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Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

Comments on Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

cripes
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Posted 07/05/12 - 11:25 AM:
Subject: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?
On the part of those who do it while in their "right" mind?

Thoughts?
henry quirk
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Posted 07/05/12 - 12:45 PM:

Eye of the beholder.

For sure: suicide is a 'personal' act.

Any other descriptors applied are entirely dependent on the one applying them.

For myself: suicide is dumb.

An irrevocable solution applied to (mostly) transitory problems.

Dumb.
KinNaoko90
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Posted 07/05/12 - 12:53 PM:

Hmm... My answer would have to be "Yes". At least in the cases of Assisted Suicide for the seriously ill. Honestly, I've never considered suicide selfish at all. Nobody's ever worn the exact same pair of shoes as me to walk in, so should someday I end up committing suicide, I would not want anyone other than me to judge me.

My opinion of those who want to kill themselves is that they are no more selfish than those who want them to keep themselves alive.

-Kin heart
Thinker13
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Posted 07/05/12 - 1:30 PM:

KinNaoko90 wrote:
Hmm... My answer would have to be "Yes". At least in the cases of Assisted Suicide for the seriously ill. Honestly, I've never considered suicide selfish at all. Nobody's ever worn the exact same pair of shoes as me to walk in, so should someday I end up committing suicide, I would not want anyone other than me to judge me.

My opinion of those who want to kill themselves is that they are no more selfish than those who want them to keep themselves alive.

-Kin heart


I think we need to define Altruism here. Do you mean that by committing suicide, the person is actually 'helping' others?

Then it means that you are giving a hint towards the lessening of suffering--as the person who was suffering dies?

Or are we talking about 'suicide bombers?'

Or we are talking about Indian sages like Dadhichee who committed suicide so that his bones could be used to make the weapon of kind of Gods--Indra--to win the war between Gods and Demons.
KinNaoko90
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Posted 07/05/12 - 1:44 PM:

Altruism - "the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others" from dictionary.com.

As I stated before, in my opinion, assisted suicide for the terminally ill can be altruistic. People suffer as loved ones suffer.

In the other cases, I was just stating that I don't believe suicide is selfish. Even the suicide bombers were not selfish. They were just doing what they thought was morally right.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/05/12 - 1:53 PM:

KinNaoko90 wrote:
Altruism - "the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others" from dictionary.com.

As I stated before, in my opinion, assisted suicide for the terminally ill can be altruistic. People suffer as loved ones suffer.

In the other cases, I was just stating that I don't believe suicide is selfish. Even the suicide bombers were not selfish. They were just doing what they thought was morally right.



Do you think that it's not "effects" for greater good of most of the people which decide if they died for 'morally right?'

I mean--if it's just 'subjective thought' which matters the most for 'society' I might as well die in a mission to set world on nuclear fire and be considered an Altruist--but it's not so. In my 'own eyes' I might be an altruist but society at large will not call me an altruist--it would call me 'insane.'

For individual--subjective thought matters and that is why there is no other standard to compare with--that's the parent of all doubt and solipsism. That's why mystic choose this rose of 'I AM' and take it as an eternal never-changing Truth and then let everything else go away--this way they attained Bramh or Enlightenment. Those on Bhakti-Marga in Hinduism, choose a Guru and consider him peak standard of devotion and try to achieve his level of perfection.
KinNaoko90
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Posted 07/05/12 - 2:07 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

Do you think that it's not "effects" for greater good of most of the people which decide if they died for 'morally right?'


Thinker, I can't even prove other existences exist other than my own. laughing Why should I care if those possible existences agreed with my "right". Not to mention, I haven't interviewed every individual on this planet as to what their versions of "right" are. For all I know, the majority could agree with me. For all I know, the majority could agree with the suicide bomber.

Moreover, whether I'm in the majority or not, has no effect on whether the majority is "right" or not. The majority is either "right" (if there is such a thing) or wrong. Same goes for the minority. To me, every option has an equal possibility of being right or wrong. It doesn't matter if the majority say it's one way.
libertygrl
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Posted 07/05/12 - 10:01 PM:

Great topic, cripes. thumb up

For someone assisting someone else with a suicide, sure, that can be said to altruistic. But for someone committing suicide themselves, are they being altruistic? In what way are they helping others by offing themselves? I would say in order to be considered altruistic on their own behalf, they would have to be preventing themselves from being a further burden on others. In other words, if people are really sick of having them around, and not gaining any emotional reward from them being alive, in other words if nobody really loves them and the person is absolutely nothing more than a burden and a parasite, then sure, I would say their suicide is an act of altruism.

