What's wrong with suicide?

Technarch
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What's wrong with suicide?

Where does the bible say suicide is wrong?  You believe in Christ, you preach and lead a good life, and you die, whether it be martyring, accidental, natural causes or self infliction.  It would seem the easiest way to get to Heaven as long as you've covered enough bases as a Christian and ask for forgiveness of your sins.  Where does the Bible condemn suicide?  I thought it was the Catholic church that came up with the idea of suicide as a sin worthy of being sent to Hell.


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I'd like to see some

I'd like to see some thoughts on this, too.

Hence, bump!

 


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I don't think that the bible

I don't think that the bible does condemn suicide anywhere specifically. It's another one of those issues like abortion that are decided on by the church and then they frantically look up passages to try and support it. The catholic church views any issues regarding life/death as an offense against god for essentially doing his job. It has a thousand holes in it but if you wanted a better explanation you could read Humanae Vitae by John Paul II.


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The top theist website for

The top theist website for the google search "bible, suicide" doesn't have much for biblical support...

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-dml/dml-y038.html

As a matter of fact, the second theist site on the search says that you won't lose your salvation for suicide...

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-dml/dml-y038.html

For what it's worth, this seems to be the best justification for suicide=mortal sin out there...

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV) [19] Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; [20] you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

(1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV) [16] Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? [17] If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God&'s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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If anyone was planing on

If anyone was planing on using the idea as an argument you should know the first thing they are going to hit you with is the "If life is meaningless why don't you just end it now?"

Although this might be a good response to the question, especially if they can't find good support in the bible.

I think all of this is result of the problem people have with suicide. No one really wants to say its ok, but its kinda hard to say people don't have a right to control them self. Evolutionary it doesn't make sense, but ethically the argument against it would amount to saying it can "hurt" other people or is a dodging of responsibilities.

The only other way I can think of is basically saying its crazy to kill ones self, but it when I ask why it would be crazy there really isn't a good answer. Well except that it doesn't make sense evolutionary, I mean really its the opposite of what a species should do to survive.

 

PS I'm not suicidal, even if life sucked I wouldn't pull a bitch move like that.


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Suicide doesn't make much

Suicide doesn't make much sense from an evolutionary perspective because even very old grandparents can be a big help raising subsequent generations.

It doesn't make sense from a logical perspective, either, because it isn't a relief from pain but simply annihilation of everything. What good is relief if you aren't around to sense it? 

Of course, religion offers us many potential scenarios where suicide is a great idea.  Theists may want to protest that people who justify suicide through religion are mistaken, but it is still religion that plants the idea that we have some chance of going to a better place after we die. If there were no religion, people would have no inclination to believe this.

 

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voiderest wrote: The only

voiderest wrote:
The only other way I can think of is basically saying its crazy to kill ones self, but it when I ask why it would be crazy there really isn't a good answer.

Of course, this leads to an interesting dilemma. If only crazy people commit suicide, it could stand to reason that suicide is a good thing, because it's removing craziness from the gene pool...

In reality, I think many of the definitions of "crazy" over the years have had little to do with the perception of reality, and much to do with societies perceptions of the "crazy" person's perceptions of reality.

Ugh. Tough sentence, but do you see what I mean?

If we don't like suicide, we can say that people who commit suicide are crazy, and then we can sit back happily and not have to worry about it any more. Of course, there are often pretty good reasons for suicide. If I ever contract a painful, terminal disease, there's a pretty good chance I'll off myself. Some people really have screwed their own lives and other people's lives up so much that suicide might be a "sane" choice if you were looking at it with mathematical coldness.

I don't think suicide is inherently crazy. I also don't think it's inherently wrong. Yes, it can cause pain for people who care about you, but you know what? Everybody's going to die, and it's going to hurt others when they do. You're only getting the inevitable over with sooner by doing it yourself.

I'm not recommending suicide, but I think it's just like anything else. If you try to make a blanket moral statement, you're going to find yourself up a creek without a paddle.

 

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Tilberian wrote: It doesn't

Tilberian wrote:
It doesn't make sense from a logical perspective, either, because it isn't a relief from pain but simply annihilation of everything. What good is relief if you aren't around to sense it?

Speaking from personal experience, some pain cannot be tolerated indefinately. Anything is a relief.

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it's like what a friend of

it's like what a friend of mine said: if the whole point for christians is to get to heaven, why don't they all just commit suicide?


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Vastet wrote: Speaking

Vastet wrote:
Speaking from personal experience, some pain cannot be tolerated indefinately. Anything is a relief.

Sorry, don't get it. Relief from pain that you don't actually experience is no relief a all. The relief might as well have happened to someone else. 

Not that I think that it's possible to be very rational when you're in a great deal of psychological pain. 

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Tilberian wrote: Vastet

Tilberian wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Speaking from personal experience, some pain cannot be tolerated indefinately. Anything is a relief.

Sorry, don't get it. Relief from pain that you don't actually experience is no relief a all. The relief might as well have happened to someone else. 

Not that I think that it's possible to be very rational when you're in a great deal of psychological pain. 

I didn't say anything about pain you don't experience. So your response doesn't make sense.

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Vastet wrote: I didn't

Vastet wrote:
I didn't say anything about pain you don't experience. So your response doesn't make sense.

I meant that you don't experience the relief from pain. Isn't relief from pain an experience, too? I don't think we can experience things only as the absence of other things. A dead mind is a zero, a nullity. There is no perceived relief, therefore no relief exists. 

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Tilberian wrote: Vastet

Tilberian wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I didn't say anything about pain you don't experience. So your response doesn't make sense.

I meant that you don't experience the relief from pain. Isn't relief from pain an experience, too? I don't think we can experience things only as the absence of other things. A dead mind is a zero, a nullity. There is no perceived relief, therefore no relief exists. 

You might not experience the emotion of relief, but you will certainly be relieved of pain in that you aren't experiencing it anymore.

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Vastet wrote: You might

Vastet wrote:
You might not experience the emotion of relief, but you will certainly be relieved of pain in that you aren't experiencing it anymore.

I guess what I'm questioning is the value of that when it isn't actually something that you experience. It's like the sound the tree falling...is there relief when there is no one there to experience it?

