The Suicide Philosopher Vs. Cliches

suicidebingo
Someone compiled all the cliches people use against suicide in a picture. If you’re trying to convince yourself not to die, don’t read this. All of these cliches are wrong and it’s time to compile the arguments against them in one place.

1. But there’s no going back. You can never change your mind.

You can’t change your mind after you’re dead, that’s true. That also means you don’t experience regret. Some people may kill themselves in order not to experience regret.

Any other choice you make keeps you alive, so you will live to regret it. There are many choices you can’t go back from. In fact, pretty much every choice is irreversible – there’s no time travel. You can’t go back one year ago and choose to eat a hamburger instead of steak. If you forced a child into existence, you can’t turn it around.

2. Quit your job, sell everything and move to the other side of the world. Then see how you feel.

This is extremely difficult, both psychologically and physically. There is no guarantee it will be better. It can be worse and the person may lose the opportunity to die. It’s a gamble, just like anything else in life. Some people kill themselves because they’re tired of gambling.

3. There are people who have it far worse than you do

And? There are also people who have it far better than you do. If there are people who have it worse, then it means life can get worse. If life is now unbearable and it can get worse, sounds like dying is the best way to stop this madness.

Also, a world with so much misery may not be a world worth living in.

4. You just need medication/therapy

Not addressing the arguments why someone should die or not. At least all the other cliches are actual arguments.

5. It’s a coward’s way out

Suicide is extremely difficult. Many people on SancSuicide and A.S.H. express difficulty in going through with it. We’re hard-wired to survive so overcoming this survival instinct demands the greatest of strengths.

If suicide is for coward and you’re not a coward, will you play Russian roulette?

So what if suicide is for cowards? Isn’t it reasonable to run away from a problem, assuming running away gets rid of it? Isn’t it logical to run away from a predator if you can outrun him?

6. You may think you want to die but you really don’t.

Our bodies do want to live, but we sometimes want to kill and rape and break stuff. It doesn’t mean we’ll do it. Humans are often ambivalent about our desires – that’s a sign of intelligence. We question our desire and ask ourselves if it’s really good for us.

We must never tell someone what they ‘really think’. If you can decide for someone whether they really want to live or die, you can decide for them any other thought. This is dangerous territory.

7. Your friends/family will be devastated.

Sound argument. Anyone who thinks people will be ‘better off without me’ should read threads of those left behind. Suicide may be the worst way to lose a person.

Of course, how important it is changes from person to person. Break-ups and divorces also leave people devastated. Yet if you leave person X for person Y, who’s much better, people will say it’s your right and your body. Why can’t these friends and family respect the person’s decision to exit life?

8. You might fail, and then you could end up as a vegetable.

That’s true. That’s why we need assisted suicide so people won’t fail and suffer even more.

It’s also recommended to read about methods before choosing and using one.

9. Just take a break. Take time off, relax and think about what you want in life.

It’s wise to hold off suicide for a while. As I said, we’re often ambivalent about our choices. If suicidal thoughts are new to you, don’t hurry. Let it sink. Read about different arguments for and against. So long as you got a method secured, you don’t have to hurry. Do it when it really feels right.

10. There’s always another answer and you just haven’t found it yet.

Maybe the answer is suicide, and you haven’t found it?

This sort of vague, ‘stuff might get better’ doesn’t help. Anything can happen. Your abuser can turn around tomorrow and realize they were a scumbag. You might find 1000 dollars on the street. Someone might kill your best friend. Anything can happen, including bad stuff. Life is a gamble and suicide is refusing to gamble.

11. You’re just depressed

It’s reasonable to be depressed when bad stuff happens. It’s how we recognize there is a problem. It’s also reasonable to bleed when someone cuts you.

12. You just need to find your passion in life.

Passions are a great thing. I’m passionate about many things – role-playing, anime, philosophy, swordfighting, suicide, sex, literature and other stuff. Most people I know don’t have any passions and none of them are suicidal. I don’t know how much of it has to do with wanting to die. I don’t know what goes through the head of people without passions.

13. If you were serious, you would have done it by now.

See also: Humans are naturally ambivalent about their decisions.

See also: The difficulty of overriding survival instinct.

The reason suicidal people talk about suicide is because it’s a big decision. Humans are social animals and we like to share stuff, especially what weighs heavily on us. That’s why suicide communities and suicide pacts exist.

