• Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    If someone commits suicide what conclusions can we draw from this?

    By this I mean what does this lead us to believe about a persons values and beliefs, mental state, their stance on life and so on.

    I think people make a lot of claims about human nature and values and trends but rarely mention the attitudes of those who are suicidal or committed suicide.

    Genuine suicide seems to be rare (if it ever happens among) other organisms. It can be seen to conflict with an urge to survive and will to live and propagate the species. I feel it happens in humans because of their ability to reflect on their existence.

    In terms of taking a moral or political stance I see suicide as a kind of defeat by whatever issues led you there. But also I think that suicide indicates a great capacity to suffer in humans.
  • Purple Pond
    572
    Here's what I think: People who commit suicide are like anyone else trying to avoid negative experiences. The only difference is how desperate the person is. Humans have a strong self preservation instinct and will do almost anything to avoid death. Humans are also known to do things that they will normally not do, out of desperation. If a person is so desperate to avoid really painful negative experiences, they will surrender the self preservation instinct as it's seen as their only option.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    We can make a comparison with gun violence here.

    Far more people kill themselves with guns than die in mass shootings but the latter issue gets far far more publicity. I think there enough suicides warrant an investigation into the phenomenon and factors that might cause it (outside of sociology text books)

    It could be that social circumstances and values are leading to suicide because there are communities and countries where suicide rates are significantly lower such as the difference between catholic and protestant suicide rates.
  • Purple Pond
    572
    I think there enough suicides warrant an investigation into the phenomenon and factors that might cause it (outside of sociology text books)Andrew4Handel
    Investigations on the causes of suicide are empirical issues. It's hard to see how it wouldn't involve any science.

    It could be that social circumstances and values are leading to suicide because there are communities and countries where suicide rates are significantly lower such as the difference between catholic and protestant suicide rates.Andrew4Handel
    I don't see why you can't find social circumstances and values predisposing people to suicide, but they will never be the whole story.
  • thewonder
    377

    I can't believe that that Durkheim statistic still holds up. The Protestant faith learned nothing from his work.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    I feel that suicide is a rejection of life and hence a profound statement.
  • unenlightened
    3.9k
    a profound statement.Andrew4Handel

    What do you think that statement is? the nearest I can get is a universal and definitive "Fuck off!", but I'm not sure that 'profound' is how I would describe it.

    The Catholic doctrine used to be, and AFIK still is, that suicide is the only unforgivable (presumably because unrepent-able) sin. Such a doctrine is likely to have a suppressive effect on suicide. Is that a good thing anyway? (Assuming a lack of truth).
  • Magnus Anderson
    335
    By this I mean what does this lead us to believe about a persons values and beliefs, mental state, their stance on life and so on.Andrew4Handel

    Suicide Note by Mitchell Heisman
    https://legacy.gscdn.nl/archives/images/suicide_note.pdf
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    What do you think that statement is? the nearest I can get is a universal and definitive "Fuck off!", but I'm not sure that 'profound' is how I would describe it.unenlightened

    I think suicide refutes some claims made by the living. I will need to root around to find some good specific examples.

    If someone commits suicide at a hundred after having a full life you could say this person has not rejected life, but if someone commits suicide at 20 and is in reasonable physical health you can see this as a rejection of life.

    I think these deaths should class as a source of information about the quality of human life and as a statistically significant rejection of common human goals.

    For example does someone who killed themselves early on, or in the middle of life care about things such as "Climate change, The Environment, The Economy, Trump, Guns, "The future of our children" and Brexit?"

    I am not even sure that the voices of the mentally ill and generally distressed get heard or responded to but I think it is easy to overlook someone after they are dead unless friends and family campaign on behalf of their legacy. There are protest suicides but I would prefer to protest whilst alive.

    There is even a stigma to expressing a negative worldview and a degree of enforced positivity which can suppress speech.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    That was a long suicide note.

