Thursday, February 09, 2006

On suicide


3 days ago a former classmate and a close friend committed suicide in S.America. She must have been in her late 30's. This is naturally very troubling for me.

Given our natural instinct for self preservation it requires courage and premption to arrive and execute this decision. So it is not a frivolous light decision or cowardice or escapism as some people think of suicide. My take on this is -if it is influenced by deep mental illness and instability then we have as a society the right to interfere and stop some one from committing suicde but NOT if the person is perfectly sane.

It is quite difficult for me to look at suicide in a value neutral way without bringing in my own moral judgment of behavior. I am confused at arriving at these judgements for part of me approves of suicide given certain circumstances ; these circumstances can be both societal or/than personal.

Socieital ; For example if by living a person will harm society then it might be ok for that person to decide to terminate his life.

Personal: Another part of me (catalyzed by utilitarian, personal liberty and freedom and pro choice drivers) endorses in the moral sense suicide. After all if one decides for oneself that one's own life is just not worth living one should be able to end it. When my religious beleifs come in the way and I think about 'the sanctity of life' and 'thou shalt not kill' I am tempted to question why certain types of killing are ok with God(in war/ to defend a just cause /self defence etc) and others such as suicide are not.

How can it be God's decision when we should live or die for some things but not for other things?Also why has God given us free will if God don’t want us to act on it and follow His/Her/Its natural laws?

This is very confusing.


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