General Question

KalWest's avatar

Is suicide an act of bravery or cowardice?

Asked by KalWest (1389points) April 5th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

25 Answers

MrGV's avatar

Suicide is the biggest act of a coward running away from their problems instead of trying to deal with it. It takes more guts to come face to face with their problems than to back down and suicide.

Milladyret's avatar

Cowardice, tho I recognise that it takes strength of will to actively commite (sp?) suicide.

Ivan's avatar

It’s an act of stupidity. I don’t necessarily care whether it’s an act of bravery.

Nimis's avatar

Neither. I think many people get to a point where it may seem like the only option.
Feeling that life is meaningless doesn’t necessarily fall into one or the other.

However, I do think it is a very selfish act.

avalmez's avatar

suicide…what a difficult topic. certainly, for those left behind and who have to deal with the act of suicide, what a horrific situation.

i have most unfortunately had to deal with suicide. and at the time, when i had to tell loved ones about the fact that a loved one committed suicide, it did seem to me an act of unforgivable selfishness, cowardice, or whatever…why did i have to cleanup behind the victim for the benefit of the victim’s loved ones?

i don’t understand the act of suicide as one of bravery or cowardice. to frame it in those terms is to frame it in terms that the rest of us expect to understand. and i don’t think that the rest of us can understand what leads another to suicide.

mental health disease is something that society has yet to embrace in the same way that society embraces issues about gender, race, religion, sexuality. but, we must nonetheless come to terms with mental health issue just as suredly.

good night sherrie – i still love you!

rooeytoo's avatar

I have read that suicide is the ultimate F U, the ultimate I will show you, you will take me seriously now, and so on, therefore an act of anger. In the cases where I have personally known people who did commit suicide, that could have been true. It is also interesting to note that once someone you know has done it, it is no longer an abstract theory or thought, it suddenly becomes a viable alternative, a real choice. That is why one often leads to another among a group of peers or a family.

ninjacolin's avatar

to me, suicide is a rational decision made by someone who is ignorant of greater options.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Suicide is the single most selfish act there us. The person isn’t thinking of anyone but themselves. Even those who say “everyone’s better off without me” are completely disregarding the feelings of others.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

An irrational decision made by someone blind to other options because of their emotional fragility.. suicide would never be an option to someone who was thinking clearly.

ninjacolin's avatar

if they aren’t thinking clearly.. then their actions are still rational… they’re just misguided.
i think this is important to acknowledge.

VzzBzz's avatar

I have seen it be acts of both.

avalmez's avatar

another case i know of – a wife and mother of 3 learns she is going to have to go on dialysis and and needs both liver and kidney transplants. she and her husband decide that rather than incur the expense and endure the hardship, to remove her from dialysis and just let her go.

the preceeding is not a hytpothetical, but an actual case i know of directly as i know the husband. what’s to be made of this form of suicide?

and what of cases involving assisted suicide?

ninjacolin's avatar

that case still seems like a rational decision made in the ignorance of other options.
even if that case (or one like it) were assisted. same thing. because they aren’t aware of a better option, suicide seems like a good decision.

Nimis's avatar

@ninjacolin Your replies have piqued my curiosity.
How you would personally define irrational?

ninjacolin's avatar

:) i’d say:

irrational = involuntary muscle spasm having nothing to do with forethought.
illogical = ignorant or stupid or fallacious. a miscalculation. like emo kid suicide.

Nimis's avatar

Reasoning and premeditation are two different things, no?

ninjacolin's avatar

^ hmm, I don’t understand the context of the question.
also.. “reasoning” can have two (or more) different meanings. how do you mean it?

Nimis's avatar

You seem to have defined irrational as a knee-jerk reaction
made without much forethought…or rather, not premeditated?

ninjacolin's avatar

correction: made without ANY forethought.
irrational = not premeditated.

any reasoned conclusion and its subsequent action(s) are rational.

a person’s reasoning may be either sound or fallacious. this is the difference between logical and illogical.

For example: Let’s say John took butter out of the fridge and left it on the counter. Mary comes along, opens the fridge and rationally concludes: “I don’t see butter in the fridge therefore we have no more butter and I should go buy more.” Her conclusion was rational but it was illogical because it neglected the fact that a supply of butter lacking from the Fridge is not necessarily a supply of butter lacking from the home.

avalmez's avatar

@ninjacolin no, irrational != not premeditated. irrational is most often very much premeditated. irrational usually refers to ill conceived reasoning = ill conceived rationalization which implies premeditation. nite kiddos and good bye to this thread from me!

ninjacolin's avatar

That is often how it is used but that’s a misnomer, a technically invalid bastardization of the term.

Illogical = imperfect logic. it refers to an attempt to reason as made by a sentient being.
Irrational = lacking reason and even the attempt of reason by any sort of sentient being.

Strauss's avatar

I think suicide is the ultimate act of frustration, but not necessarily the most rational decision. unless it is an act of heroism, like @avalmez‘s example. A person generally chooses suicide as a last resort, because there seems to be no other choice that makes any sense. Such a person usually doesn’t stop to take into account the effect of such an act on others who are close.

Nimis's avatar

@ninjacolin I think you’re using rational and rationalized interchangeably.

They’re related, of course.
But they mean different things.

ninjacolin's avatar

hmm.. i don’t think i am. Can you show the difference that you think I’m confusing?

“Rationalized” to me would be merely an explanation of the causes of a decision or action. For example, a child who punched another child might say: “but mom, he said you wear army boots!” This is an example of someone “rationalizing” their actions. Rationalizing seems to have to do strictly with communicating or understanding causality to another being (or to yourself).

Rationalizing = Explanining the causes.
Rational = A thing that is caused intentionally and for a reason (or set of reasons) by a sentient being.

something like that

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