    It has been critiqued elsewhere. I just worry that it was a too long and rambling statement and I hope he didn't die in vain.
  • unenlightened
    3.9k
    I am not even sure that the voices of the mentally ill and generally distressed get heard or responded toAndrew4Handel

    I'm quite sure they are widely ignored and even suppressed. The voices of the dead, however, are silent by nature.

    This prejudice against death, however, is a kind of xenophobia. Discrimination against death is simply assumed good and right. — Heisman
    Most people are so prejudiced on this issue that they simply refuse to even consider the possibilities of death.
    Viviocentric provincialism is exposed through an enlarged view from our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, and the limits of our knowledge of the larger cosmos we live in.
    Overcoming the prejudice against death, then, is only an extension and continuation of the Western project of eliminating bias, especially biologically based biases (i.e. race or sex based biases).

    This guy presents himself as Speaker for the Dead, but the dead have no point of view and nothing to say. So it is complete tosh - there is no such enlarged view, but rather only life has a view, and having a view is almost definitive of life in discussions of 'artificial life' for example. Perhaps I am afraid of death, and perhaps I am not, perhaps i welcome it perhaps I will seek to evade it at all costs. Perhaps I will kill myself when I have posted this. That way, from my POV I will have the last word, though not from anyone else's. But dead people don't post, and have no philosophy.

    Suicide says 'Talk to the corpse, 'cos the person ain't listening.' There may be good reason for that, like no one having listened to distress...

    Someone who isn't dead might like this: http://radiocafe.media/newmexican-perry/?fbclid=IwAR0n3v0-fZkjJqbsF83ln09r4TTKijvVwpBGPQjtxivEz3u4r91wLfwkVVI
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    . But dead people don't post, and have no philosophy.unenlightened

    But they do study the causes of death.

    These causes might be disease pollution, bad housing, mental health and so on and these can lead to policy change

    .But like I say I just see a lot of suicide as not endorsing life. It is an aspect of human nature. an almost unique biological/psychological trait.

    On the other hand suicide might be giving up and admitting defeat. Where you failed to significantly change life or convince someone of a cause and gave up or felt defeated or weakened.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    I can't believe that that Durkheim statistic still holds up. The Protestant faith learned nothing from his work.thewonder

    I was referring to the Durkheim statistic because it suggests that suicide might have strong social and cultural elements.

    I grew up in a strict protestant background which involved a lot of internalizing and soul searching. People have claimed that introspection can be lethal.
  • unenlightened
    3.9k
    1.3k
    . But dead people don't post, and have no philosophy.
    — unenlightened

    But they do study the causes of death.
    Andrew4Handel

    No, dead people do not study, either at college or independently.
  • thewonder
    377

    Whoa, crazy. I'm from a somewhat staunch German Catholic family. Introspection is only permissible in so far that it relates to the divine. They're not actually that bad, but they are rather strict. I'm somewhat estranged from them, though.

    I honestly suspect for Catholic guilt to have something to do with it. You just feel too responsible as a human agent to ever take your own life. In so far that it doesn't relate to the absurd logic of Catholic dogma, I suppose that guilt can be somewhat positive. There's a whole The White Ribbon element to religious guilt, though. I wouldn't necessarily consider for the concept to be wholly laudable. It is good that it adds a certain weight to human agency, though.

    I'm an atheist now. I'm not quite sure how I feel about Durkheim's conclusions. They're decent enough in so far that they indicate that Protestantism could be somewhat anomic, but a bit strange in so far that they suggest that greater social control in Catholic communities is what was resultant in lower suicide rates. To me, social control seems to naturally produce an anomic experience. I honestly just meant to point out that that is kind of an old study, but, apparently, it still holds up, so, I don't really have much of critique to make.
  • Judaka
    395

    What I think is that many philosophers tend to romanticise the motivations for suicide. People are selected for suicidal thoughts, they do not decide to have them. Some people won't have them and won't ever have them and others will have them regardless of anything. World views do not lead to suicidal feelings, suicidal feelings shape world views. Nihilism does not cause suicide but people with a proclivity towards suicidal thoughts will latch on to nihilism.

