Elite Engineer

Argument against suicide

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Sometimes people commit suicide b/c they see no solution to a problem (granted it's not incurable terminal cancer). In reality this problem is merely temporary and can be

 

resolved.

 

 

One could say to them, "Don't worry, this will pass and everything will be ok". Then the suicidee says, "No, its too much, theres no 'positive' part of life right now"

 

 

 

Based on the suicidee premise, shouldn't everyone kill themselves, as we will all encounter a negative part of life, and to avoid the pain should just do ourselves in?

 

This I believe reveals out how pointless suicide is using the premise, "its bad for me right now".

 

 

I dunno is this just rambling or does it hold water?

 

~EE

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In reality this problem is merely temporary and can be

 

 

You don't know that and you certainly can't tell somebody that things are going to get better when you don't know that is the truth. I knew one guy with three young daughters he works on a farm and it is his job to kill animals all day. He says that he can't stop working because he won't will lose his home. He says that things are never going to improve for him and the reality is they probably won't

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You don't know that and you certainly can't tell somebody that things are going to get better when you don't know that is the truth. I knew one guy with three young daughters he works on a farm and it is his job to kill animals all day. He says that he can't stop working because he won't will lose his home. He says that things are never going to improve for him and the reality is they probably won't

But when he is playing with the children of his children; when he see the good his daughter the doctor does, the love from her pupils the teacher inspires, and the lives changed by the scientist he raised; and when he looks at the balance of his life - in a schmaltzy "It's a Wonderful Life" way he will realise that the world, his world, is better with him, his hard work, and his life

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You don't know that and you certainly can't tell somebody that things are going to get better when you don't know that is the truth. I knew one guy with three young daughters he works on a farm and it is his job to kill animals all day. He says that he can't stop working because he won't will lose his home. He says that things are never going to improve for him and the reality is they probably won't

At some point his daughters will grow up and will no longer be a financial burden for him to support. If he works on a farm and collects wages, he will be able to start collecting Social Security at age 62. There are also other benefits he can start to collect if he becomes physically unable to continue doing that job.

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You don't know that and you certainly can't tell somebody that things are going to get better when you don't know that is the truth.

 

 

It’s preferable to prevent an immediate prospect of death in favour of a less certain future, even if that future seems unavoidable (which it isn’t).

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Based on the suicidee premise, shouldn't everyone kill themselves, as we will all encounter a negative part of life, and to avoid the pain should just do ourselves in?

 

This I believe reveals out how pointless suicide is using the premise, "its bad for me right now".

 

A person at that point in their life isn't going to be thinking about suicide rationally. I'm pretty sure the impulse is almost purely emotional, and we know what happens to reason in the face of strong emotion. You need a stronger emotion to cancel out the first, imo, like pointing out the harm it would do to spouses, friends, and children, people who don't deserve to be punished like that.

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On 2015-09-12 at 7:04 PM, Elite Engineer said:

Sometimes people commit suicide b/c they see no solution to a problem (granted it's not incurable terminal cancer). In reality this problem is merely temporary and can be resolved.

One could say to them, "Don't worry, this will pass and everything will be ok". Then the suicidee says, "No, its too much, theres no 'positive' part of life right now"

Based on the suicidee premise, shouldn't everyone kill themselves, as we will all encounter a negative part of life, and to avoid the pain should just do ourselves in?

This I believe reveals out how pointless suicide is using the premise, "its bad for me right now".

But this is based off the premise that every person contemplating suicide would be doing so because of a temporary or solveable problem, which does not need to be the case. Some people might just find little point in existence in its entirely or not really hold anything to be good or worth living for. Is there then a rational reason for them to live?

 

On 2015-09-13 at 4:55 PM, Phi for All said:

A person at that point in their life isn't going to be thinking about suicide rationally. I'm pretty sure the impulse is almost purely emotional, and we know what happens to reason in the face of strong emotion. You need a stronger emotion to cancel out the first, imo, like pointing out the harm it would do to spouses, friends, and children, people who don't deserve to be punished like that.

What if an individual does not have a spouse, friends, or children? Also, what if the continued existence of the person would cause a significant degree of distress (this is presumably what you mean by the harm of their suicide), for example of they would act chronically depressed and speak negatively about life, become a financial burden or homeless, etc.?

