Suicide – Arguments in favor
By Duane Hewitt
Spoiler Alert: If you’re firmly set against suicide, be forewarned that this article raises some points concerning a person’s right to suicide.
It’s tragic that we live in a world where suicide is frequently viewed as the only way out. And it’s disturbing how many people worldwide commit suicide. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports “close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year” – a number that’s likely underreported. But no matter how you look at it, suicide is intensely personal. In fact, suicide is about as personal as things can get. And yet suicide tends to draw views and judgment about the “right to die” or how God views suicide (like anyone could possibly know!).
It may be fair to say that suicide is nobody’s business. However, this is not always true. Common sense and responsibility must prevail. If you’re in your teens or your twenties, suicide is a mistake. You won’t have lived your life yet and you aren’t likely to be in possession of the facts, wisdom, or perspective concerning the problems that assail you. Furthermore, no matter how difficult your problems may be, you won’t have given God or time a chance to help you with those problems.
On the other hand, if you’re in your fifties or sixties and you feel you’ve worked hard all your life, tried your best, have given your all to God, and yet life has become too difficult or pointless, then something deep within you might just be saying it’s time to go. And when it feels like your soul is saying it’s time to leave, it’s a very powerful feeling. Since the average human lifetime is about 79 years (in the developed world), being in your 50s, 60s, or 70s and wanting to die is probably not unrealistic. And how could this be anyone’s business but your own? No one knows your life and your circumstances better than you. And no one knows the future.
The problem with writing an article such as this is that it risks coming across as promoting suicide. But this isn’t the case. The point here is more about raising questions and identifying truer prevailing issues. For instance, there’s something about humankind that promotes feelings of guilt in most everything we do, and guilt frequently tends to accompany suicide. Some argue against suicide on medical and moral grounds. Others argue against suicide on religious and spiritual grounds. But what about free will? What about the individual’s take on all this? And what about having the right to die as much as having the right to live? If we are to feel guilty about our death, should we not also feel guilty about our life? For God’s sake, why!
So now let’s draw God into the debate, but with a caveat: We would all be well advised to maintain measured, humble viewpoints when it comes to expounding on the will and ways of the Creator. All our dictums of guilt, fear, shame, and control are typically mankind’s doing and nothing more. We can’t possibly claim to know the thoughts or will of a supreme divine being, so how could we presume to know His thoughts about our deaths? If judgment is meted out for our lives and deaths, is it not fair to say that there are differing circumstances between one person and another as it applies to life and death? And consider this: From the beautiful scent of flower blossoms carried by a delicate summer breeze to the incredible magnitude of an infinite universe and the expanse of time, what do we really know about how God thinks? We really need to be careful about promoting “His” views on life and death, and this must apply to suicide. Perhaps we should all just be practicing compassionate non-judgment.
None of this is meant to encourage suicide, so caution is advised. There will always be difficult situations in life that make people feel compelled to take their own life. Sometimes there are solutions and sometimes there are not. Part of the problem with being human is that we don’t always think clearly during times of intense pain or duress. Imbalances can occur in mind and body that can make a person do things that they shouldn’t. For these reasons and more, if you feel like taking your own life, then please begin by seeing a doctor or a therapist; get professional help. And for those with responsibilities, such as having dependents or loved ones that might be hurt, even traumatized, by your death – be careful about running toward suicide as the only solution!
Suicides are on the increase. That’s a fact. We read about suicides in our youth, our indigenous people, the old, sick, and terminally ill, as well as with the mentally ill and those on the street. In such cases, people have failed other people, or perhaps life has failed them. But once in a while, someone makes the decision to leave after having weighed all the pros-and-cons and after having lived and tried as much as can be expected of anybody. And who are we to judge? Perhaps, in such cases, it’s best that we just say a prayer for that person and wish them well on the next leg of their journey. And if we should decide that it’s our time to go, then we should have every right to expect that we’ll be greeted with open, loving arms on the other side.
Copyright 2017 Duane Hewitt. All rights reserved.
Please take a look at this excellent link,
“If you are thinking about suicide… read this first.”
Lost All Hope:
The World Health Organization: