I recently confronted suicide not once, or twice... but three times. One of these is still occurring.
What I haven't explained in the article I published on suicide is how much I still blame religion. These are personal feelings, and don't belong in a public service piece; so I will go into that here:
When a person is religious, they create an acceptance of their lifespan never truly ending. A religious person finds this life to be utterly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, except perhaps providing the proper ID for the "real life", or afterlife as it is commonly referred to.
This notion of there being an immortal lifespan tends to break down the value of life and the finality of death. In the mind of the believer, it isn't a matter of not living that draws concern, but the matter of where you end up. Of course you won't stop existing! Are you mad? You have a soul, you fool!
In the minds of many, there is this idea that all it takes to get into heaven is for you to be sorry for being a filthy sinner and acknowledge the Lord God. Bam! Heaven time!
What value is living if you manage to truly believe paradise is just a snuff-film away? The reason you won't find these thoughts specifically in my article is because I am not a neurologist, psychologist, or any other -ologist of note in which I can legitimately make these claims in official print. I am, however, damn smart... smart enough to know how dumb I am... so these thoughts lay here appropriately marked as "opinion" and cast out for the open forum.
I'm wanting to generate dialogue on this, so I'll stop here and ask: what do you think?
Like and share the article on your various medias please.
I don't respond to comments on the article, so if you want to open a dialogue- speak here.
Same reason there is religious straight people... people are gullible enough to believe it.
On the one hand, I would certainly think that sexual orientation would have no bearing on a propensity for gullibility, still, one would have to question why even the gullible would embrace a religion that denounces their lifestyle as an abomination, and demands that they be put to death - kinda strikes me as the height of masochism.
"Oh, yes, I would LOVE to join a religion that orders me to be stoned to death!" Any part of that sound rational?
Could it be that since the 'people of the book' look up to to some abstract/absolute/demanding 'father figure', they constantly hope to tarry favor via some degree of conformity. In the absence of such a belief/behavior we are stuck with relying upon our own choices and intermittent rationality.
If we never develope an independent ability to make choices or pursue rational action, we get stuck in to cognitive loop, trying linked to failure, failure linked to dependency, dependency linked to conformity, failure of conformity linked to trying. I expect that even for buding rationalists, 'choices' carry risk, failure is a sad option.
I was suicidal in childhood because god didn't answer my prayers to make me straight. I hate that the Church did that to me. I wish I had never heard a single mass. I wish that I had never trusted a single priest. The Church took me in as a normal child and within a few short years nearly destroyed me. After considering the repercussions of suicide, I didn't kill myself because I didn't want to hurt my parents and I wanted to be able to be buried in a Catholic graveyard. I consider myself lucky to be alive.
There seems to be a misunderstanding here. As a Catholic Christian, we believe that suicide is bad and sinful but often there are other factors that can lead to suicide which can leave the victim innocent because they were not in the right mind. Unfortunately, a couple of my friends have committed suicide. One was Catholic and one was agnosticish, if you're curious. Either way, we strongly believe that both were not in the right state of mind when it happened. With one of them, he was just getting off of antidepressants: which often is a huge struggle for people. He just wasn't himself.
I'm not sure how you can blame religion for suicide. Again with my Catholic friend, a few priests at our school were among the only ones aware of the situation and they went out of their way to spend time with him as he was recovering at the hospital. They were encouraging and kind, actively communicating with his family. Blaming religion, nah. I think that you can blame bullies, hateful, and ignorant people. Pretty much across the board, all religions promote life and respect for all people. I have a good friend who happens to be gay and is a believing practicing Catholic. We don't isolate him! We don't make fun of him! We love him as a friend and a fellow brother. He is not a bad person because of it, not at all! He is no lesser or greater, it doesn't matter. Only our actions can be sinful, not our desires.
Hi Chris Goulet, welcome to TA.
I see you say that Catholicism is forgiving of suicides if the suicidee is "not in their right mind". Could you perhaps give some examples of when you might feel a suicidee is in their right mind? Are there any methods the Catholic Church, in your view, takes to determine if in fact the suicidee was in the right state of mind or not for salvation?
Thanks in advance.
A brief note on the Church's approach to suicide: After personally attending the funeral of a "Catholic suicide," I'm not sure how anyone could get the idea that the Church is unforgiving for these circumstances. The priests and deacons were super helpful and accommodating, taking pretty much all of their free time of the week to be with the family and prepare for the services. It wasn't a "tisk tisk" moment, everyone was upfront in supporting each other, especially the family.
As far as I can tell, there isn't a formal method to determine if someone was in the right mind or not. We all just have hope in God's mercy, which is even more than the mercy that we would have as family and friends of the victim.
As a Catholic Christian, we believe that suicide is bad and sinful but often there are other factors that can lead to suicide which can leave the victim innocent because they were not in the right mind.
I was interested in when you thought a suicidee WAS in their right mind. Without that as a comparison, your ensuing statements are difficult to absorb. Thanks.
I'm prone to think that most suicidees aren't in the right mind. Even for someone who has been depressed and suicidal for a while, it doesn't mean that is normal and maybe instead of just moments of mental instability it became a lifetime of mental instability. But I think that that's the most that I could say, I'm no expert.
I'm prone to think NO suicidee is in their right mind. And as a consequence, the Catholic Church according to your interpretation, can not condemn suicides. So how does it manage to do so?
Or has it "changed its mind"?
You've beat me to exactly the same train of reasoning I was going to take up. If there's a "not in the right mind when committing suicide" then either there is a "in the right mind when committing suicide" or else there's nothing being said.
I see your point, but I don't think that we could say that 100% of suicidees are out of their mind. Let's not kid ourselves, suicide is not a good thing. What's wrong with being against it on those grounds?