The whole idea of dying to acheive relief from pain seems to me to spring from a flawed mental model of being in which our experiences somehow inhabit a place outside our skulls. It seems to be a breakdown of self-identity in which the perceptions of others are deemed as or more important than one's own perceptions. In other words the act, rather than being a real attempt to relieve pain, is a desperate attempt to communicate the depth of that pain to others. It is the ultimate act of socialization, I guess.

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Technarch wrote: Where does

Technarch wrote:
Where does the bible say suicide is wrong?  You believe in Christ, you preach and lead a good life, and you die, whether it be martyring, accidental, natural causes or self infliction.  It would seem the easiest way to get to Heaven as long as you've covered enough bases as a Christian and ask for forgiveness of your sins.  Where does the Bible condemn suicide?  I thought it was the Catholic church that came up with the idea of suicide as a sin worthy of being sent to Hell.

Alright, I will answer as an ex-priest. The argument against suicide resides in 'Thou shalt not kill." If you kill yourself, you are killing nonetheless. At any rate, doesn't the song say "Suicide is painless"?

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Technarch wrote: Where does

Technarch wrote:
Where does the bible say suicide is wrong? You believe in Christ, you preach and lead a good life, and you die, whether it be martyring, accidental, natural causes or self infliction. It would seem the easiest way to get to Heaven as long as you've covered enough bases as a Christian and ask for forgiveness of your sins. Where does the Bible condemn suicide? I thought it was the Catholic church that came up with the idea of suicide as a sin worthy of being sent to Hell.

It was indeed the Catholic church that made suicide a mortal sin (murder, not killing Nero).  Suicide is simply self-murder.  The problem with the Catholic point of view of it being condemnable, didn't Jesus say all sins are forgivable except one?  So even murderers can obtain salvation.  It's still up to God in the end.

I think your post is relative to the Catholic point of view that you have to earn salvation to begin with.  The "easist way to heaven" is simply the belief in Jesus (belief which only comes from God).  When you believe, that is your life changes because of your belief (to which you attribute to God), suicide is not something you think about.  Take what Paul wrote:

Philippians 1:20-25 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith

My point is knowing that if you died today, dying would be wonderful as you go to God but while you are on Earth you live to do God's will since you death will be God's will, not your own.  Hope that makes sense from the point of view of the bible.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: I think

razorphreak wrote:

I think your post is relative to the Catholic point of view that you have to earn salvation to begin with. The "easist way to heaven" is simply the belief in Jesus (belief which only comes from God). When you believe, that is your life changes because of your belief (to which you attribute to God), suicide is not something you think about. Take what Paul wrote:

So all the families of all the people who ever commited suicide get the added "comfort" of the Church telling them that their loved one couldn't have been a Real Christian tm because if they were they wouldn't have wanted to commit suicide.

Besides the fact that it's the no-true-Scotsman fallacy, it's just a putrid worldview to foist on vulnerable people. Why are religions so blind to human suffering? Actually I know the answer to that one: because they were invented in the dark ages when human life was valued somewhere just below that of a good farm implement.  

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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
So all the families of all the people who ever commited suicide get the added "comfort" of the Church telling them that their loved one couldn't have been a Real Christian tm because if they were they wouldn't have wanted to commit suicide.

Funny I don't remember ever saying "real Christian". I just said what's according to the bible on Christians - I didn't compare one flavor of Christian to another.

Tilberian wrote:
Besides the fact that it's the no-true-Scotsman fallacy, it's just a putrid worldview to foist on vulnerable people. Why are religions so blind to human suffering? Actually I know the answer to that one: because they were invented in the dark ages when human life was valued somewhere just below that of a good farm implement.

Typical response. I'm surprised you didn't float the "bible can't be proven" point in there with it - please don't, I've already heard it.

The thread is asking theists why suicide is considered wrong. As a theist, it would be my response that such a point of view is incorrect due to specific reasons, which I thought I effectively addressed. I'm not going off topic on this so if you want to get into that, look at this thread please.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Funny I

razorphreak wrote:

Funny I don't remember ever saying "real Christian". I just said what's according to the bible on Christians - I didn't compare one flavor of Christian to another.

Oh I see, so you can be a real Christian without really believing in Jesus. This is definitely some version of Christianity that I've never heard of. 

Just to recap, we asked why suicide would be wrong according to Christians.

You pointed out that according to the RCs, someone who really believed in Jesus would not want to commit suicide.

I pointed out that this view sucks. 


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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
Oh I see, so you can be a real Christian without really believing in Jesus. This is definitely some version of Christianity that I've never heard of.

Just to recap, we asked why suicide would be wrong according to Christians.

You pointed out that according to the RCs, someone who really believed in Jesus would not want to commit suicide.

I pointed out that this view sucks.

Dude...WHAT? Now you are arguing for the sake of arguing and sounding pretty damn stupid at the same time.

What is a Christian to begin with? Someone that believes in Christ...that is Jesus. I don't understand what you are getting at with this "real" vs. unreal or whatever the hell. You totally went off topic because I guess you feel better that you could use the scottsman point...AGAIN instead of asking further questions.

I at no point said real christians.  You decided to change my post to something to suit your fallacy.  What you COULD have asked is if Christians should feel according to the bible, why do Christians commit suicide.  But nooooooo you had to go this route.  

The answer by the way would be easy - just like how you give in to temptation, no person is perfect and people will give in to despair.   This does NOT condemn the person for as I stated in the first post, their faith will grant them salvation in accordance to God's will.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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Tilberian wrote: I guess

Tilberian wrote:

I guess what I'm questioning is the value of that when it isn't actually something that you experience. It's like the sound the tree falling...is there relief when there is no one there to experience it?

The whole idea of dying to acheive relief from pain seems to me to spring from a flawed mental model of being in which our experiences somehow inhabit a place outside our skulls. It seems to be a breakdown of self-identity in which the perceptions of others are deemed as or more important than one's own perceptions. In other words the act, rather than being a real attempt to relieve pain, is a desperate attempt to communicate the depth of that pain to others. It is the ultimate act of socialization, I guess.

I think the problem with your argument is that you seem to be saying that the absence of a bad experience is valuable but the absence of all experiences is not. But for a person in constant pain all experiences are bad because they come in conjunction with pain. So the person doesn’t have the option of relief in the way you describe it. They have the options of pain or death. You’re trying to sneak in a third option as if it existed. It’s like saying that anything is better than death. That simply isn’t true.

