Is it possible for us to act otherwise than as our sensations indicate to us the best course to avoid the pain and secure the pleasure? It is not competent for us to act otherwise than as our nature prompts and impels. And if there be any truth or significance in the principle that " to enjoy is to obey" it must be applicable to all cases; and when our enjoyment is to be found only in non-existence, our obedience must inevitably be involved in it also.
Indeed, if anything more so: The same argument has been well applied by Rousseau to the theological aspect of the question; and as the principal objections to suicide are generally advanced on theological grounds, I may not pass them over. First then, there is no prohibition of suicide from Genesis to Revelations. Was this because it was a sore subject with the author? Pliny says that there is one invaluable privilege which man has, but God has not; that of terminating his own existence.
I think if any being should hate his life, it should be the creator of a hell, and of evil. If he hates it, and cannot get rid of it, how awful is his punishment! The Bible however docs not forbid suicide. And when the destruction of another is considered a good for the social body, both nature and law not only justify, but command it. But it is said, we have no right—it is a crime—to quit the post assigned us by Providence.
On exactly the same principle we can have no right, and it should be equally a crime, to leave the country or the spot where we were born, or where we find ourselves at any time. We have no justification for doing so, but the very one I at first adduced: To say that Providence placed us here, is only a mysterious and irrelevant way of saying "we are here;" as we say "God knows," when we merely mean " me don't know.
Then as Providence notifies to us the propriety of our going or staying, solely through the sensations by which alone we can discover it—when we are similarly convinced that non-existence is preferable to existence—on what ground can it be maintained that suicide is not the will of Providence?
In fact, if Providence governs all, the success of a suicide proves decisively that his act was as much the dispensation page 5 of Providence ad his any other act, or his death by lightning.
But, as Rousseau points out, if Providence sends you a plague or a famine, or any ordinary death, you resist the dispensation with all your force, and elude it if you can. The suicide has the evidence of the like senses that it is the apparent wish of Providence that he should cease to exist; but he possesses the superior merit of obedience.
Rousseau also shows how unreasonable it is to accuse the suicide of a desire to withdraw himself from a post of duty and from the governance of God. For on the theory of a God and a future life is it not impossible for him to do so? He simply steps into another post, as much or more under the government of God; by many supposed to involve greater, instead of less capacity and scope, and therefore more responsibility.
What is death on this theory? Merely passing from one room to another—from a scene where circumstances indicate, in the only way in which we can receive such an intimation, that we are no longer required, to another to which we appear to be invited, and where therefore we may confidently hope to be enabled to act with better effect.
If Providence gives us an appetite and food, and we consider that that justifies our using both,—if when Providence causes the sun to heat our heads we consider ourselves justified in interposing an umbrella to stop the inconvenience,—or if we scruple not but hasten to sacrifice a gangrenous limb for the sake of preserving the life we value more: It is however, obvious that suicides are caused by the overwhelming pressure of circumstances, and the imagined impossibility of coping with or improving them.
In every case dissatisfaction with existence is the reason for the act; and if it were in the conscious power of the unfortunate victim to make his existence agreeable, or tolerable otherwise, we may safely assume that that alternative would be preferred. Knowing as we do, and feeling the almost inexhaustible power and elasticity of the love of life, it is difficult if not impossible to realise the appalling load of hopeless despair which must oppress and excruciate the sensibilities of a sane suicide, before that energy by which alone the human race is maintained and continued, can in him find no employment so tolerable as its own destruction.
How all the sweets and delights of life, which make the love of it so strong in all animated nature, must be converted into gall and wormwood! Is there anything so calculated to arouse the liveliest pity, the most compassionate sympathy? For who can assure himself against similar conditions?
Yet human ill nature has stigmatised the act as a voluntary crime of the deepest dye! It has been imagined not only to. Thus to impute turpitude to unfortunate,. Sui- page 6 cide has not been the subject of legislation in France or in most other states for nearly a century. How is it that in England such a stultification should have been maintained until ? For there, till then, it was actually attempted with impotent spite to punish the poor victim after he was dead, by burying him at a cross road with a stake driven through his body; but malice, not being satiated by that, was vented upon his sorrowing relatives by confiscating his property!
Surely it must be obvious that punishments of unsuccessful suicides can have but one tendency: It is self-evident that nothing could be more fatuitously absurd than to endeavor to punish abortive suicidal attempts. It is like telling a prisoner that if he escape, you will punish him for doing so, if you don't catch him!
In every way the conventional judgment in such cases seems to be diametrically opposed to the most fundamental principles of humanity and common sense.
What can be the cause of all this unreason, contradiction, and cruel illiberality? It seems to me that it is entirely attributable to that abominable spirit of intolerance which will not permit our neighbours to act, speak, or think otherwise than as we approve.
For that intolerant spirit it appears to me that Christianity, that essentially intolerant religion, is mainly responsible. Even there it does not have legal status, but, as long as a doctor assisting a suicide follows legal guidelines and reporting procedures, she or he will be immune from prosecution.
Legislative discussions on the legal status of voluntary euthanasia are pending in some states of Australia, Canada, and the United States. Some psychologists think that growing feelings of loneliness, rootlessness, and the meaninglessness of life are contributing to more suicides in industrialised nations.
In the United States, for example, the suicide rate in the age group between 15 and 24 tripled between and ; suicide is now the third most common cause of death in this age group there. Psychologists and sociologists have found many other contributing personality and situational influences. Suicide is often used as an escape from painful circumstances; it can also be used as an act of revenge on another person who is blamed for the suffering that led to the suicide.
These feelings are sometimes revealed in suicide notes. Social conditions frequently result in a marked increase in the suicide rate. In recent years, suicide has occasionally been used as a form of political protest against the policies of a particular government.
Without any emotional outlet, they start to believe the only option is suicide. Teenage suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. A lack of a long-term future and no way of being able to imagine a positive future leads to apathy. Apathy eventually transitions to depression, which leads to suicidal thoughts. Young men and women growing up rarely develop the level of independence needed to confront life alone.
Teenagers without friends are far more likely to experience thoughts of suicide than those with a strong support network around them. Not having any friends to lean on offers them the free time they need to indulge in dark thoughts of suicide.
All the above troubles can only happen when nobody steps in to help. The lack of any support mechanisms, such as through school counselling, parents, and friends allow negative feelings to build up over time. When the pressure begins to reach higher levels, teenagers begin to attempt suicide.
By stepping in early and eliminating these risk factors, the rate of teen suicide can go down.
- Causes of Suicide This essay examines the reasons why a person of good physical health decides to terminate their own life. It does not consider euthanasia, assisted or forced suicide. Compared to most aspects of psychological health it is limited in scope for research – no “follow-up” can be performed, if the act is completed, and no ethical .
Suicide Essay Understanding How Suicide Affects People As the struggles in life continue to grow, many people find that they have run out of coping mechanisms that can help them to get through them.
Suicide in the Young: An Essay By: Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. Few readers may realize how heavy a toll is taken by suicide during the years of . Teen suicide essays Suicide is not something that can be over looked. It is the third leading cause of death in today's youth. Along with so many other things in the world today, it can be prevented.
Suicide. In this paper I propose to consider, not so much suicide itself, as the judgment of it, and of those who commit it, which is commonly formed; and how far that judgment is logical and true. To do this it will be necessary to consider suicide itself to a certain extent, as the object of that judgment. Suicide affects teenagers and young adults around the globe each year. Every day, families around the world lose someone close to them due to suicide. Suicide is an unfortunate occurrence that happens among all age groups; however, teenagers are the age group most affected.