The reason I am posing this and the above is because I am contemplating whether there is an innate reason to live. By that I mean, if all conditions were considered undesirable to the subject under consideration, would it still be worth it rationally for them to continue living and if so why?

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36 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

 

The reason I am posing this and the above is because I am contemplating whether there is an innate reason to live. By that I mean, if all conditions were considered undesirable to the subject under consideration, would it still be worth it rationally for them to continue living and if so why?

I would argue that you do not know what might be round the corner. You have 1 chance at life. It is an incredible opportunity just to even exist and be aware of it, whatever the pain you have to go through. I would urge them to try something new   -  they say 'time heals all wounds'....  although it might not be true you can only hope.  If someone makes that decision to end themselves I think it is a shame and a waste of the chance for future joy/pleasure/whatever or the chance to pass on your wisdom to someone else. Look to what you can do for the world rather than what it can do for you. Be a part of something greater than your self.

Anyway - what do I know? - just my opinion...  It is very sad that people hit the lows that make them feel this way imo. We need more unconditional agape love in the world.  

If I had a prayer for the world  -  more Agape in all our hearts please.   

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1 hour ago, Pembroke said:

What if an individual does not have a spouse, friends, or children?

It’s challenging to actually know just how many lives around us we touch, even folks who aren’t family. Suicide basically transfers the pain of one person into the hearts and minds of all those who survive them. It magnifies pain instead of extinguishing it. I think we should focus on healing our pain, not spreading it to others like a contagion.

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38 minutes ago, DrP said:

I would argue that you do not know what might be round the corner. You have 1 chance at life. It is an incredible opportunity just to even exist and be aware of it, whatever the pain you have to go through. I would urge them to try something new   -  they say 'time heals all wounds'....  although it might not be true you can only hope.  If someone makes that decision to end themselves I think it is a shame and a waste of the chance for future joy/pleasure/whatever or the chance to pass on your wisdom to someone else. Look to what you can do for the world rather than what it can do for you. Be a part of something greater than your self.

Anyway - what do I know? - just my opinion...  It is very sad that people hit the lows that make them feel this way imo. We need more unconditional agape love in the world.  

If I had a prayer for the world  -  more Agape in all our hearts please.   

I hope you don't mind me pressing this because I am curious about whether life is innately worth living or if it's only worth living under certain conditions. You need only respond if you feel up for it.

You said that one does not know what is around the corner, but should we think that, in a hypothetical scenario where nothing could would come around the corner, is that life then not worth living, or is it worth living regardless of endless drudgery if that was the case, and if so for what reason?

In a second scenario, even if someone did not have explicitly adverse experiences but simply had a distaste for everything in life, regardless of what would come, would life be worth living and if so for what reason?

Could you also elaborate reasons on why would would do things for the world, particularly if one had adverse experiences from the world and other people?

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1 hour ago, Pembroke said:

What if an individual does not have a spouse, friends, or children? Also, what if the continued existence of the person would cause a significant degree of distress (this is presumably what you mean by the harm of their suicide), for example of they would act chronically depressed and speak negatively about life, become a financial burden or homeless, etc.?

I live a pretty hermit-like life but I interact with people as I meet them. You are only lonely if you want people; I'm solitary. One can have a purpose to live or one can not have a purpose, and be like a tramp who takes life as it comes... both are equally valid ways to live. Having a purpose only matters if it matters to you.

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Just now, iNow said:

It’s challenging to actually know just how many lives around us we touch, even folks who aren’t family. Suicide basically transfers the pain of one person into the hearts and minds of all those who survive them. It magnifies pain instead of extinguishing it. I think we should focus on healing our pain, not spreading it to others like a contagion.

I suppose then I would still ask about the second part of the original statement you responded to: What if the continued existence of the person would cause a significant degree of distress (this is presumably what you mean by the harm of their suicide), for example of they would act chronically depressed and speak negatively about life, become a financial burden or homeless, etc.?

If you're up for it, could you elaborate on one of the questions I asked DrP, namely: Could you also elaborate reasons on why would would do things for the world, particularly if one had adverse experiences from the world and other people?