Also, at their moment of death the person might experience relief. You don’t know that they don’t so I think your argument fails for this reason as well.

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Gauche wrote: I think the

Gauche wrote:

I think the problem with your argument is that you seem to be saying that the absence of a bad experience is valuable but the absence of all experiences is not. But for a person in constant pain all experiences are bad because they come in conjunction with pain. So the person doesn’t have the option of relief in the way you describe it. They have the options of pain or death. You’re trying to sneak in a third option as if it existed. It’s like saying that anything is better than death. That simply isn’t true.

Also, at their moment of death the person might experience relief. You don’t know that they don’t so I think your argument fails for this reason as well.

I do know that a person doesn't experience relief after death because there is no brain function after death. Dead people don't experience anything...including the absence of pain.

I'm not trying to sneak in a third option. I realize that there is no option for relief. What I'm saying is that dying is not an option that ends pain in any sense that is meaningful for the subject. 

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razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:

Dude...WHAT? Now you are arguing for the sake of arguing and sounding pretty damn stupid at the same time.

What is a Christian to begin with? Someone that believes in Christ...that is Jesus. I don't understand what you are getting at with this "real" vs. unreal or whatever the hell. You totally went off topic because I guess you feel better that you could use the scottsman point...AGAIN instead of asking further questions.

You said that the RCs think someone who believes in Jesus won't want to commit suicide. This is the same as telling the families of the victim that the deceased was not a good Christian. Which sucks, since this is likely to greatly upset the families. I merely stated my opinion on the matter and now you are accusing me of arguing. I didn't ask you to respond, you took that on yourself.

Also I am right on the topic of this thread which is "what's wrong with suicide?" 

And why would I ask questions if I'm presenting my own opinion? 

And thanks, yes, pointing out the no-true-Scotsman fallacy inherent in the RC position did make me feel good.  

razorphreak wrote:

I at no point said real christians. You decided to change my post to something to suit your fallacy. What you COULD have asked is if Christians should feel according to the bible, why do Christians commit suicide. But nooooooo you had to go this route.

I didn't feel the need to ask you for any clairification since the implication of the RC position you stated was self-evident. Are you saying now that there was some mistake in what you posted?

razorphreak wrote:

The answer by the way would be easy - just like how you give in to temptation, no person is perfect and people will give in to despair. This does NOT condemn the person for as I stated in the first post, their faith will grant them salvation in accordance to God's will.

But according to you, the RC church says that wanting to commit suicide is only possible if you lack faith in Jesus. So how can you receive salvation if you lack faith? And how can you be considered a Christian if you lack faith?

Quit trying to backpedal. You know as well as I do that the RC church condemns people who commit suicide. Maybe they think it's a deterent, but what it amounts to is a vicious attack on the character of someone who is dead and can't defend themselves. It's a doubly callous doctrine because if the person was an RC you can certainly make the case that the church failed in its pastoral duty to help them in their spiritual distress. 

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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
I do know that a person doesn't experience relief after death because there is no brain function after death. Dead people don't experience anything...including the absence of pain.

That's fine but I didn't say after death, I said at the moment of death. At the moment of death or seconds before the person's body may go completely numb but they are still aware so that is relief. Just because the moment doesn't endure that doen't mean that it has no value to the person. So it's wrong to say that they don't experience relief in a meaningful way.

Quote:
I'm not trying to sneak in a third option. I realize that there is no option for relief. What I'm saying is that dying is not an option that ends pain in any sense that is meaningful for the subject.

I don't think it matters that you don't know you're not experiencing the pain. If the only way you can live is painfully then it is meaningful for you to end it any way that is possible.

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Tilberian wrote: You said

Tilberian wrote:
You said that the RCs

I DID NOT SAY REAL CHRISTIANS.  What the hell man...why are you changing what I said?  Your whole line of arugments is based on that.  I didn't acknowledge any fallacy; you did from your own flawed quote.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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Tilberian wrote: Vastet

Tilberian wrote:

Vastet wrote:
You might not experience the emotion of relief, but you will certainly be relieved of pain in that you aren't experiencing it anymore.

I guess what I'm questioning is the value of that when it isn't actually something that you experience. It's like the sound the tree falling...is there relief when there is no one there to experience it?

The whole idea of dying to acheive relief from pain seems to me to spring from a flawed mental model of being in which our experiences somehow inhabit a place outside our skulls. It seems to be a breakdown of self-identity in which the perceptions of others are deemed as or more important than one's own perceptions. In other words the act, rather than being a real attempt to relieve pain, is a desperate attempt to communicate the depth of that pain to others. It is the ultimate act of socialization, I guess.

Obviously you have never been in pain intense enough to leave you bed ridden and incapable of thought, let alone activity. I have. If it had lasted much longer, I'd not be here today. I don't even know exactly how long it lasted(in days), I was so out of it. Ending it would have been the rational choice to make. Existance in permanent debilitating pain is not existance. It's pure unadulterated torture. Death is relief.

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Very interesting thread. 

Very interesting thread. 

Suicide is not explicitly condemned in the Bible,to my knowledge. However, implicitly it does not resonate with what appears to be the Bible's teaching of God's will for mankind.  It is simply bad theology to think that getting to heaven is the only point to this life--bad theology that unfortunately many, many Christians have.  On the contrary, this life is sacred, and each moment of this life is to be taken captive and maken the most of through loving people, loving and trusting God, taking care of the earth, social justice, etc.  Suicide is not an act of trust, nor love with respect to those who love you, and in this and many other ways it doesn't mesh with the rest of Biblical teaching.

Now, if I may turn the question onto the atheist worldview: if there is no form of post-mortem consciousness, how does the atheist avoid the conclusion that death (and thus life) is completely arbitrary?  i.e., why shouldn't everyone in the world just blow their brains out?  

Ockham's Razor is only as sharp as you are.


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Gauche wrote: That's fine

Gauche wrote:

That's fine but I didn't say after death, I said at the moment of death. At the moment of death or seconds before the person's body may go completely numb but they are still aware so that is relief. Just because the moment doesn't endure that doen't mean that it has no value to the person. So it's wrong to say that they don't experience relief in a meaningful way.

