Is suicide morally or ethically wrong?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Vajradhara, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Raven

    Raven New Member

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    Its a cowards way of not dealing with reality. Sorry I do not pity anyone that does this. Who I do pity are the loved ones these people leave behind with no answers as to why?
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    how does taking one's own life make one a coward?

    ~v
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    When there is a lack of understanding, people get dumped into broad categories. Understanding the interior landscape to any degree brings compassion. When my little Christopher was just 16 he confided to his mother that he was often tempted to run his electric wheelchair in front of one of the trains that passed near our house.
    By that time, he had become so exhausted trying to be brave in the face of the knowledge that he was dying a little more each day.
    In the end, the Muscular Dystrophy took its toll when his little heart stopped beating in the night.
    Even if he had found a way to do himself in, I could never consider him a coward, not after all he faced during his short life.
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Paladin,

    i'm moved by your sharing. thank you.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  5. Waymarker

    Waymarker Free Christian

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    For the record, the Bible doesn't condemn suicide or call it a sin, not even Jesus mentioned it.
    My own view is that if the pain (physical or mental) of living becomes unbearable, suicide's always there as an absolute last resort.
    Certainly some people got a bit fed up at times but then don't we all-
    "Elijah came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, Lord ," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
    All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." (1 Kings 19:3-7)

    I think a moral of that is:- "Cheer up, put the kettle on, do yourself a sandwich, plonk yourself in front of the TV with your feet up and soldier on if you can.."
    Suicide kills the body that's for sure, but not the soul, and even though the body's a miracle, its only made of atoms and molecules that count for zilch spiritually just as Jesus said:-
    "The spirit within gives life,the flesh alone is worthless" (John 6:63 )

    Anyway if suicide really was a sin, no big deal, Jesus said ALL sins are forgiven (except blasphemy against the holy spirit).

    There are seven suicides in the Bible.
    1 - Abimelech, in Judges 9:54. A woman dropped a millstone upon him. Recognizing that he was mortally wounded, he commanded his armour-bearer to slay him. Even though he did not die at his own hands, he did die at his own word.
    2 - Samson in Judges 16:28 killed himself. He prayed and God gave him strength to pull down the support columns of the temple. This caused the death of many of the leading Philistines but it also caused his own death.
    3 - Saul is another. Seeing that death would be slow in coming and that the Philistines might capture him while he still had some life and torture him, he commands his armour-bearer to finish him off with a sword. The armour-bearer refused. Whereupon Saul falls upon his own sword.
    4 - Saul's armourbearer then kills himself too.
    5 - Ahithrophel in 2 Samuel 17:23 hanged himself.
    6 - Zimri in 1 Kings 16 barricaded himself in the palace and burned it down with himself inside.
    7 - And of course, Judas hung himself..
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Life is like marriage: What God put together, let no man put asunder...destroy either, and there is a price to pay, sooner or later. That is a fact, not an opinion...
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Q,

    whilst that may be a "fact" in the Abrahamic faiths such cannot be said to be so anywhere else and, as such, can only be considered an opinion in this discussion.

    in that spirit, could you explain your view on the price that one that commits suicide would have to pay in your religion?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  8. Abdullah

    Abdullah Member

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    Suicide is both morally and ethically wrong, simply for the reason that Allah [God] has been to us Most Mercifull, giving us a body and life which are blessings enough to remain ever gratefull no matter what other woes of life may burden us

    Allah has revealed in the Holy Quran:

    An-Nisa 4:29 ...And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    hi abdullah,

    thanks for the post. so you're saying that suicide is morally and ethically wrong according to your religion. fair enough.

    your quote doesn't seem to indicate any particular moral or ethical issue with killing oneself however i note that you've got ellipsis there so it is possibly an incomplete quote.
     
  10. Abdullah

    Abdullah Member

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    yes it's an incomplete quote and the rest of the verse goes on to mention that whosoever kills [others] unjustly will end up in hell:


    004.029: O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful!

