Saturday, January 03, 2015

A tale of two suicides

Josh Alcorn and Brittany Maynard both committed suicide for the same stated reason: they had nothing to live for, nothing to look forward to. Look at Alcorn's suicide note:

I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out.

Notice, he doesn't think "transitioning" (e.g. undergoing a sex-change operation, hormone therapy, cosmetic therapy) will make him happy. 

Many unbelievers defended Maynard's right to commit suicide. They were mad a Christians for attempting to dissuade her from ending her life.

Now many unbelievers are mad at Christians because Alcorn did commit suicide. But why don't they apply the same logic to both cases? Isn't that an informed decision? A consensual exercise in personal autonomy? Your life is your own, to do with as you see fit–including suicide?

Yes, you may say Alcorn committed a rash act. I agree. But isn't that imposing your own standards on his action? How's that different from attempting to dissuade Maynard? If we're supposed to respect Maynard's decision, why not Alcorn's? Is it their outlook that ought to be decisive, or our outlook on their life? 

You can't just blame it on the parents, even if you're so inclined. For in his suicide note he admitted that even if he got what he wanted ("transitioning"), it wouldn't be enough. Even if he got what he wanted, he'd still be miserable. 

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