Unless the process of dying somehow alleviates whatever it was that was causing the pain, I don't see why this would occur. Since we can't poll dead people to ask what they felt an instant before death, we seem to be in the realm of unrestrained speculation. 

Gauche wrote:

I don't think it matters that you don't know you're not experiencing the pain. If the only way you can live is painfully then it is meaningful for you to end it any way that is possible.

I don't think it is if you really, rationally reflect on what it means to not exist in any sense at all. Seeking a state that can only be acheived after dying is like writing out an equation that hits the edge of the page at the = sign. Whatever came before is completely irrelevant since there is nullity after.

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razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
You said that the RCs

I DID NOT SAY REAL CHRISTIANS. What the hell man...why are you changing what I said? Your whole line of arugments is based on that. I didn't acknowledge any fallacy; you did from your own flawed quote.

RCs = Roman Catholics. You said that Roman Catholics do not consider people who commit suicide to have faith in Jesus. Since a Christian must have faith in Jesus, this is the same as saying that the RCs don't consider suicides to be real Christians. 

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Vastet wrote: Obviously

Vastet wrote:
Obviously you have never been in pain intense enough to leave you bed ridden and incapable of thought, let alone activity. I have. If it had lasted much longer, I'd not be here today. I don't even know exactly how long it lasted(in days), I was so out of it. Ending it would have been the rational choice to make. Existance in permanent debilitating pain is not existance. It's pure unadulterated torture. Death is relief.

I have no doubt that intense pain can make you long for death but the fact remains that this is an irrational position based on reism of an abstract idea (your state after death). Your state after death does not exist, for you. It is not real in any sense. It exists only in your imagination. 

 

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flatlanderdox wrote: Now,

flatlanderdox wrote:

Now, if I may turn the question onto the atheist worldview: if there is no form of post-mortem consciousness, how does the atheist avoid the conclusion that death (and thus life) is completely arbitrary? i.e., why shouldn't everyone in the world just blow their brains out?

Because then you'd be dead and missing out on life. If we don't define ceasing to exist as a failure, then what is? From a pragmatic standpoint there is one imperative: continue to exist. This is axiomatic because anyone who doesn't accept this imperative ceases to exist and isn't around to make an argument.

We can also work backward from our observation of nature to arrive at this imperative. Living things don't care how they exist as long as they do. They will accept any condition, make any evolutionary changes possible to themselves and their behaviour before accepting the loss of their genetic lineage.

I guess the short answer to the question is go ahead and die if you don't agree that continued existence is imperative. Tomorrow I'll be here with all my errors and you'll be right...and gone. 

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Tilberian wrote: RCs =

Tilberian wrote:
RCs = Roman Catholics. You said that Roman Catholics do not consider people who commit suicide to have faith in Jesus. Since a Christian must have faith in Jesus, this is the same as saying that the RCs don't consider suicides to be real Christians.

First thank you for clarifying what you mean by RC.  You weren't being very descriptive.

Second I would really appreciate it if you'd quote me properly.  I NEVER, AT NO TIME said that RC's consider people who commit suicide to not have faith in Jesus.  What I did say was the Catholic point of view is that suicide is a mortal sin, i.e. cannot obtain salvation by committing it.  Now the thread was going towards the reference of what the bible states and, again, that's what my original post was in reference to.

Now would you please stop trying to justify a false position by making it up as you go along? 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: First

razorphreak wrote:

First thank you for clarifying what you mean by RC. You weren't being very descriptive.

RC is very common slang for Roman Catholic.

razorphreak wrote:

Second I would really appreciate it if you'd quote me properly. I NEVER, AT NO TIME said that RC's consider people who commit suicide to not have faith in Jesus. What I did say was the Catholic point of view is that suicide is a mortal sin, i.e. cannot obtain salvation by committing it. Now the thread was going towards the reference of what the bible states and, again, that's what my original post was in reference to.

Here is what you wrote on page 1: 

Quote:
The "easist way to heaven" is simply the belief in Jesus (belief which only comes from God).  When you believe, that is your life changes because of your belief (to which you attribute to God), suicide is not something you think about.

Do I have to spell this out for you or are you going to admit now that, based on what you wrote, the RC position is that someone who commits suicide does not believe in Jesus, and is therefore not a Christian?

If you want to change or elaborate on what you posted, fine, but my responses to what you wrote has in no way misrepresented anything that you've said here.

razorphreak wrote:

Now would you please stop trying to justify a false position by making it up as you go along?

How's that foot tasting?

 

 

 

 

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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
Here is what you wrote on page 1:

Quote:
The "easist way to heaven" is simply the belief in Jesus (belief which only comes from God). When you believe, that is your life changes because of your belief (to which you attribute to God), suicide is not something you think about.

Do I have to spell this out for you or are you going to admit now that, based on what you wrote, the RC position is that someone who commits suicide does not believe in Jesus, and is therefore not a Christian?

If you want to change or elaborate on what you posted, fine, but my responses to what you wrote has in no way misrepresented anything that you've said here.

You misrepresent what I said because I didn't draw any conclusions. You did. You spelled out what you see yet I just simply stated the Christian point of view that even Catholics share (outside dogma). You deducted from that somehow I was singling out Catholics as being different yet I never did that.

Obviously if I need to change anything it's having to put so much detail to say ALL Christians including Catholics etc. etc. etc. in order for you to knock off these unfounded assumptions that you love to do for no other reason than to argue. As I said before, you could have approached me with a question a long time ago but you'd rather be aggressive just so you can say I caught another theist.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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Interesting thread. On the

Interesting thread. On the question of where (if at all) in the Bible is suicide expressly forbidden, it depends on which translation you use.

Exodus 20:13 in the New International Version says "You shall not murder", but the King James Version has this as "Thou shalt not kill." I don't know anything about the original languages...but if the latter is closer to the original then presumably it includes killing oneself as much as killing other people.

Come to think of it, it doesn't mention people at all - just killing. Which could raise a problem for any christians who work in abattoirs or enjoy hunting.


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Thanks for the response man!

Thanks for the response man!

Quote:
Tilberian wrote:

Because then you'd be dead and missing out on life.



But you wouldn’t be conscious of the fact that you are missing out on life, and thus death would be arbitrary: neither positive nor negative.

