Suicide, why just people?

yowhasoy
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Suicide, why just people?

I have thought a lot about suicide, not the action but the reasoning logical people use to justify it. It seems that humans are the only animals in the animal kingdom that can even fathom suicide. Why? Because it relies on the highest amount of knowledge. Humans are capable of boundless knowledge and are capable of great things, but suicide just happens to be one of them. However sad it is, one must realize that suicide is caused by depression, and depression is caused by knowledge, therefore it is our knowledge that makes us unhappy.

 

You never see a dog depressed. Fleeting moments of scared or angry, but never the pressing, almost toppling feeling of depression. What does that say about dogs? Does it mean that they can't fathom unhappiness? Probably not, but it definently means that they have no need for depression, then again, what is depressions need in humans.

 As far as I can tell, depression may be used for the analyzation of a past experience to build upon it so that it doesn't happen again, increasing survivability. However, what comes with depression is it's innate nature, the fact that you are thinking about the past. Then as you realize your mistakes, a message goes out that there is no way to fix the problem, and the only logical answer is self termination.

The only logical answer to solving your problem is self termination. That basically says that humans, being the only animals that can self terminate, are the only animals that can find no solutions to a problem faced before them. In a way, that makes all the other animals smarter, not in the sense that they can type on a computer, but to the sense that they can find an answer to a problem, or just don't make situations for themselves that they could never solve.

Maybe that is intelligence in and of itself. The ability to seek problems you cannot solve. Hm, something to think about.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear" -Thomas Jefferson


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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I've heard that a dog for

I've heard that a dog for instance lives in the moment. They don't reflect on past actions.

Humans that do commit suicide feel like they have no one to turn to. They don't seek the right help. By nature, humans have a pack mentality but technology and our way of life has changed our living standards. Television assures us that we don't need friends, we can just watch "Friends" on it.

Depression is not the only reason people commit suicide either.

Humans are self-aware. If I were to get into an accident where my body was reliant on machines, you bet your ass I would want someone to pull the plug.

Then there are those who know when they want to go.

Hunter S. Thomas shot himself because he wanted to live and die on his terms. His suicide note, Entitled "Football Season Is Over",[23] read:
"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt"


Susan
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I do believe that critters

I do believe that critters can be depressed. 

How many of us have had two pets that were best buddies?  Something happens to one pet and the other becomes lethargic and depressed.

The remaining pet knows that the best buddy is no longer there, but is likely unable to understand "why".

Anyone who has ever volunteered with shelter animals has seen many depressed pets who don't understand why they are now locked into a cage without a human family. 

I really do believe that some of these animals would commit suicide if they knew how.   

 

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Animals DO kill themselves,

Animals DO kill themselves.

Not just talking about rodents like lemmings here.

Whales beach themselves all the time. One reason proposed for this is that said whale understands that it is suffering and ill, and makes a concious choice to end it. It's ultimately unclear, but the vast majority of beached whales are sick, old, injured or a combination of such.

Octopi will stay with their young and forgo sustinence to protect them, even to the point of allowing the young to consume them or consuming themselves to remain on gaurd. This is probably more of a kin selective trait than a suicidal one though in this case.

There have been reports of captive dolphins and elephants battering themselves to death as well.

It is hard to assign what would be parallels to human behavior to such things. We cannot know an animal's mind. Still, seeing as we do see behavior such as kin selection and reciprical altuism in animals as well as humans, it is not out of bounds to think that some animals, especially the more intelligent animals like octopi and aquatic mammals, may actively engage in deliberate suicide.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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yowhasoy
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the biggest point i was

the biggest point i was getting at was the fact that knowledge causes unhappiness. The more awarte you are, the less happy you are.

That must be why so many christians are so disgustingly happy.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear" -Thomas Jefferson


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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I agree with that.  It's

I agree with that.  It's easier to live in make-believe if you don't acknowledge the the bad effects of religion.  I hardly ever get emotional anymore because I feel so numb with all the dumb atrocities going on.  I don't think this is an ugly world.  What is ugly is the people that won't use their brains.  I would never contemplate suicide now (but I used to when I was xtian but I don't know if being a xtian at the time had anything to do with it).  I know there is still a glimmer of hope for humanity if only Ann Coulter would run out in the freeway.


James Cizuz
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Suicide is theism at it's

Suicide is theism at it's best.


Hambydammit
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There was some research

There was some research done a while ago (sorry, I just don't feel like googling it. It's extremely well known in psych circles) where the researchers were trying to establish that depressed people are depressed because they're out of touch with reality.  Their premise was that depression correlates to an overly pessimistic view of the world, and therefore, depressed people are more likely to commit suicide, etc...

What they found was shocking to everybody, and changed the way we view depression.  In fact, depressed people are MORE in touch with reality than non-depressed people, at least as far as their perception of their own control over things.

This is not to say that it's good to be depressed.  It's simply a fact.  Most of the psychologists I've talked to have said they believe humans have an evolutionary bent towards believing they have more control over their lives than they actually do.  It's also one of the theories for why people want to believe in religion so badly.  If they have a magical sky daddy who will help them out when things get really bad, they actually have more control than the people without the sky daddy.

 

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

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