Re: Suicide as a Natural Right. (was: Re: In defense of Friendliness)

From: Edwin Evans (
Date: Fri Nov 15 2002 - 22:43:23 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:

> Edwin Evans wrote:
>> Samantha Atkins wrote:
>>> Is it rational to go on if you become convinced that there is no
>>> reasonable hope or if your world is hell? I would not dare claim I
>>> can answer that question for other people or in general. I can only
>>> answer it for myself.
>> I often suspect that people look at these questions backwards (though
>> I'm not saying you Samantha). That they struggle with a question like
>> "Should I commit suicide?" as a separate question from "What should I
>> do?" Yet 'commit suicide' is an answer to this initial, fundamental
>> question whereas "Should I commit suicide?" is a question that
>> probably just came up after internally hearing "Awful feeling! Stop
>> the pain! Won't you please stop the pain? I matter!"
>> I guess I know what your answer to the question is and you can guess
>> that I don't agree. I felt I should point out that it would be wrong
>> for anyone to struggle with this question by agonizing over whether
>> their "world is hell" or whether they have no hope or how it will
>> affect family and friends, without ever considering whether they are
>> agonizing over totally the wrong things (which I think they probably
>> are).
> From your wording I don't believe you have any idea what my answer to
> this question is or which question I asked myself to get over
> considering this possibility completely. It became obvious to me
> back when I did consider suicide an option (decades ago) that no
> matter how much pain, frustration, helplessness and so on I might be
> feeling now, this world and this life was the "only game in town".
> All possibility, for ill or good, is here. Even so-called afterlife
> models have one coming back to the same or worse until a different
> choice is made. So it was rather obvious that "Should I commit
> suicide" is not the question. However, I don't begrudge any
> sentient the right to wrestle with their pain and options and decide
> so basic a question for themselves. I would not presume to answer it
> for others.
> - samantha

I wasn't trying to guess what you were thinking about when you were
considering suicide or why you decided not to. I was talking about the
question you asked about whether it is rational to go on given the
factors you specified. I was guessing that your answer was: "it's a
personal decision and you can't say that there is a correct or incorrect
answer" or "it depends how much your world is hell".

Sorry my wording wasn't clear. And I certainly wouldn't want anyone to
think that the "answer" I mentioned in the first sentence of the second
paragraph was referring to the question I had just asked! I originally
had a longer message that I struggled with for a while and then shrunk
down to the one I posted.


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