Quote:
If we don't define ceasing to exist as a failure, then what is? From a pragmatic standpoint there is one imperative: continue to exist.


But of course to “fail” or to be “pragmatic” about something presupposes that there is a telos towards which humanity “should” be striving. Where does this telos come from?

Quote:
This is axiomatic because anyone who doesn't accept this imperative ceases to exist and isn't around to make an argument.


So the point of existence is to be able to argue? How does that follow? Simply because we can argue means that we should?

Quote:
We can also work backward from our observation of nature to arrive at this imperative. Living things don't care how they exist as long as they do. They will accept any condition, make any evolutionary changes possible to themselves and their behaviour before accepting the loss of their genetic lineage.


As with “arguing,” I don’t understand the logic: the existence of something makes it normative? Because something is means that it should be? Because behavior exists, it should exist? Looking at nature gives us all kinds of behaviors—many negative: you know this well, it is one of the atheist’s strongest arguments against theism—gratuitous natural evil. Also, if the existence of something makes it normative, you could use the same argument about suicide: because suicide exists, humans should do it. In fact, you could even look to the fact that (as far as I know) no other creatures except for humans commit suicide. Because this is unique to humanity, you could argue that it is the unique purpose of humanity. My point is, simply because something or some behavior exists doesn’t mean it should be considered normative

Quote:
I guess the short answer to the question is go ahead and die if you don't agree that continued existence is imperative. Tomorrow I'll be here with all my errors and you'll be right...and gone.


lol… c’est vrai! Too true! But what are you after? Truth? Or prolonged existence?

May the force be with you. Always.

Ockham's Razor is only as sharp as you are.


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razorphreak wrote: You

razorphreak wrote:

You misrepresent what I said because I didn't draw any conclusions. You did. You spelled out what you see yet I just simply stated the Christian point of view that even Catholics share (outside dogma). You deducted from that somehow I was singling out Catholics as being different yet I never didt hat.

Y'know what? You're right! I just reread the post and you were indeed making a distinction between Catholic doctrine of mortal sin and the larger Christian point of view.

So now it's all of Christianity that shares this disgusting, heartless condemnation of people who commit suicide. Thanks for clearing that up.

razorphreak wrote:

Obviously if I need to change anything it's having to put so much detail to say ALL Christians including Catholics etc. etc. etc. in order for you to knock off these unfounded assumptions that you love to do for no other reason than to argue. As I said before, you could have approached me with a question a long time ago but you'd rather be aggressive just so you can say I caught another theist.

Boo hoo.

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flatlanderdox wrote: Thanks

flatlanderdox wrote:
Thanks for the response man!

Quote:
Because then you'd be dead and missing out on life.


But you wouldn’t be conscious of the fact that you are missing out on life, and thus death would be arbitrary: neither positive nor negative.

Not from the point of view of a living person. If can expect to have any fun in the future, losing that future has to feel like a loss, even if I wouldn't care once I actually lost it.

flatlanderdox wrote:

But of course to “fail” or to be “pragmatic” about something presupposes that there is a telos towards which humanity “should” be striving. Where does this telos come from?

Nope, no such assumption or value judgement is necessary. We can say that it is preferable to exist than to not exist as a basic axiom. The reverse proposition is self-refuting: if it's preferable to not exist then it would also be better if that statement didn't exist.

flatlanderdox wrote:


So the point of existence is to be able to argue? How does that follow? Simply because we can argue means that we should?

There doesn't need to be a point to existence. This is an artificial requirement for a value which stands outside existence itself. Existence is axiomatic and it has that value which we assign to it.

 

flatlanderdox wrote:

As with “arguing,” I don’t understand the logic: the existence of something makes it normative? Because something is means that it should be?

Of course not. Yet we exist. And we get to decide whether our existence is agood thing or a bad thing. There is no judgement that precedes the fact of our existence.

flatlanderdox wrote:

Because behavior exists, it should exist? Looking at nature gives us all kinds of behaviors—many negative: you know this well, it is one of the atheist’s strongest arguments against theism—gratuitous natural evil. Also, if the existence of something makes it normative, you could use the same argument about suicide: because suicide exists, humans should do it. In fact, you could even look to the fact that (as far as I know) no other creatures except for humans commit suicide. Because this is unique to humanity, you could argue that it is the unique purpose of humanity. My point is, simply because something or some behavior exists doesn’t mean it should be considered normative.

 Actions which cause the actor to cease to exist are self-refuting. It doesn't matter what we think about existence. It's here and we can either embrace it or go away. 

flatlanderdox wrote:


lol… c’est vrai! Too true! But what are you after? Truth? Or prolonged existence?

May the force be with you. Always.

Ah, but this presumes the existence of some Truth, for which there is, at present, no evidence at all. All we know is what we know and that if we are dead, we know nothing. 

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This one's a no

This one's a no brainer.

Suicide was declared a mortal sin to stop people killing themselves to escape their godawful lives and move straight to heaven.  After all, someone has to build those fine churches and pay the tithes, don't they? 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
Y'know what? You're right! I just reread the post and you were indeed making a distinction between Catholic doctrine of mortal sin and the larger Christian point of view.

So now it's all of Christianity that shares this disgusting, heartless condemnation of people who commit suicide. Thanks for clearing that up.

That'a way...I knew I could count on you...

Tilberian wrote:
Boo hoo.

for such a nice mature response.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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I would say if God doesn't

I would say if God doesn't want people to commit suicide, he shouldn't have given them depression or made their lives so bad that it seems a good choice.

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Quote: Tilberian wrote:Not

Quote:
Tilberian wrote:
Not from the point of view of a living person. If can expect to have any fun in the future, losing that future has to feel like a loss, even if I wouldn't care once I actually lost it.


Good point. So a clarification: the state of being dead would be arbitrary. So if the badness of death for the individual is the consciousness of the fact that are going to die and lose a future, what about when someone murders you in your sleep? Or konks you on the head in the parking garage, knocking you out, and then decapitating you? You would not be conscious of the fact that you are losing your future. You would simply cease to exist.

I would suggest that any anxiety caused by the thought of “losing that future” would be caused by the fact that eternal consciousness has been so rooted into our way of thinking as humans. But think about it: if it was grounded into the fibers of your consciousness that the state of being dead was completely arbitrary, the fear of dying would be eliminated. Anxiety about attaining a completely arbitrary state of non-consciousness would be entirely illogical. When you truly realize that death is arbitrary, all anxiety about death should cease.