    004.030: If any do that in rancour and injustice,- soon shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for Allah.


    and killing oneself is allways unjust

    the hadiths shed more light on why it is wrong; it talks of ending one's life prematurely [too quickly before it's right time [i.e when Allah makes the person die naturally or killed by external forces]

    basically, suicide will suggest that a persons life is not worth living, when Allah has literally drowned him/her in His mercy; any grief a person will undergo will be to test him, or as a result of his sins, thus pateince, perserverance and repentence is the way to deal with grief and suffering and not suicide

    here are hadiths on suicide and their consequences:

    Hadith - Bukhari 2:445, Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak
    The Prophet said, "Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, 'If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,' he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire." Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, "A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him."

    Hadith - Bukhari 7:576, Narrated Qais bin Abi Hazim, see also Bukhari 8:361, 438
    We went to pay a visit to Khabbab (who was sick) and he had been branded (cauterized) at seven places in his body. He said, "Our companions who died (during the lifetime of the Prophet ) left (this world) without having their rewards reduced through enjoying the pleasures of this life, but we have got (so much) wealth that we find no way to spend it except on the construction of buildings. Had the Prophet not forbidden us to wish for death, I would have wished for it." We visited him for the second time while he was building a wall. He said, -A Muslim is rewarded (in the Hereafter) for whatever he spends except for something that he spends on building."

    Hadith - Bukhari 7:670, Narrated Abu Huraira
    The Prophet said, "Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever."

    Hadith - Muslim #6485
    Hammam b. Munabbih said: Abu Huraira narrated to us ahadith from Allah's Messenger and out of these one is that Allah's Messenger said: none amongst you should make a request for death, and do not call for it before it comes, for when any of you dies, he ceases (to do good) deeds and the life of a believer is not prolonged but for goodness.

    Hadith - Muslim #6480
    Anas (b. Malik) reported Allah's Messenger as saying: None of you should make a request for death because of the trouble in which he is involved, but if there is no other help to it, then say: O Allah, keep me alive as long as there is goodness in life for me and bring death to me when there is goodness in death for me.

    Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #1613, Narrated Jabin ibn Abdullah [Ahmad transmitted it.]
    Allah's Messenger said, "Do not wish for death, for the terror of the place whence one looks down is severe. It is part of a man's happiness that his life should be long and Allah Who is Great and Glorious, should supply him with repentance."

    Hadith - Qudsi 28
    There was amongst those before you a man who had a wound. He was in [such] anguish that he took a knife and made with it a cut in his hand, and the blood did not cease to flow till he died. Allah the Almighty said: My servant has himself forestalled Me; I have forbidden him Paradise.
     
  11. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    thank you for providing the full Ayat. why do you believe that taking one's own life is always unjust? is your view informed solely through religious understanding? IF one did not accept Islam what other reasons would you have for convincing someone not to take their own life?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I do not apply my own religion or faith for that matter, to this issue, Vaj. The Price to be paid, is not by the one committing suicide, but rather by those left behind...

    That is the oneness of such an act. To deprive others of our presense, irravocably, once they have gotten intimate with us, is purely selfish. The very deed suggests "I care more about me, than I do about you".

    We are nothing, if we refuse to put others "first"...

    If I think about you, First...I have no time to "pity" myself...:eek:

    That, my friend is the ultimate fact...

    v/r

    Q
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Would it not be selfish (and a little more than arrogant) for us to think we know more about their condition and reasons than us?

    I'm coming to understand that absolutely everyone makes the best decision they can for themselves with the level of understanding and experience they have at the moment of their decision.

    For example...if one of our friends or relatives kills themselves because they don't feel loved...maybe we should insure that they all know that have love and concern for them.....prior to the decision.
     
  14. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I have never been to the brink of suicide, but at times when I feel...anyway, just the thought of suicide eases the agony. I can't put my finger on how, but maybe the fact that there is a way out makes it less...ok lets say I'm waiting for the bus and it will show up in 10 min, it is always on time so the 10 min won't be too bad because you know when it will come. But lets say I just get to the bus stop and the bus should be there and it's always on time, if I have to wait 10 min for it I will be 'very annoyed' because I will have spent that time worrying why the bus hasn't shown up and the fact that I don't know when or that the bus will show up at all makes 10 min feel like...much more.

