Comment #40085

Forum: Gun Control Discussion
Tama Yoshi
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Tama Yoshi 24 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
This debate is pretty open, you shouldn't feel like there's a need to say that suicide is right or wrong here. As we have pointed out, it's relative in a few ways.

Since you seem to find it difficult to defend *against* suicide, I'll try to highlight strong arguments from a typical anti-suicide position.

I think that the ideas behind the "surprising" opposition to suicide comes from the same cultural background as the people that claim that a single life is more valuable than anything else.

I feel this sort of position (that life is extremely valuable) can be defended based on two arguments:
1: the argument that whatever suffering which could lead to suicide acts as a misdirection. The future is uncertain and can be considered a "veil of ignorance" in the sense that killing ourselves now is much like killing some other individual in the future. This becomes non-trivial as soon as you realize that life changes very fast, and sacrificing 50 years of life to escape a seemingly hellish present could be misguided.
Similar arguments are made when arguing against abortion, although unlike suicide, I find myself not to be really against abortion at all. The difference, to me, is that resources have ALREADY been invested in the individuals' life, so his death would mean that all that the investment did not "really" pay off. The same cannot be said for the death of an embryo. This stems from a feeling of societal responsibility, and ties in with point 2.
2: the argument that anyone in society has a duty as a citizen, not because they are "FORCED TO BEHAVE!!!11" but because a citizen can simply not do all that he wants to. Society would not make sense without these kinds of social contracts; it wouldn't make sense if eveyrone was given the right to kill or steal. It wouldn't make sense if everyone spent away every single penny, leaving their entire family with a huge loan, and then kill themselves to "avoid the pain". As I pointed out, you can see an individual as a living investment of resources; his prematured death is the failure of that investment; it is therefore not desirable to have suicide (and here I do not say that it's a responsibility; just that it's not desirable). Tangentially, you could argue that any death whatsoever will eat at the state of equilibrium that may lie in any social context. Emotional, political and economical equilibrium can very easily be broken if someone decides to kill themselves.

Incidentally, I find it surprising that you haven't even scratched at the thought that the life of your family (and your brother's child) might not have been as bad if your brother had failed to kill himself, and then might have turned his life around, after eventually managing to push through his darkness (somehow), and so on.
While this is a hypothetical, if you put immense value on life (as many do), then even the sliver of a chance of saving a life has great value.
david s
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david s 25 United States MelancholicCholeric ISFJ 621 1193C
He did increase the burden on all of us, that's true, but as you were saying about the social contracts, it wouldn't be fair for him to go through all of the dakrness on his own. We, his family members, should have been able to help. Admittedly, at the time we did the best we could, but we couldn't live his life for him, so it was essentially like he was in the dark without a candle, and we were a picture of a flashlight, not actually capable of creating light in his world, but trying to convince him that there was still light in the world. But since it was so dark, he couldn't evn see that.

He messed things up for a lot of people, but he went through much worse.

I understand that a lot of people value life above all else, but I don't think it's good to make people continue living if they don't want to. I mean, isn't there a point where you should be allowed to die? I think both life and death are important rights. Give the person options and alternatives to suicide, try to make their lives better by all means, but don't go with the "STOP THEM AT ALL COSTS!" route.

I could imagine no worse torture than eternal life.