Quote:
Nope, no such assumption or value judgement is necessary. We can say that it is preferable to exist than to not exist as a basic axiom. The reverse proposition is self-refuting: if it's preferable to not exist then it would also be better if that statement didn't exist.


There is nothing self-refuting about that reverse proposition. It is mathematically consistent. It is not the same as the statement, “It is true that there is no such thing as truth,” which is self-refuting.

Quote:
There doesn't need to be a point to existence. This is an artificial requirement for a value which stands outside existence itself. Existence is axiomatic and it has that value which we assign to it.


Axioms are really just presuppositions. But presuppositions are necessary, as we have learned from the Critical Realists. Ok then, so “existence” is the ultimate presupposition that you assign to yourself. Good. But if we all get to assign our own values, then what about assigning the value: because existence is meaningless, all life should cease, and I should be the agent of that goal?

Quote:
Actions which cause the actor to cease to exist are self-refuting. It doesn't matter what we think about existence. It's here and we can either embrace it or go away.


The idea itself is not at all self-refuting. It is entirely logically consistent. Simply because the idea applied means snuffing out existence does not mean that the idea snuffs itself out like the statement “It is true that there is no such thing as truth” snuffs itself out. There is a great difference. Whether an action is self-refuting is neither here nor there when it comes to logic.

Quote:
Ah, but this presumes the existence of some Truth, for which there is, at present, no evidence at all


Is it true that there is no evidence for truth? There’s your self-refuting proposition. And if you claim this, you depart from one of the most potent voices for atheism, the man himself—Dawkins—who claims that truth is exactly what drives him to do what he does.

Cheers! Man, I just got a craving for some fish and chips…blast it all! lol

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Tilberian wrote: Unless

Tilberian wrote:
Unless the process of dying somehow alleviates whatever it was that was causing the pain, I don't see why this would occur. Since we can't poll dead people to ask what they felt an instant before death, we seem to be in the realm of unrestrained speculation.

Many cases of physician assisted suicide are carried out with a lethal dose of morphine. So the process of dying absolutely does alleviate whatever was causing the pain. It’s not within the realm of speculation in point of fact its well within the realm of what is known.

Quote:
I don't think it is if you really, rationally reflect on what it means to not exist in any sense at all. Seeking a state that can only be acheived after dying is like writing out an equation that hits the edge of the page at the = sign. Whatever came before is completely irrelevant since there is nullity after.

I think you can only compare an experience to another experience; you can’t compare it to experiencing nothing. I used to work in a cancer ward and I’ve seen people who can’t breath, and people who can’t stand to live another minute and literally beg to be killed. What matters to the person is that they stop feeling what they are feeling. How stupid would it be to look at a person like that and say hey, well at least your experiencing something?

I’ve heard similar counter arguments against autonomy based arguments in favor of suicide. If you die you have no autonomy anymore so you can’t argue for suicide based on autonomy, so on and so forth. Its bullshit, what matters is what you experience while you’re alive and if you can express your autonomy at that time. What matters to the person is what they feel when they are alive, not that they are going to die. Everyone is going to die. Can’t you understand that the value of life is determined by quality not quantity?

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
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Tilberian wrote: Vastet

Tilberian wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Obviously you have never been in pain intense enough to leave you bed ridden and incapable of thought, let alone activity. I have. If it had lasted much longer, I'd not be here today. I don't even know exactly how long it lasted(in days), I was so out of it. Ending it would have been the rational choice to make. Existance in permanent debilitating pain is not existance. It's pure unadulterated torture. Death is relief.

I have no doubt that intense pain can make you long for death but the fact remains that this is an irrational position based on reism of an abstract idea (your state after death). Your state after death does not exist, for you. It is not real in any sense. It exists only in your imagination. 

 

Your state after death is irrelevant. The pain has ended. It is rational.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Hey all   I've been

Hey all

 

I've been reading thru the thread and been watching the replies. So, gonna have a stab at it myself. Answering as a former Christian, God said that he would not give you a burden greater than your can bear and to put your trust and faith in him. To commit suicide would denounce your faith that God would give you your salvation from your burden (or whatever is causing you to commit suicide). So, i think a) I think it was the apostle John who said he wanted to get to the end of his life by fighting the good fight and keeping his faith - a testament to the christian walk, b) should trust God that he will help out and by off'ing onesself you have denied him and shown that you don't trust your Creator c) that your life should be a sacrifice to GOD, not to yourself and the world and that you should marter your world self to take on your spiritual self, thus being indifferent to persecution.

 

Ok, so that's what i remember from Church days. My perspective now is somewhat colder. People with mental disorders who do it well... dang. People who just see no hope, well, i don't htink there is an eternal punishment for it and nor do i see it as a morally wrong thing to do UNLESS you have people who are depending on you. I woudl never do it because i have kids who depend on me, i have the love of my family, and i want to give my kids a secure foundation for them to build a successful emotional life on. Thats the "evolutionist" perspective i have. Progressing the next generation of kids to be strong individuals. 

Meh... thoughts 

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Drea wrote: To commit

Drea wrote:
To commit suicide would denounce your faith that God would give you your salvation from your burden (or whatever is causing you to commit suicide).

Interesting point of view.  I'm wondering where that came from. 

Drea wrote:
So, i think a) I think it was the apostle John who said he wanted to get to the end of his life by fighting the good fight and keeping his faith - a testament to the christian walk,

My first post makes reference to this.  It was Paul. 

Drea wrote:
b) should trust God that he will help out and by off'ing onesself you have denied him and shown that you don't trust your Creator

Again, interesting viewpoint. 

Drea wrote:
c) that your life should be a sacrifice to GOD, not to yourself and the world and that you should marter your world self to take on your spiritual self, thus being indifferent to persecution.

For the sake of the thread, I'll leave that one alone. 

Drea wrote:
My perspective now is somewhat colder. People with mental disorders who do it well... dang. People who just see no hope, well, i don't htink there is an eternal punishment for it and nor do i see it as a morally wrong thing to do UNLESS you have people who are depending on you. I woudl never do it because i have kids who depend on me, i have the love of my family, and i want to give my kids a secure foundation for them to build a successful emotional life on. Thats the "evolutionist" perspective i have. Progressing the next generation of kids to be strong individuals.