Suicide that is committed by a person who is much loved by others is a difficult matter. Because the person (let's call him Tom) committing suicide may have this horrible feeling that everyone else is being selfish by wanting him to stay alive, in spite of his suffering. But the truth of the matter is that someone who really, truly loves Tom may want him to stay alive just because they truly believe he can be happy again. Because if you really love someone, you just want them to be happy, and it's not about you needing something from them.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/06/12 - 3:37 AM:

KinNaoko90 wrote:


Thinker, I can't even prove other existences exist other than my own. laughing Why should I care if those possible existences agreed with my "right". Not to mention, I haven't interviewed every individual on this planet as to what their versions of "right" are. For all I know, the majority could agree with me. For all I know, the majority could agree with the suicide bomber.

Moreover, whether I'm in the majority or not, has no effect on whether the majority is "right" or not. The majority is either "right" (if there is such a thing) or wrong. Same goes for the minority. To me, every option has an equal possibility of being right or wrong. It doesn't matter if the majority say it's one way.



The problem arises when we 'switch' perspectives. Altruism is not defined by me or you. You might say that when you ponder suicide you use 'dictionary.com,' and you decide that it's an act of altruism and commit it---but who has decided about that definition? Certainly, you haven't--though you have its subjective interpretation in your head. It's moral authority of society or say tradition and linguists who have defined the word. Altruism is decided by 'standards' of society and morality--which means that those standards would decide if suicide is altruistic or not. You might recommend a change in standards and they might be accepted--but not in your situation where you don't know if a person exists or not.

If altruism is subjective and has no ground whatsoever in morality and society, then, Hitler is as much of an altruistic figure as Gandhi is.

I would give my opinion that Gandhi was altruistic.

You might say Hitler/Gandhi was altruistic.

None of us has ever been into their heads.

May be Hitler thought that he was doing an altruistic act when committing suicide, but in my opinion he was frustrated and afraid and there is a story that his hair turned grey from black over a single night { credibility uncertain. }


Our opinions matter for us. Whether to consider suicide or XYZ good or bad is subjective--it cannot be objective--but society, history and other group endeavors 'imagine' a common pool of moral opinions and that's used to define altruism and so on.

Moreover: Whether Altruistic or otherwise, act of committing suicide might be totally different from interpretation. Suicide would always be interpreted by 'others.'

libertygrl
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Posted 07/06/12 - 9:46 AM:

Well, morality is subjective as well. Any point which can be construed by one person as harmful can be construed by another as beneficial.
thedoc
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Posted 07/06/12 - 10:47 PM:

the life and death of any individual is very complex in it's relationship to others. Ones death may relieve a burden in one sense but it also deprives others of whatever contribution that individual may make to that relationship. Overall I would consider it a loss.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/07/12 - 11:00 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
Well, morality is subjective as well. Any point which can be construed by one person as harmful can be construed by another as beneficial.



I don't stand contrary to the argument of subjective morality. In fact I have belabored 'subjective universes' many a times in previous threads. I just wanted to thoroughly examine this particular stance that morality might be a social thing, if any angle called 'social' exists at all. Then, I might imagine a common mind which has a say in what is moral. This common mind creates a moral code and that moral code has a say in deciding moral values. I don't say that this is 'absolute morality,' but this could be a type of morality. When examining 'Suicide an altruistic act or not,' {if you use 'idiosyncratic,' angle, which is, in fact, only angle possible, in a sense} you end up deciding if it's an altruistic act or not:

A. You don't have access to any 'real persons,' therefore, all you have is your opinion, based on your thinking, based on your reason and feelings. Now you could decide if suicide is altruistic by saying:

" I feel that suicide could be an altruistic act in certain circumstances."

You're deciding for yourself and only yourself. [ In case you don't know if you exist or not, which has been addressed by various theories about Bramh, then--you cannot decide even for yourself--only confusion remains.]

You don't know if others exist--so you cannot say that 'Suicide is an altruistic act for all.'

