## Best arguments against suicide?

• 10.7k
If I told you I wanted to commit suicide and you had one response, what would it be?

Basically, I want to know what's your best argument against suicide?

I'll start.
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Me: I want to commit suicide, convince me otherwise.

Fictional me therapist: The universe is 13.8 billion years old. Just to give some perspective, a billion seconds is almost 32 years worth of time. What difference does it make if you want to commit suicide now rather than die of old age?
• 242
Well, parroting what I just wrote in another thread. "Best arguments against my identifying as a man born in a woman's body?" I don't know, buddy. That's the sort of thing you can discuss, but I think you're bound to go awry if you think logic, reason, deliberation or dialectic will provide anything beyond clarification of what are essentially non-logical, non-rational global questions of how you cope with the world and your place in it.

I know you're interested in Wittgenstein. I think there are some Wittgensteinian points to make here. If I wish to persuade you that your suicidal thoughts are a sort of error - to show the fly out of the bottle - it will depend greatly upon my becoming acquainted with you as a person and the sorts of reasons and motivations in virtue of which you're entertaining these thoughts. Philosophy as therapy. For a certain sort of person you might say: Go read Dostoevsky. For another: Get your doctor to prescribe lithium then see if you still want to debate the topic.
• 10.7k
Well, parroting what I just wrote in another thread. "Best arguments against my identifying as a man born in a woman's body?" I don't know, buddy. That's the sort of thing you can discuss, but I think you're bound to go awry if you think logic, reason, deliberation or dialectic will provide anything beyond clarification of what are essentially non-logical, non-rational global questions of how you cope with the world and your place in it.

So, you don't think we can empathize with someone seriously and quaintly considering suicide? Only sympathize?
• 10.7k
I know you're interested in Wittgenstein. I think there are some Wittgensteinian points to make here. If I wish to persuade you that your suicidal thoughts are a sort of error - to show the fly out of the bottle - it will depend greatly upon my becoming acquainted with you as a person and the sorts of reasons and motivations in virtue of which you're entertaining these thoughts. Philosophy as therapy. For a certain sort of person you might say: Go read Dostoevsky. For another: Get your doctor to prescribe lithium then see if you still want to debate the topic.

I think, as a Wittgensteinian, the problems of people are mainly psychological or what we tell ourselves. It's a matter of identifying with a new voice in your head and listening to it instead of the incessant critic or what others would call a demon. Socrates talked about listening to his daemon.
• 242
I think, as a Wittgensteinian, the problems of people are mainly psychological or what we tell ourselves.

I definitely agree, so long as we understand psychology in the deep sense of the term - the sense of the term that led Witty to love Schopenhauer and Dostoyevsky, engage seriously with Freud, etc. - as opposed to being a mere set of subjective preferences, tastes, and inclinations.

It's a matter of identifying with a new voice in your head and listening to it instead of the incessant critic or what others would call a demon. Socrates talked about listening to his daemon.

Well, I suppose this is the "two-in-one" of thinking, the fact that I can carry on a dialogue in thought rather than being restricted to monologue. I think you're right about the ability and perhaps necessity of utilizing the capacity for thought in order to find one's self. Though beyond that I'm not sure what I think of this - would love to see you expand on the thought. My own feeling is that suicidal thoughts tend to be a much larger expression of how one lives a life - the way one copes within the local world one occupies - than a view one comes to through thought and internal dialogue. But I may be misreading you (or plain wrong)!

So, you don't think we can empathize with someone seriously and quaintly considering suicide? Only sympathize?
The opposite, though these words are used in such myriad ways that it might not be worth it to go to the bother of attempting to use the terms.
• 10.7k
I definitely agree, so long as we understand psychology in the deep sense of the term - the sense of the term that led Witty to love Schopenhauer and Dostoyevsky, engage seriously with Freud, etc. - as opposed to being a mere set of subjective preferences, tastes, and inclinations.

Yes, I've seen solipsistic and trite comments, like the following: "The problems of philosophy are psychological" - Pseudo-Wittgenstein or just made up. Analyzing a person tends to be much more complex than breaking down the self into three parts and trying to address each of their needs or beefing up the ego.

Well, I suppose this is the "two-in-one" of thinking, the fact that I can carry on a dialogue in thought rather than a monologue.

Well, yes. We talk to ourselves every day. The whole point IMO of therapy is to form a new narrative we tell ourselves with small behavioural changes.

I think you're right about finding an expression of one's self through one's capacity to think. I'm not sure what I think of this - would love to see you expand on the thought.

Well, given my dealings with psychology; dialectical therapy (talk therapy), CBT, logotherapy, reality therapy, even behaviourism to some extent... The main gist in my view is to create a new voice within your psyche. One of the first lessons of CBT, as far as I'm aware, is to role play a therapist with all the cognitive distortions in your mind. You then play talk-judo with yourself by writing down your thoughts and then addressing each one that comes to mind, in regards to the automatic thoughts arising. A lot of my affinity towards CBT or meta-cognitive therapy is derived from Stoicism, (big surprise). I have a lot of resentment towards Hume for calling reason the handmaiden of the passions when this is clearly not true. Perhaps, the most essential component in therapy is having a keen "ear" (so to speak) on what reason is telling us. Some people have this inner-"ear" more refined/tuned in than others and go on to become renowned psychologists. Some people have an inner voice shouting at them and reason is drowned out of the dialogue with one's self.

