Sunday, October 20, 2002

Thoughts on Suicide

(originally posted at

for those worried by the subject line of the post; don't be.  i'm not a suicidal person.  those of you who really know me, know that i plan on living a *very* long and fulfilled life.

that being said, there's a thread on the extropian list that got me thinking about suicide as a natural human right.  so many thoughts swirling around in my head it's difficult to know where to begin.

so, one doesn't choose to come into the world - one is brought into the world.  does this mean that one shouldn't have the right to choose when to leave the world even when they have the ability to do so?

there's something inside me that thinks everything that's possible should be permissible.  if you let your mind wander, you can see how truly horrible that would really be.  but if a person want to end their life, that's their prerogative, right?

we're all ultimately responsible for ourselves - self-inflicted death included.  but suicide doesn't just affect the one who dies.  it has an impact on friends, family, and society-at-large.  so what stance should friends, family, and society-at-large take to reduce the amount of suicides?

forget about laws for a moment and think about an interpersonal situation.  your best friend wants to kill themselves.  what do you do?  you offer support and create an environment in which someone wouldn't *want* to commit suicide.  is it possible?  it's worth trying, i suppose.

but does this scale to societal levels?  can a complex society manage to create an environment in which life is cherished to the point where suicide isn't even a consideration?

i don't pretend to know the answers.  but it's interesting to think about.  personally, thought of the future keep me going day-to-day.

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