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Lefebvre

Suicide

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What are your thoughts on suicide?

 

I believe it is one of the very gravest sins, but that factors such as mental illness can lessen the victim's culpability in the sin.

 

Notably, I tend towards a post-Council pastoral view as opposed to a pre-Council one. Not that suicide is any less of a sin, or less of an 'atrocious crime' per se, but that it should be approached from a humane and sympathetic viewpoint understanding of suffering. For example, this:

 

"uicide ... is usually the natural termination of a life of disorder, weakness, and cowardice." 1

 

is not at all preferable to this:

 

"We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives." 2

 

What are y'all's thoughts?

 

The Catholic Encyclopedia (1912) -- Nihil Obstat: July 1, 1912, Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur: +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

CCC 2283 (1992)

Edited by Lefebvre

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I don't think it's a sin, since no where in scripture (that I've read) has said so, although we should try to help people who suffer from mental illness, such as depression, after counsel and help, they might have changed their opinion on dying 

Edited by 60sBatman

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I don't think it's a sin, since no where in scripture (that I've read) has said so, although we should try to help people who suffer from mental illness, such as depression, after counsel and help, they might have changed their opinion on dying 

 

It think suicide is blatantly sinful based on natural law.

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It think suicide is blatantly sinful based on natural law.

Isn't free will a "Natural law"? I'm in no way supporting killing yourself, but stating that it isn't our decision over others lives

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I think that there are difficult tensions and ties that come into play with suicide.

 

I've suffered immensely in life, and for one to commit suicide is to genuinely believe that to not exist would be greater than to continue existing. Because of this, I've attempted suicide multiple times but kept failing or chickened out. I honestly believe suicide can be a good escape sometimes, because I understand how miserable and dark life can be that dying is better than living, but to truly be in this place is very rare.

 

Along with the controversy of that Oregon woman who ended her life yesterday, I actually support her. I think for her to continue living with seizures and a painful brain tumor and near-death is an awful, awful experience that humanity should not be forced to live in subjection under. That to me is not quickening the death of a man perhaps bleeding out to death. If you're committing suicide because you have problems you don't like, I'm not okay with that, but as someone who was so horribly depressed for so many years, I genuinely believed suicide was best for me because I lamented living so much.

 

Since I've deconverted from orthodox Christianity, I'm a lot happier now. A lot less stress even though I live practically the same. I guess living believing that there isn't this angry God hovering over me every day really took stress away. I have a concept for God again, and I believe that He loves me, but I am admittedly by no means orthodox.

 

I believe we exist to become better moral agents and suffering exists to teach us to pursue virtue even in awful situations. I equally believe there are situations where suicide is acceptable as the kindest and most dignifying form of death.

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Isn't free will a "Natural law"? I'm in no way supporting killing yourself, but stating that it isn't our decision over others lives

You're right. It's Gods decision.

 

"To destroy a thing is to dispose of it as an absolute master and to act as one having full and independent dominion over it; but man does not possess this full and independent dominion over his life, since to be an owner one must be superior to his property. God has reserved to himself direct dominion over life; He is the owner of its substance and He has given man only the serviceable dominion, the right of use, with the charge of protecting and preserving the substance, that is, life itself."

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Suicide is death, not life, and to give into it is to, however unwittingly and/or understandably, to collude with the power of death. It is for this reason a grave sin, willingly submitting yourself to humanity's (and God's in Christ!) worst enemy.

Now, I certainly do very much think those who are considering suicide should be treated with love and grace, which themselves bring life instead of death. I doubt very much anyone ever committed suicide while feeling utterly loved.

The question of the believer committing suicide has two angles. Will it damn them? By no means! We are saved by Christ, His faithfulness and life, and nothing we do can break that.

But another question is whether it seems feasible that someone who is actually united to the Life by the Spirit of life would commit suicide? To that I'd say, "Of course not!" But it also isn't feasible that someone united to Christ in love and truth and peace would ever commit deeds of hate, deception, or strife, but they often do somehow. So I doubt (with David as an example) that any sin is beyond the potential of even God's closest saints, however unlikely and irrational it is.

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From a strictly Catholic point of view, the following could occur:

 

1) I willfully direct my will at suicide and act on the basis of that decision while in full knowledge that I am committing a mortal sin.

2) By some material accident, my attempt at suicide fails.

3) Later, I come to repent of this sin and confess it.

4) It seems to follow that I committed the mortal sin of attempting suicide, and that I have repented and been forgiven this sin.

 

Supposing that purgatory is a real thing, I don't see why 3-4 could not equally occur even if the suicide were successful. The moral difference between attempting and accomplishing suicide is negligible.

Edited by Yves

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Isn't free will a "Natural law"? I'm in no way supporting killing yourself, but stating that it isn't our decision over others lives

 

I am not a liberal, so I do believe the community has certain claims on the individual. I am much more Plato's Republic than J.S. Mill's On Liberty. I reject this idea of human beings as a social monad, or as a coherent self that has a heroic choice to make. Much of our actions are controlled by unconscious drives, so where is the freedom in that?

Edited by Wesker

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I don't think it's a sin, since no where in scripture (that I've read) has said so, although we should try to help people who suffer from mental illness, such as depression, after counsel and help, they might have changed their opinion on dying

Does the Bible not say, "Thou shalt not kill"? Killing yourself is killing correct? So Ibelieve it is a sin . Though it seems lovely sometimes in ones life, I believe it is a sin.

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It's a sin and wrong. There is also a difference between self-sacrifice to save someone and killing oneself, because of the stress life can produce at times.

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I've been so torn on this for a while... 

 

I'd like to think our God is forgiving and understanding of people who suffer to the point of desiring death.

 

But I also think that God gives everyone a cross to bear.

 

While we're in control of our lives, we're also given a conscience. People don't just think, "You know what? I wanna die." and immediately act on that thought. It builds up over time, and the thought is wrestled with before acted upon. 

 

I believe the reason people with suicidal tendencies DO wrestle with it is due to their conscience - aka, God. When someone commits suicide, they're choosing to disregard and disobey that small voice in their head that says "just hold on." We all have a choice. 

 

Granted, I can't relate to this woman with terminal brain cancer - I have no idea what she was going through. I would probably desire a quick and painless death rather than the endless suffering she endured, too. But... I also feel like that isn't MY choice to make - it's God's choice, and I'm okay with it not being mine.

 

God will bring you home when He's ready for you to come home, because everything happens in accordance to His timing - not ours.

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Suicide is one of the bravest things someone can do. Stepping blindly into death? Oof.

 

That being said, nobody who commits suicide is operating in their right mind. The basest cognitive urge of humanity is self-preservation. Suicide goes directly against that.

 

I don't believe that it is a sin.

 

I don't believe it affects someone's place in eternity.

 

Having gone through multiple suicide attempts myself (severe depression (clinical) and whatnot) it's much more complicated than someone just wanting to die. There are so many different facets to it.

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I don't mean to sound harsh but it is a sin. " mental illnesses" are only to a certain degree . And the main causes for suicide is said to be "depression" and that's a scientific term for someone that's very sad and in the bible it says countless times to cast your anxieties and sadness on him because he cares for you . God does not give you more than you can handle it says as well . And also the Ten Commandments says "thou shall not murder" and killing yourself is murdering it's just murdering yourself which is the same thing .

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