So, it's basically maintaining a healthy signal to noise ratio between competing voices from within our own head. Most of the time, medication quells the bad thoughts down (although calling voices "bad" or "good" really idiotizes the issue) It can be also the fact that we simply do not understand what is being said to us and we plead ignorance instead of putting in the effort to understand the other/different voice to borrow the term from care ethics.

My own feeling is that suicidal thoughts tend to be a much larger expression of how one lives a life - the way one copes within the local world one occupies - than a view one comes to through thought and internal dialogue.

Or rather the final 'shouting voice' telling us something is wrong. Don't get me wrong, suicidal thoughts should be interpreted as a sign that things are not right. Though to "listen" to those thoughts too intently is a mistake and a blunder that has to be addressed through medicinal and cognitive approaches.

What's your favourite therapy technique? Mine has to be CBT (devoid of the behavioural component, rendering it as a metacognitive therapy along with Stoicism).

The opposite, though these words are used in such myriad ways that it might not be worth it to go to the bother of attempting to use the terms.

Let's clarify then. To understand a person going through with suicidal ideation requires us to appeal to some inner voice. The only voice that stands out from the crowd is mostly reason. What do you think?
• 233
Here are my top 10 arguments against suicide:

10. Committing suicide will deprive you of the good things in your life.

9. Having a suicidal mindset often times exaggerates your suffering.

8. Any suicide will probably be physically painful.

7. You should try to improve your life before considering suicide.

6. Being a failure or hating yourself is not a good reason to commit suicide. One could hate oneself but be perfectly happy about his life because it is more pleasant and contains less suffering than the life of a successful person. Not all self loathing people live bad lives and not all successful and self-loving people are happy. Besides, would killing yourself really make you feel better about yourself?(Well, I guess it would after you've died though)

5. If you don't have intense and unbearable suffering, then it's better to just continue living your life. Don't worry, one day you're going to die and your suffering will end anyway. But you'll only get to live once.

4. Suicide can cause you to go to Hell. This will make your suffering worse. (This is one only works on religious people who believe in Hell though).

3. Suicide will cause extreme bereavement to your loved ones. Think of how much suffering you will cause your friends and family.

2. Failed suicide attempts can be extremely painful physically and psychologically. They could also lead to permanent disability. If the point of suicide is to reduce suffering, then this could make the problem worse.

1. For every successful suicide, there are roughly 25 unsuccessful attempts. If you're going to kill yourselves, you better know what the Hell you're doing!
• 8.7k
Wallows: Please refrain from committing suicide this year. It would inconvenience at least 43 people were you to succeed. Were you to try and fail, even more people (78) would be inconvenienced. So just forget about it, OK?

As for next year, we predict an uptick in your fortunes, and it would be regrettable if you were not here to enjoy the bounty of slightly improved circumstances.

Killing yourself on the The Philosophy Forum, the leading forum of professional kibitzers this side of the Milky Way, would set a bad example. And it would be in bad taste. Etiquette is so important. Blowing yourself up is just rude.

You are too important to the health of our kibitzeria to depart now. We expect you to be here for the next 10 years, minimum. We need you. We want you.

So, unless you were looking for a snarky "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" such questions should not be asked in the first place.

Go in peace and get get back to work!
• 3.8k
2. Failed suicide attempts can be extremely painful physically and psychologically. They could also lead to permanent disability. If the point of suicide is to reduce suffering, then this could make the problem worse.

For me? There is no better argument against trying to commit suicide than yours above.
• 3.8k
Killing yourself on the The Philosophy Forum, the leading forum of professional kibitzers this side of the Milky Way, would set a bad example. And it would be in bad taste. Etiquette is so important. Blowing yourself up is just rude.

You are too important to the health of our kibitzeria to depart now. We expect you to be here for the next 10 years, minimum. We need you. We want you.

BC is right on target my friend. We NEED you. We WANT you! And suicide has a contagious factor. Once you have "a" suicide in your family tree, it is very hard not to see suicide as an easy way out.
WE are a family here at TPF and WE need you and we NEED to maintain a suicide free history for WE are here to support anyone that needs it and "Posty"@Wallows, we love you~
• 13.8k
Honestly, my one response would be to call the authorities so that we can get you treatment.

In my view it's not something that you're goint to talk someone out of with "one response." I don't at all believe that a drive to commit suicide is caused by "rational content" in the first place, so the idea that some curt rational response is going to change someone's mind is way off base.
• 767

TheHedoMinimalist has a good list.

Thinking about it as a continuation of the Stoicism thread, it occurs to me that suicide controls an outcome but the life in question doesn't belong to the agent that would end it. I don't own my life. I don't own anything after it is done. I fear my death and it has brought me great anxiety thinking about it at some points in my life. But I won't be the one to experience the loss except perhaps at the moment it happens. The fixation on that moment has no relation to the thinking about when I am gone. The experience of that moment will be mine but that experience does not own the moment when it is over.