Just now, StringJunky said:

I live a pretty hermit-like life but I interact with people as I meet them. You are only lonely if you want people; I'm solitary. One can have a purpose to live or one can not have a purpose, and be like a tramp who takes life as it comes... both are equally valid ways to live. Having a purpose only matters if it matters to you.

What if it matters to a person and therefore causes distress to the individual?

Also to be clear, though I said this in my original post in this thread, the reason that I am considering this is because I would like to contemplate whether life is innately good or whether it is good for something else (eg. experiences one has of the world).

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1 minute ago, Pembroke said:

in a hypothetical scenario where nothing could would come around the corner, is that life then not worth living

There’s always something around the corner, but too often depression blinds us to that fact. We are the authors of our experience. The past is a book we read to ourselves. If one doesn’t like the story, they should write a different one. 

Oh, and exercise. That’s like a panacea for this and so many other things. Exercise.

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1 minute ago, iNow said:

There’s always something around the corner, but too often depression blinds us to that fact. We are the authors of our experience. The past is a book we read to ourselves. If one doesn’t like the story, they should write a different one. 

Oh, and exercise. That’s like a panacea for this and so many other things. Exercise.

The problem I have with this response is that it's a hypothetical. There isn't always something around the corner, because we can point to lives that turned out disasterously. I would accept an argument that we don't know, but then the question I am concerned with is if all turns out poorly at the final moment, was the life still worth living and if so for what reason?

You said that one should write a different story for oneself, but you cannot be suggesting that "anything is possible"? because there are limits to possibility. What I am wondering with my entrance into this thread is if someone experienced a completely negative life (either because of explicit experiences or their interpretation or feeling about all experiences) is life still worth living regardless?

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3 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

Also to be clear, though I said this in my original post in this thread, the reason that I am considering this is because I would like to contemplate whether life is innately good or whether it is good for something else (eg. experiences one has of the world).

Negatives and positives co-exist all the time. It's up to the individual to choose what they want to see. 

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3 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Negatives and positives co-exist all the time. It's up to the individual to choose what they want to see. 

I have a few questions regarding this if you're up for continuing the conversation.

First, If someone was, for example, enslaved, would you still consider the positives able to be seen and up to the individual to choose to see them and therefore think it worth living?

Second, if someone did not see them, either because they chose not to or for some reason was unable to, would life still be worth living and if so why?

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I think suicide goes against the natural evolutionary instinct to live however animals do sometimes kill themselves. Whales beaching themselves come to mind. I think suicidal thoughts and behaviors is a health problem. Perhaps a hormonal imbalance or something mutated in ones genes. I think who attempt or commit suicide have more going on than just stress or a sense of feeling overwhelmed. I don't entirely understand it. 

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1 hour ago, Pembroke said:

The problem I have with this response is that it's a hypothetical.

And the problem I have with your line of inquiry is you seem to be seeking an objective answer to a subjective question. We can talk about how our lives affect those around us and how incredibly rare the chance of our existence is, but value and worth are relative concepts we must each define for ourselves.

What’s a loaf of bread worth? It’s not $2, end conversation. That’s not how it works. It depends on how long has it been since I last ate and how much other bread or food is around, how many other mouths I’m responsible for feeding, etc. 

There’s nothing hypothetical about saying we can never truly know how many lives we affect or what chance will introduce us to around the next corner. Failing to acknowledge this is a problem with depression, not IMO with the objective value of life itself. 

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9 minutes ago, iNow said:

And the problem I have with your line of inquiry is you seem to be seeking an objective answer to a subjective question. We can talk about how our lives affect those around us and how incredibly rare the chance of our existence is, but value and worth are relative concepts we must each define for ourselves.

What’s a loaf of bread worth? It’s not $2, end conversation. That’s not how it works. It depends on how long has it been since I last ate and how much other bread or food is around, how many other mouths I’m responsible for feeding, etc. 

There’s nothing hypothetical about saying we can never truly know how many lives we affect or what chance will introduce us to around the next corner. Failing to acknowledge this is a problem with depression, not IMO with the objective value of life itself. 

Well I don't necessarily agree with your conclusion of my line of reasoning because if the value of life is subjective and a subject does not see a value in it then by that standard the life does not have value. If one follows that line of reasoning one is also saying that life does not have intrinsic worth, which was my question originally.

