Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Moral Virtues of Suicide

Over at, a poster asked:

A few posters on here have expressed dissatisfaction with their lives to the point of considering suicide. It is certainly something I have grappled with for many years. The most common objection you hear to suicide is the impact it will have on those you leave behind. I have a girlfriend of 10 years. There are times I think she would be better off without me and she should find a man who is more successful at life. She has in fact told me that if I were to commit suicide she doesn't think she would ever get over it. She said if I died of natural causes or an accident she could mourn and eventually move on, but suicide is something completely different.

Has anyone ever had someone close to them commit suicide or know someone who had a loved one commit suicide? Is the impact of someone killing themselves very different from someone who dies naturally? I know this sounds like a very obvious question, but I am just interested in hearing real stories of the impact it has on the survivors.

A followup comment quoted the highlighted portion above and said
Which is, of course, bullshit.

But isn't that exactly where secular ethics leads? After all, if ethics logically conduces to the self-interest of the individual, then it's his life to take. The effect on others is immaterial. So what? Moral outrage, sadness, and all of that sentiment is really just illusory.
One of our resident nullifidians Sidious016 replied:

And another poster replied to Rii
: I'm sorry, but, as you may understand, this is a very sensitive subject for many people, and you probably shouldn't be so caviler about how other people may feel.

Agreed, but I thought that was a good place to make a wider point, namely, in light of Steve's recent post on secular ethics and antinatalism, namely (in summary) it is better not to live than live at all, given a secular worldview, so where is the moral outrage? What Rii said is a good, if brief, illustration of the logical end of a secualist worldview.

Indeed, Rii, went on to say: The concept that suicide is selfish. That someone in so much distress that they can't see a reason to continue living should refrain from suicide because their death might upset friends and family is the pinnacle of hubris.

But what goes right over the heads of the secularists there is this: So what? If we're all just blobs of protoplasm with ideas above it's station, then so what?

Well, Camelopard and Sidious now think that's libelous and, here's their chance to prove otherwise by actually arguing that their comments to me and their sentimentalism about suicide is consistent with a secularist worldview. I've invited them over here, let's see if they can man-up and provide reasons consistent with nullifidianism for their sentimentality. Here's the problem: Secular / atheological ethics logically conduces to moral nihilism, illusionism, and / or relativism. So, their moral outrage is rather misplaced. They are very judgmental relativists, and libelousness is just an illusion, as are anybody's feelings about the "tragedy" of suicide. Indeed, if John Smith decides it is in his own evolved self-interest to take his own life, they have no reason consistent with secularist/atheological ethics to get all worked up about it, and they certainly have no basis for criticizing Christian ethics in particular. So, heres your big chance to shine, guys and any of your other secularist buddies from the Board vs. Little old me, Steve, Manata, etc. here. All you have to do is play by our rules of behavior and you need to argue, not assert your position. This isn't TNZ.

1 comment:

  1. "Here's the problem: Secular / atheological ethics logically conduces to moral nihilism, illusionism, and / or relativism."Agreed.

    But folks who are behavioral or functional secularists with atheological ethics (and who not really cognizant that they are indeed that) don't take things to their logical conclusion.

    They are, on the surface, happily incoherent playing in the Matrix.

    They take the blue pill of humanistic secularism and contemporary consumerism rules the day for them. These unthinkers are seemingly blissful.