The fixation upon suicide is like the fear of death in its mistaken belief that one's life belongs to oneself but is a violation in the way fear is not. When overwhelmed with fear, we lose control of what preserves our lives and become too weak to be responsible for what nourishes it. With suicide, one agent wants to dominate the rest at the expense of life itself. That is why so many instances of suicide are combined with an orgy of violence against others, either in the form of actual mayhem or psychological torture of survivors. In the framework of an immortal life, the reason the suicide is not saved is that the act of domination causes irreparable damage to the soul. In a framework of virtues as understood by the Stoics and the ancient Greeks, when the will to dominate is not balanced by other ends, the result is hubris which tends to ruin the person and those in the immediate vicinity.
• 1.7k

You dont think that someone can arrive at the decision to kill themsevles rationally and/or logically? (In situations where they arent terminal or suffering horribly etc, What I mean is opting out of life not necessarily a “mercy” suicide if that makes sense.)
• 13.8k
You dont think that someone can arrive at the decision to kill themsevles rationally and/or logically? (In situations where they arent terminal or suffering horribly etc, What I mean is opting out of life not necessarily a “mercy” suicide if that makes sense.)

RIght. Folks will ad hoc rationalize it, but I don't believe that it's something that's arrived at via just reasoning about anything.
• 1.7k

Just to clarify, you are saying its never arrived at that way, or that its not possible to arrive to it that way?
• 13.8k

Not saying anything about metaphysical possibility (lol). Just contingent fact.
• 1.7k

Ok so the former. So what are you basing that on? Obviously niether of us is aware of all the cases but it seems to me that a person could justify suicide by reasoning that lifes ups and downs arent enough to make it worthwhile, for example.
Doesnt seem like you have enough data to take the position that you are.
• 317
Suicide is cowardice. It takes bravery to stay alive.
• 582
We are the same person, Wallows. If you commit suicide you'll be killing me(yourself) without my(your) consent.
• 13.8k
Ok so the former. So what are you basing that on? Obviously niether of us is aware of all the cases but it seems to me that a person could justify suicide by reasoning that lifes ups and downs arent enough to make it worthwhile, for example.
Doesnt seem like you have enough data to take the position that you are.

Based on data re people who have attempted or committed suicide, including from health care professionals/psych professionals I know personally, and including a handful of people I've known personally who either did or attempted to commit suicide.
• 60
What's the point? You can neither be better nor worse off by your own death - death destroys whatever could be affected by it. Suicide is much like violently smashing over the chess board because you're losing. You have to still be playing the game to improve your position. I suppose once you're dead, it can't get any worse. But there's nobody existing anymore to benefit from this, and all your loved ones are worse off.

The best 'argument' against suicide is to have a life worth living. Go find a woman who loves you.
• 151
Beware of the possibility that suicide is not an escape. My belief is that death changes nothing, your illusion of being a human being in an objective world carries on and you believe that somehow your suicide attempt has failed. In that case your suffering continues so the only way out is to see your suffering through until the darkness recedes.
• 5k
There's something around the corner that's really cool. If you wait for it, you'll be glad you did.
• 1
Well,I figure there are some individuals out there that would get some sort of a morbid kick upon hearing about my suicide.I wouldn't want to give them that pleasure.When all the chips are down,and all the boats have sunk,I guess you can go on living just to grin in in their face and tell them to bugger off.
• 1.7k

Ok, so anecdotal. Fair enough.
• 10.7k
We are the same person, Wallows. If you commit suicide you'll be killing me(yourself) without my(your) consent.

Nooo! I have become a Nihilistic Locomotive too. Ahh!
• 10.7k
Suicide is cowardice. It takes bravery to stay alive.

It also takes some guts and balls to commit suicide.
• 8.7k
It also takes some guts and balls to commit suicide.

No. It takes a surfeit of despair and hopelessness, and a deficiency of gut and balls.
• 317
It also takes some guts and balls to commit suicide.

People choose suicide as a way out. True it does take something akin to bravery to actually take your own life but that bravery is in a one time act. Staying alive day after day when you are tired of life is the real challenge, that is a different type of bravery. According to Kant it is the only duty to yourself that you must perform.
• 93

What about the argument that since you are not responsible for making your life, it is not moral for you to destroy it. I think this gets made in prior eras in the context of god(s) - i.e. suicide is an affront to god(s) who created you; you are essentially their property and suicide is destroying property you don't have full ownership of. However, leaving the god(s) out of it for the time being, it still seems like there is an argument that it is immoral to take your own life to the extent you had no role in bringing yourself into existence. In this case, you are undoing the handiwork of another (presumably your parents, or maybe an IV lab scientist) without justification. Effectively, it would be still be a kind of property argument: you don't have full ownership of your life and so therefore cannot ethically destroy it.
• 10.7k
No. It takes a surfeit of despair and hopelessness, and a deficiency of gut and balls.

How is suicide not a courageous act? I fail to see how someone wanting to commit suicide against everything life has to offer as not a determined and courageous act?
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