's on the poor.
    What if this person had enaugh of slaving for others and is no longer free to be free.
    What about religion????
    This person is terrified and hopeless!!!
    Please advise!!!

    Anonymous

    November 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm


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