    It is an unmovable sadness and discontent within people which can only be endured or ended with suicide. That's what drives the clinically depressed. Though the greater portion of suicides are impulsive, reckless and regrettable choices that are made without forethought.

    There is nothing poetic about someone killing themselves at the height of a despair which would have dissipated in a short time after the attempt. Suicide over a lost job, bad grades, stress, lost relationship, financial troubles where very little thought was put into it are people who could have easily lived happy lives. Many of the ones who fail in their attempt DO end up living happy lives. An article on this:
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/many-suicides-are-based-on-an-impulsive-decision-2014-8?r=US&IR=T

    So the conclusions we can draw from most suicide cases is that they're unfortunate and rarely conclusions are reached by unbiased rational thought. I'd say that suicide either shows that an individual had a proclivity for suicidal thoughts and things didn't go well for them or an impulsive act that doesn't represent defeat but rather just impulsiveness. This leads me to think it would be a mistake for those who do not and have not contemplated suicide to judge those who have attempted or committed suicide. The likelihood seems to be that you do not have the same proclivities or impulsiveness and not that you're some kind of brave fighter in comparison.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k


    The study into impulsive suicides in America is based around firearms. I think that access to firearms is going to allow more impulsive suicides because it seems to be the less intimidating method of suicide. A lot more people attempt suicidal then are successful because most methods of trying to kill yourself are less effective then shooting yourself.

    I am not claiming that people committing suicide are making an explicit social or political point but they are an important statistic and representative of human nature.

    I don't think the values of people who have not attempted or committed suicide are more sound than those who have. Suicide does not seem to be part of the human narrative even though it has continuously happened. The closest thing now to this dialogue is antinatalist who don't believe life should be continued via reproduction. You might say not having children is type of genetic suicide.
  • christian2017
    444


    thanks for posting this. You have some great incites on suicide. Suicide is a huge problem in the United States. Recently i came to the conclusion that the best option is to go fight some creature from the sea or perhaps fight a Bobcast than to commit suicide. In hindsight Hitler didn't need to commit suicide or kill millions of people, he did have other options.
  • João Rodrigues
    3
    First, what's dead to us? Why do we wonder about death? Why are we fascinated about it? Is one, or the most asked question of all. What is comes after death? We're curious about the unknown. Now let's eliminate human conventions and morals. What do you call someone that takes a step into the unknown? You call it bravery, you call it courage. I call those who commit suicide death adventurous. I don't know what lead to there decision, but is never easy to trust yourself in the unknown, it takes courage.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k


    I think if this life was truly fulfilling and lacked harm we would not be eager for death.

    Death is inevitable as well as being a big unknown. I would prefer to die naturally whatever that means and not feel forced to depart life prematurely.

    i don't want anyone to feel forced to kill themselves because of the nature of life as it is now. Also I don't want the world after I die to be a terrible place that I leave behind.

    There is a kind of paradox here that if the afterlife is something great then why persist in this place? This is question for the religious or simply any believer in a better afterlife.

    But what concerns me is that people are ignoring the ramifications of up to a million people a year killing themselves and these people not having a voice in the politics despite the implications of what is a drastic or severe action.

    Maybe killing yourself is a courageous and revolutionary act? But when is it appropriate to do it?
  • christian2017
    444
    I think if this life was truly fulfilling and lacked harm we would not be eager for death.

    Death is inevitable as well as being a big unknown. I would prefer to die naturally whatever that means and not feel forced to depart life prematurely.

    i don't want anyone to feel forced to kill themselves because of the nature of life as it is now. Also I don't want the world after I die to be a terrible place that I leave behind.

    There is a kind of paradox here that if the afterlife is something great then why persist in this place? This is question for the religious or simply any believer in a better afterlife.

    But what concerns me is that people are ignoring the ramifications of up to a million people a year killing themselves and these people not having a voice in the politics despite the implications of what is a drastic or severe action.