So your answer that it's an altruistic act for some soldiers during war or something similar is invalid.

All you can say is-- that it could be an altruistic act for you, in certain circumstances.

But who're you if there is nothing else to compare you against?

If your imagination is all that exists, then, you cannot know if you even exist.

But if you think that you exist because you think, you exist only when you're the 'ultimate and only and every--Bramh.'

It's very confusing indeed. whee

It seems that idiosyncratic solipsism tends to end in Bramh; therefore these days, I am much motivated to think in terms of moral-codes and opinions for two purposes of 'discussions' and 'thinking,' in general.

In that sense, the 'idiosyncratic personality' which exists inside society, exists inside my head.wink
cripes
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Posted 07/07/12 - 12:48 PM:

What prompted me to think about this question was the rash of suicides as the result to bullying among young people, especially young gay people. It appears that bullying is the message to the bullied that they are useless to the ongoing survival of the species and so decide to effectively relieve the group (society) of their existence. What it tells me about those who commit suicide is that we'd actually be better off with them continuing to contribute through life.

Is this the selection process at work in the 21st century?
Thinker13
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Posted 07/07/12 - 2:24 PM:

cripes wrote:
What prompted me to think about this question was the rash of suicides as the result to bullying among young people, especially young gay people. It appears that bullying is the message to the bullied that they are useless to the ongoing survival of the species and so decide to effectively relieve the group (society) of their existence. What it tells me about those who commit suicide is that we'd actually be better off with them continuing to contribute through life.

Is this the selection process at work in the 21st century?



I will not be quick to sweep with a 'No' as an answer but most probably I feel we are a bit quick to judge it as a natural selection without getting enough data for the same.

Is it a given that it has been a trend for say at least 10 years now?

From the other threads I have seen on this very forum, I have arrived to the conclusion that most of the debaters in favor of homosexuality tend to suggest that it's insane to protest against it because we are 'beyond' the extinction { because of the lack of enough 'strata' of population to 'face natural selection and survive. } Therefore homosexuals should be welcome.

In other words: Is thinking of those against homosexuality enough to make it a factor in natural selection? May be yes--but then it's a dysfunctional, unreasonable selection process then. Ain't it?
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Posted 07/08/12 - 3:09 PM:

Thinker wrote:
Now you could decide if suicide is altruistic by saying:

" I feel that suicide could be an altruistic act in certain circumstances."

You're deciding for yourself and only yourself.

Of course, that's true of any statement that anyone posts here on the forum. It's not for anyone to decide what's true for anyone else. We only share our thoughts and others can decide if they agree or not. Solipsism could easily be used to put an end to every single topic we encounter.
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Posted 07/08/12 - 8:39 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

From the other threads I have seen on this very forum, I have arrived to the conclusion that most of the debaters in favor of homosexuality tend to suggest that it's insane to protest against it because we are 'beyond' the extinction { because of the lack of enough 'strata' of population to 'face natural selection and survive. } Therefore homosexuals should be welcome.

In other words: Is thinking of those against homosexuality enough to make it a factor in natural selection? May be yes--but then it's a dysfunctional, unreasonable selection process then. Ain't it?


I do not quite understand the first part of this, when you say 'Beyond the Extinction' what do you mean. It could mean that humanity cannot go extinct, or it could mean that we are too far gone, and extinction is certain.

In the 2nd part, I would say that if there was enough objection to Homosexuality it could be a factor in the survival of a Homosexual person, but then a strict homosexual is not going to pass his or her genes to the next generation without some other means. A strictly homosexual person is not going to reproduce, and if this is the gerneral rule, then homosexuality developes apart from any genetic contribution, or it is a recessive trait that manafests randomly. This would lend credence to the idea that it is environmental influences, or we just don't know as much about genetics as we think we do.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/09/12 - 1:42 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

Of course, that's true of any statement that anyone posts here on the forum. It's not for anyone to decide what's true for anyone else. We only share our thoughts and others can decide if they agree or not. Solipsism could easily be used to put an end to every single topic we encounter.



I would say that it might not just be 'local,' that stands true for any statements. In the rest of the previous post I did point towards the illusion of appearances, but the very reason because of which appearances are illusory, i. e. thoughts, are also the reason of illusory existence of ours. Then, you cannot say with any certainty, 'I exist,' since I am writing on this forum.
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