That's really not much different than what the bible itself teaches. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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You're the best Flatlander!

You're the best Flatlander! I love it when someone makes me think.

flatlanderdox wrote:


Good point. So a clarification: the state of being dead would be arbitrary. So if the badness of death for the individual is the consciousness of the fact that are going to die and lose a future, what about when someone murders you in your sleep? Or konks you on the head in the parking garage, knocking you out, and then decapitating you? You would not be conscious of the fact that you are losing your future. You would simply cease to exist.

I think we can say that murder and accidental death are undesireable from a social perspective. Without security we have chaos, then no one is happy.

 

flatlanderdox wrote:

I would suggest that any anxiety caused by the thought of “losing that future” would be caused by the fact that eternal consciousness has been so rooted into our way of thinking as humans. But think about it: if it was grounded into the fibers of your consciousness that the state of being dead was completely arbitrary, the fear of dying would be eliminated. Anxiety about attaining a completely arbitrary state of non-consciousness would be entirely illogical. When you truly realize that death is arbitrary, all anxiety about death should cease.

This begs the question that it is possible to lose your innate desire to live through philosophy. I would argue that it is not, that this is hardwired into our neurological structure and that all we can really do is overcome our will to live.

For that matter, there really is no further justification needed for the value we place on life than the observable fact that we want it quite badly.

flatlanderdox wrote:


There is nothing self-refuting about that reverse proposition. It is mathematically consistent. It is not the same as the statement, “It is true that there is no such thing as truth,” which is self-refuting.
 

Hmmmm. You're right. I thought I remembered seeing a self-refuting argument along these lines but I've bungled it.

I'm sticking to my guns, though, that it is illogical to prefer non-existence to existence. How can we assign value to something which doesn't exist? Existence must precede any determination of value. We can't point to nonexistence and say "that is good." There's nothing there!

 

flatlanderdox wrote:

Axioms are really just presuppositions. But presuppositions are necessary, as we have learned from the Critical Realists. Ok then, so “existence” is the ultimate presupposition that you assign to yourself. Good. But if we all get to assign our own values, then what about assigning the value: because existence is meaningless, all life should cease, and I should be the agent of that goal?

No, axioms are supposed to be able to be reworded as tautologies in the sense that any reverse proposition doesn't make sense. They are more than just arbitrary presuppositions.

 Maybe I'm wrong about the value of existence being axiomatic, I don't pretend to be a logician. But I know it isn't logical to say that something which does not exist has a value, whereas it is perfectly logical to assign a value to something which does. So if there's to be any possibility of a thing having value, it must exist. To me, this is the same as saying that existence is a precursor to all value, and therefore a basic value in and of itself.

flatlanderdox wrote:


The idea itself is not at all self-refuting. It is entirely logically consistent. Simply because the idea applied means snuffing out existence does not mean that the idea snuffs itself out like the statement “It is true that there is no such thing as truth” snuffs itself out. There is a great difference. Whether an action is self-refuting is neither here nor there when it comes to logic.

If an idea doesn't admit to the value of its own existence, can the idea be said have any value?

"X exists and has a value." OK.

"X does not exist and has a value." No good.

 Maybe that's the tautology I'm looking for?

flatlanderdox wrote:

Is it true that there is no evidence for truth? There’s your self-refuting proposition. And if you claim this, you depart from one of the most potent voices for atheism, the man himself—Dawkins—who claims that truth is exactly what drives him to do what he does.

Sorry, I wasn't clear on what I meant by Truth.

We are all, to some extent, in the Matrix. Our senses can never deliver to us a perfectly accurate model of our environment. The Truth is analogous to what Neo sees when he awakes from the Matix - a universe totally different than what he thought was real.

The question is, is there a Truth underlying our present understanding? Is there an absolute and correct model of the universe that we can discover and subscribe to? Religion says yes. I say we have no evidence for that. We know that we are wrong about everything we think we know, but we simply do not know if there is a right answer. IMO, it is probably an invalid question, since a fundamental understanding of the universe would go past information itself to directly connect with the matter and energy that are the only things that can be rightly said to exist in and of themselves.

I think Dawkins is (rightly) discarding this consideration and searching for the truth as it relates to our empirical senses. Small "t" truth. Which is all any of us can really ever aspire to know. 

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Gauche wrote:

Gauche wrote:

Many cases of physician assisted suicide are carried out with a lethal dose of morphine. So the process of dying absolutely does alleviate whatever was causing the pain. It’s not within the realm of speculation in point of fact its well within the realm of what is known.

OK so huge doses of morphine ease pain. The question was whether or not death itself eases pain.

Gauche wrote:

I think you can only compare an experience to another experience; you can’t compare it to experiencing nothing. I used to work in a cancer ward and I’ve seen people who can’t breath, and people who can’t stand to live another minute and literally beg to be killed. What matters to the person is that they stop feeling what they are feeling. How stupid would it be to look at a person like that and say hey, well at least your experiencing something?

Hey, I'm just saying that their desire for death is not a rational position. That doesn't make it invalid. I know I couldn't be rational under such circumstances. Ultimately it's their body and they get to decide what to do with it.

 

Gauche wrote:
I’ve heard similar counter arguments against autonomy based arguments in favor of suicide. If you die you have no autonomy anymore so you can’t argue for suicide based on autonomy, so on and so forth. Its bullshit, what matters is what you experience while you’re alive and if you can express your autonomy at that time. What matters to the person is what they feel when they are alive, not that they are going to die. Everyone is going to die. Can’t you understand that the value of life is determined by quality not quantity?

Well thanks for that strawman but I'm not asking for anyone's autonomy to be taken away. If I ever get to the point where I feel that death would be better than life, I hope I have the opportunity to end it. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
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Tilberian
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Vastet wrote: Your state

Vastet wrote:
Your state after death is irrelevant. The pain has ended. It is rational.

The pain doesn't end until you die.

So your state after death is irrelevant?

I thought the whole point was to end the pain!

 

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Gauche
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Tilberian wrote: OK so

Tilberian wrote:
OK so huge doses of morphine ease pain. The question was whether or not death itself eases pain.