We might never know how many lives we affect, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it matters if we affect lives at all, or at least that isn't here proven.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pembroke said:

if the value of life is subjective and a subject does not see a value in it then by that standard the life does not have value.

You're ignoring other subjects... or, in other words, you are making a type of attribution error. Just because one person defines a chair as food item does not mean all people define a chair as a food item.

1 hour ago, Pembroke said:

If one follows that line of reasoning one is also saying that life does not have intrinsic worth, which was my question originally.

Thank you. I was not unclear about this, and believe I addressed it when I stated: 

You seem to be seeking an objective answer to a subjective question. We can talk about how our lives affect those around us and how incredibly rare the chance of our existence is, but value and worth are relative concepts we must each define for ourselves.

More broadly, I think this line of conversation is a bit off topic and you appear to desire a different topic of conversation than "arguments against suicide." I urge you to consider opening a new thread in the Philosophy forum titled "Does life have intrinsic worth?" where you'll receive replies from folks better equipped than me to argue the point.

Edited by iNow

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Pembroke said:

Well I don't necessarily agree with your conclusion of my line of reasoning because if the value of life is subjective and a subject does not see a value in it then by that standard the life does not have value. If one follows that line of reasoning one is also saying that life does not have intrinsic worth, which was my question originally.

We might never know how many lives we affect, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it matters if we affect lives at all, or at least that isn't here proven.

When you pass the event horizon you cease to be relevant to this universe, your only worth is what you do now; I understand why you neg rep'd me but I've existed on both sides, I tried but then I woke up.

Edited by dimreepr

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

You're ignoring other subjects... or, in other words, you are making a type of attribution error. Just because one person defines a chair as food item does not mean all people define a chair as a food item.

Thank you. I was not unclear about this, and believe I addressed it when I stated: 

You seem to be seeking an objective answer to a subjective question. We can talk about how our lives affect those around us and how incredibly rare the chance of our existence is, but value and worth are relative concepts we must each define for ourselves.

More broadly, I think this line of conversation is a bit off topic and you appear to desire a different topic of conversation than "arguments against suicide." I urge you to consider opening a new thread in the Philosophy forum titled "Does life have intrinsic worth?" where you'll receive replies from folks better equipped than me to argue the point.

I don't think that I'm ignoring other subjects. I would be happy to talk about it. I can create another thread, but I don't think this is off topic because I think it is relevant to whether the arguments against suicide are truly good arguments.

Why I think it doesn't matter in this case what other subjects feel about life (that it has intrinsic value) is because if a given subject does not feel that it has intrinsic worth, how would it be relevant to them if others think it does, unless it is some objective quality which is universally applicable (particularly to their own situation)?

In other words, even if I made another topic about the intrinsic worth of life, to follow the reasoning I am on in this subject, I would need to refer back to the notion of suicide, because the question would be whether it is worth it to continue living under any conditions.

I don't think your reiteration answered this issue. We can talk about how our lives affect those around us, sure, but it doesn't necessarily have bearing about whether a particular subject would find their lives worth living. And then you said that value and worth people define for themselves, but if someone defines value in such a way that life does not fit their definition, life could still appear not worth living. This is relevant to the subject of this thread because it could have specific bearing on whether an individual choses to continue living, and whether arguments directed against that act are relevant or effective.

37 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

When you pass the event horizon you cease to be relevant to this universe, your only worth is what you do now; I understand why you neg rep'd me but I've existed on both sides, I tried but then I woke up.

I did downvote your comments because I found them unhelpful. The replies I made to others should clarify why I disagree with you, but to reiterate it I don't think that the question of suicide (writ large as a philosophical issue, rather than in certain particular cases or as psychological issues) is dependent on conditions which may subsequently improve, but on whether life is intrinsically worth living.

If you feel that my downvoting is in some way unfair or ill intended, I will take them away because I don't see the system as particularly helpful, since the feeling that I or any others have about a given statement is irrelevant to whether it is true or not (and I think the voting system represents the former rather than the latter).

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9 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

I did downvote your comments because I found them unhelpful..

1

I don't care...

12 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

The replies I made to others should clarify why I disagree with you, but to reiterate it I don't think that the question of suicide (writ large as a philosophical issue, rather than in certain particular cases or as psychological issues) is dependent on conditions

 

It certainly depends on life, isn't that a condition?

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