Hi TA,

I came across the following article

Do any of us, however ill, have the right to die?

It is about a paralyzed man who wishes to die. Now this is a sensitive issue, but what I'm just disgusted by is the author, who belittles a man so defenseless in such a low and crass manner. She suggest he should wait until an infection kills him, or starve himself to death - comparing him to a whiny child.

I'm fully for everyones right to end their own lives. And I'm not going to be as arrogant and even suggest that I could understand what this man must feel, or say something stupid like "oh he's just giving up!". So because of that I was truly shocked by how misguided this person is. How low will some of these zealous people sink? Whether or not you agree with his wish is your opinion (which should not affect him), but to ridicule the only wish of such a man as if you're somehow morally superior?

What is Think Atheist's opinion?

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I would like to also point out that I had a cousin (like a sister to me) kill herself back in 91.  I am very certain I know why she did it but her immediate family can't even accept that she committed suicide - mostly because of the roll they played.  This is a big part of the reason I'm very course in dealing with the feelings of those left behind.

Of course, the difference between the end of a relationship and suicide is the finality of suicide and the impossibility of ever resolving the situation.

Or the finality of the relationship and the impossibility of ever resolving the situation?

One can have hope in the case of the relationship, not so if the other person is gone completely.

The survivors could always take up religion - oh, that is very likely to have caused the suicide in the first place - my bad.

Great answer.

We definitely need to stop acting as if suicide was a community thing. It's an individual act. When a person decides to end his live, it's not for others to decide for him whether or not he has to leave with an explanation. And if I may note, it's known that the majority of people who commit suicide do leave a letter, most of the time explaining their reasons and showing more worries about the emotions of their friends & family rather than talking about themselves. They feel more sorry for how it will affect them, rather than them.

Even if they did not, even if a person would want to die (but could not do so without help) without explaining themselves, what are we going to do? Tell him "No, not until you tell us what pissed you off." ?

Unseen, I'm throwing your wrench back.

The effect on those left behind depends on whether they and the recently-departed had talked of their concerns. The guilt that xianity imposes on people who act in their own self-interest discourages such talk. The guilt that various cultures impose on people who violate norms (i.e., the guilt that silenced my German forebears when talking interfered with their work) also discourages such talk. People can be more mature than you assume.

As to selfish acts, nothing is more selfish than having children. No child gives consent.

Well presumably in many cases the survivors are blindsided by the suicide. That was the case in several of the suicides I personally know of. When you say "People can be more mature than you assume," (a) I'm not assuming anything about maturity and (b) the operative word is "can."


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