No, the question was whether the people experience relief or not. You said this:

Tilberian wrote:
I guess what I'm questioning is the value of that when it isn't actually something that you experience. It's like the sound the tree falling...is there relief when there is no one there to experince it?

And I’m saying they do experience relief because they are drugged with morphine. So your assertion that

Tilberian wrote:
Relief from pain that you don't actually experience is no relief a all. The relief might as well have happened to someone else.
is not applicable here because they are experiencing it. You’re ignoring what the person feels before they die just to make a point. But it invalidates the point you’re trying to make.

 

Tilberian wrote:
Well thanks for that strawman but I'm not asking for anyone's autonomy to be taken away. If I ever get to the point where I feel that death would be better than life, I hope I have the opportunity to end it.

I don’t think it’s a straw man if you are actually making a similar argument. They are saying you can’t argue from autonomy because the person doesn’t have autonomy when they are dead. You’re saying the same thing only replacing autonomy with relief. But your argument is worse because what it basically boils down to is that you think a quick death is no better than a slow death. And not only is a quick death no better but you are irrational if you prefer a quick death. I’m just curious, have you seen someone die yet?

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The case for other ways of knowing

Tilberian,
Thanks for the response!  This is completely unrelated to our talk, but I was wondering... does "Tilberian" have anything to do with Star Wars?  It sounds like something familiar.  I'm a SW geek... lol.  
 

Quote:
Tilberian wrote:
 I think we can say that murder and accidental death are undesireable from a social perspective. Without security we have chaos, then no one is happy.

Yes, we would have insecurity and chaos.  To that I would say this: if you have a choice between a negative value and an arbitrary value, why not choose the arbitrary value?  I suppose appropriate analogy would be: if you have a choice between eating poo poo ice cream (a negative value—unless you’re my dog…lol) or air (arbitrary taste value), why not choose air?  In the same way, if society became chaotic because of the logical application of “there is no post-mortem consciousness, and thus death is arbitrary” by individuals in society who begin going around killing people in their sleep for the sport of it and to make a philosophical statement, the rest of society has the logical option of either accepting the negative value of prolonging their own existence in this chaos and suffering, or else the arbitrary value of ending their life.  However, I cannot see how, purely through logic or empirical method, you could establish a case for restraining these murderous individuals.  It may be the desire of the majority to live without that chaos, but it is an intuitive, not a logical or empirical, leap to assert that majority “desire” should be normative. 

Thus, I suppose this logic would follow:

Proposition 1 : (As you say) Existential purpose is a purely subjective choice—we create our own existential values.  This is our ultimate teleological presupposition.
Proposition 2:  The state of being dead is arbitrary because there is no consciousness in death.
It follows then that…
a) P1 is likely to create a negative state of existence because individual choices are likely to clash against other individual choices (e.g., the individual choice to murder or rape will clash with their victims).
b) If P1 is true and should be upheld, then a person whose state of existence is negative because of P1 has a choice between a negative and an arbitrary option: negative—go on living; arbitrary—kill yourself.  

What about the option of restraining murderers and rapists?  Well, you could, but you could not call what they are doing “evil” or “bad,” but rather “inconvenient.”  What would make the most sense, however—logically speaking—would be to execute anyone with the proclivity to murder and/or rape (or any other “inconvenient” action).  If death is an arbitrary state, it makes no sense to keep them alive at the expense of the general pubic.  As far as that goes, science and psychology can give you keys to determine what people have that proclivity before they even act it out.  If death is arbitrary, it would make sense for the public, then, to send all potential creators-of-inconvenience to that arbitrary state instead of keeping them around thus creating the anxiety of potential inconvenience for the majority.  Of course I could go on and on and on with this line of reasoning, but as you can see it would lead to many intuitively unsettling implications.

And I guess that is the point I’m trying to drive home: intuition is an important epistemic tool; it is crucial in order to make sense of existence.
 
 

Quote:
I would argue that it is not, that this is hardwired into our neurological structure and that all we can really do is overcome our will to live.
For that matter, there really is no further justification needed for the value we place on life than the observable fact that we want it quite badly.

I would definitely agree that it is hardwired into our structure.  But again, if you are looking at this through the lens of logic (or scientific method, for that matter) alone, the mere existence of something (i.e., the urge to live) does not "mean" that it should continue to exist.  It simply means that it exists.

And what exactly does “hardwired” mean other than “it is a direction in which most of us are intuitively, instinctually aimed.”  Logic and science are not the only epistemic tools that we have at our disposal.  There are other ways of knowing beyond logic and science: intuition, feeling, culture, etc.  We cannot escape these ways of knowing.  In fact they influence us even when we are not aware of it.  The way we treat life as something so sacred, to be preserved at all costs...this is something we arrive at through intuition, I think.  And this intuitive desire is necessary in order to continue to exist.  When we hear the suggestion: "nuke the entire earth, and have all life cease to exist," I'd say it is not our logic that cringes, it is the intuitive sense of "rightness" that does.     

As I understand him, in his book Personal Knowledge , Polanyi makes the very interesting point that the “highest” truths are ones that are circular, ones that we must only tacitly rely upon, ones that escape our ability to be focally aware of, ones for which we do not have any external, objective evidence.  This is true of the laws of logic and science.  It is true of life itself—why do we press on existing as we do?  It is my hunch that the existence of post-mortem consciousness and of God is similar in this respect.  While “bottom-up” evidence is important, it is not the all-in-all.  The BIV (Brain in Vat or Matrix) scenario is a perfect example of why: you cannot prove that the senses yield truth by appealing to the senses.  If the senses are lying to you, they would not tell you they are.  This is something that we must simply take as a presupposition: that our experiences do give us generally accurate information.  While evidence is important and good, the ultimately important thing is not evidence but that your system of worldview is internally consistent: that it makes sense of things internally.  If you suppose the laws of logic to be true, it helps to make sense of things and it is internally consistent.  If you suppose that certain forms of post-mortem consciousness exist, it is internally consistent and helps to makes sense of life and death, right and wrong, etc.  Suppose that God exists, and it also helps to make sense of post-mortem consciousness, right and wrong, etc., is (arguably) internally consistent, etc. 

Man… I spend way too much time thinking about this stuff…  Or maybe not enough… either way… I’m such a nerd. 

Ockham's Razor is only as sharp as you are.