    Maybe killing yourself is a courageous and revolutionary act? But when is it appropriate to do it?
    Andrew4Handel

    i agree with this 100%. I know many people who have been closely effected by this issue.
  • Judaka
    395

    Yes, those studies are linked to gun access and guns make suicide easier. That's one takeaway.

    "The human narrative" probably says all I need to hear, vague and meaningless, such a thing only exists in the imagination of people. Any discussion about it would only show an inability to separate fact from interpretation or worse yet, pretend perspective is irrelevant.

    Viewing suicide as a kind of philosophical stance which can be interpreted to be indicative of just whatever, it's romanticising. Humans don't kill themselves because of the way the world is, they do it because of the way they are.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    Viewing suicide as a kind of philosophical stance which can be interpreted to be indicative of just whatever, it's romanticising.Judaka

    I have been looking at suicide as significant statistic. The article that you linked to claims that 1/3 to 80% of suicides maybe impulsive. Now that is a very indeterminate estimate.

    It doesn't reflect the fact that there are thousands of successful suicides in America where we cannot judge how impulsive they were.

    I think spontaneity in suicides is the same as spontaneity required in any decision. At the point you commit or attempt suicide you have to make a final decision to go ahead.

    But the circumstances leading up to a suicide include all kinds of dysfunction and depression. There are lots of people that feel suicidal but don't attempt it also.

    So why is suicide a phenomena at all. I know people that committed suicide and I have attempted suicide myself in the past and we all have had troubled backgrounds. I took overdoses twice but they turned out not be lethal. I haven't attempted suicide in the last 20 years although I have had strong urges at different times. I have been involved in the mental health services and have articulated a lot of my opinions and philosophy on the internet. If I ever did commit suicide it could not be separated from all that I have articulated over the years.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    I am an antinatalist as you may now and when it comes to antinatalism people often instantly respond if life is so terrible why don't you commit suicide or something like that.

    Apparently life is only terrible if you commit suicide.

    Antinatalism is not saying all life is terrible all the time but a lot of people are suffering badly and unjustifiable. Mental health, problems, life problems and suicide are indicative of this. So the fact of suicide is not in anyway I can conceive an endorsement of life as it is.

    I think the idea of suicide as impulsive or a symptom of madness or even as a liberating release from a terminal illness is trying to take it out of the political and ideological realm.
  • Judaka
    395

    Across many areas of life, people try to find sense in the senseless, particularly by rationalising motivations and perspectives and suicide is the same. To begin with, it's strange that suicide could be called an urge. Suicide should be looked at case-by-case, I've never found any reason to do it any other way. Self-harm and suicide, what's rational about it? Who'd choose it? It chooses you. There's a long list of things you're born as and some are more obvious than others, sometimes the public acknowledges it and sometimes it's less clear.

    I don't believe that your "suicide" could be divorced from your philosophies but neither do I believe your philosophies can be divorced from the desires you've had to commit it. That's a relevant part of how you've experienced the world. You want to reinterpret the meaning of suicide, there's room for that and realistically, facts cannot necessarily refute interpretation but I view suicide as tragic because it's the last resort. Mostly reached by impulsiveness, psychological proclivities, suffering, hopelessness and so on. What's a pleasant road to suicide?

    Everything is case-by-case, the world is vast but the same can't be said for our perspectives and how we see it. Often I see that suicidal types fixate, problems overwhelm them and they tunnel vision.

    As for Antinatalism, it's an interpretation that makes sense internally because of how you've seen and experienced life. I can't say it's wrong, I'm no more capable of divorcing my philosophies from who I am than you.
  • Necrofantasia
    17


    Suicide is simply rejecting your reality to the point of removing yourself from it while enduring pushback from all the physical and mental safeguards that exist to prevent you from doing so.

    I reject antinatalism. If you don't wish to have kids, it's your prerogative, but to pretend others should do the same holds parallels with religious indoctrination in the sense that it pushes to make a personal choice for someone else. For many folks it is in some ways a sanitized way to say "pro eugenics"
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