    I do think suicide is a selfish act, you are easing your own pain, and it is unfortunate that others might be hurt by it. I know that it will take a lot for me to kill myself because of those close to me. It is unfortunate, I think, that you can't understand suffering, be it physical or emotional, unless you have experienced it by yourself. I think it becomes clear if the person you are talking to have suffered emotionally when you tell them of your pain and what you became because of it, you see either sympathy or judgement.

    Suffering is experience, and I wouldn't take that away from me or anyone else. I am fortunate that my closest family all have suffered in different ways. It wasn't always so, but now we all understand each other.

    I would like to say that telling a depressed person to get up and do something with his/her life is like asking a man who just lost his legs to please lay still and try not to get blood everywhere. I haven't lost a leg so I can't really know, and a lot of people haven't been clinically depressed either.

    I would have preferred not to ramble so much, but there was a lot of emotion in this, and I'm not used to writing emotion.
     
  15. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    An important point of view. Those left behind then are considering their own pain more than the person who was driven to suicide by their own pain. So where does the selfishness stop? Where does it begin?
    Do you see the inherent difficulty with a linear black and white approach to the problem?
     
  16. Abdullah

    Abdullah Member

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    In the hadiths we have that a man who was wounded in battle and dying, could'nt take the pain [or so he thought] and killed himself and even he will end up in hell, thus if severe suffering is not reason enough to kill oneself, then what else can be?

    however it is not clear wether in a true self-defense war situation wether it is ok to deal a blow to the enemy combatants while knowing that one is likely [or certainly] to die too, but such an act may not fall under the catogory of 'suicide'

    yes my view is soley religious, but it is also based on overwhelming and unmistakeable evidence of the Truth of islam and not just on 'faith'

    to the unreligious, i'd say, use your intuition, for it is only common sense I believe that God would not have created us to commit suicide if we please, and that the purpsoe of life will be to live it to it's full [in the way God directs] and wait for our appointed time for death

    Also i'd say that our lives are not totally ours and that they are given to us as a trust, thus we belong to God and we have to look after our lives and bodies the way God wants us to, hence we can not kill this life that belongs to God

    And ultimtely i'd say, investigate islam sincerely and objectively asking for Gods guidance too and you too would come across the unmistakeable evidence that it is the Truth from God; then it will be just a matter of knowing that ALlah and His messenger [saw] allways tell the truth
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    i'm unclear on what price the ones left behind (though that term has such an evangelical connotation that i typically don't use it) would have to pay. are you saying that those left behind would feel hurt and that they would feel hurt should, in and of itself, stay one's hand?

    yet the position which you seem to be advocating suggests that those left behind are putting themselves first, more concerned with their own feelings of hurt and loss rather than those of the one that just took their life.

    what if the person that took their life possessed no intimate relationships?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Salaam Abdullah,

    if one does not have a belief in hell then i cannot see how such a consideration would ever come about. in any case, i would agree that it is usually the case that severe suffering is the motivating factor that causes a being to end their life.

    i hope that you appreciate that the "unreligious" (which i understand you to mean monotheistic) don't have a belief in God and thus arguments which rely upon that belief are hardly going to be effective in preventing someone from taking their life. would you agree?

    i grew up in Libya and spent years at the mosque. i've studied Islam as an adult for two decades and, yet, i remain unconvinced of it's veracity. nevertheless, i would prefer if we could leave such discussions for areas of the forum which are more appropriate. i'm sure you understand. :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  19. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste A Cup of Tea,

    i can completely understand what you are saying here and i, further, i agree. having an option can make dealing with the reality more bearable.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  20. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    I do believe that hell wont exist when all things are done. I do believe its wrong to take your own life and that if you do that you are still in the same state in the afterlife because the spirit is consiousness. I dont believe god puts you there to punish you.
     

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