14. If you’re at rock bottom now, it can only get better from here.

To quote Insane Clown Posse:

“I hit rock bottom & then I fell in a hole
And then I fell through the floor of that hole some more,”

Besides, is there any guarantee it will be worth it? Things improving isn’t enough. It needs to be worth the pain.

15. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I have written a post dealing more in-depth with the topic of suicide as a solution.

I’ll just say here that all problems are temporary since life is temporary. A permanent solution is desirable. We don’t want just to cure a disease, we want it to never return.

16. You need to have a baby. A child will complete your life.

If you hate your life and consider it worth living, it’s sadistic to force another person to live.

17. It’s just a temporary thing, you’ll get over it.

See also: Rock bottom cliche. ‘Getting over it’ isn’t guaranteed and won’t necessarily make things better. People’s reasons for suicide are more complex than something they can just ‘get over’.

18. Life has a way of getting better

See also: Life is a gamble. Suicide is refusing to gamble.

19. Most Golden Gate survivors said they regretted it right after they jumped.

Any clear research that proves it that’s not made by pro-lifers?

Our pro-life attitude censors suicidal people automatically. Many people might express wanting to live despite being suicidal. Suicidal people have huge social repercussions – you’ll be cast out and possibly locked up.

I also found a Reddit thread where many suicide suvivors said things didn’t get better. A history of suicide attempts also increases the chance of trying suicide again.

20. You could win the lottery tomorrow

Your best friend might also die tomorrow

21. If you’re going to do it anyway, why not rob a bank/try drugs? You have nothing to lose.

Why make the world shittier on purpose for others? Suicide is selfish, but it’s not about being a parasite.

Besides, criminal activity can get you in prison. It’s harder to kill yourself there and your situation gets worse.

22. You just need to talk to someone. Talking helps more than you’d expect.

Is that admitting the only thing you’re willing to do is talk? Is that admitting you’ll listen to the suicidal person for a while, but expect them to do all the hard work of improving a life they never asked for? Talking about selfish.

23. What if hell is real?

You have no way of proving this.

24. I know how you feel, but I got over it and so can you.

People are different. My ex got over it, but she’s beautiful and charismatic. Of course the world will welcome her with open arms. It won’t necessarily happen for a disfigured person, or an anorexic, or a person who wasted most of his life shut in home.

Be wary of thinking what’s good for you is necessarily good for others. Suicidal people don’t force you to die, so don’t force us to live.

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8 thoughts on “The Suicide Philosopher Vs. Cliches”

  1. i disagree with a lot of what you wrote and i also agree with some.
    i’ll focus on a few points:
    #1: your comparison of choosing a burger over a steak and life over death is simply wrong, you can start eating a burger and then decide it’s not good and eat a steak instead, you can’t start hanging yourself (or use any other method) so you’ll die and then decide “oh wait, i don’t like it, i wanna change my choice” (well you can, but it’ll probably not help you at this point anymore).

    #6: as you said we’re hardwired to survive at all costs, that will always be true.
    now, i know from your writing that you don’t believe there is a god, hence you don’t believe in the existence of souls, but if this is the case, then we can’t have a will to die, becuase our brains are hardwired to survive, and there is no possible way of reprogramming that, so biologically speaking we can’t really want to die, it can only be that something is interfiring with our brain’s normal activity, maybe some chemicals are released by accident, maybe something more complex (if possible), but it can’t be called a will by your point of view.

    #7: this is the most importent one of all, saying that the life of one person (or in this case thier death wish) is more importent than the life of (usually) many others is in my opinion wrong, especially if it can be helped.
    try to answer this, you’re in september 8th 2001 and you can stop the 9/11 terror attack, or you can save a guy that at the same time gets hit by a car and dies, which would you choose?
    and again, your comparison to divorce is wrong, yes divorce has sometimes the same effects as losing someone, but it’s different with suicide, a person that gets divorced and then griefs over it will usually get over it (considering they don’t have mental problems) and in a lot of cases have a new chapter in their life.
    a person that lost someone by suecide will in most cases live the rest of their lifes asking themselves how the hell did they not see it, or worst, think it’s becuase of them.

    #23: this is actually a funny one, as you can’t prove heaven or hell exist you also can’t disprove it, so by telling a person it’s ok, resulting in them commiting suecide, you might end up hurting them more, and you can’t say for sure that this is false. in the end the whole theist/atheist approach works both ways.

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    1. #1 – I also provided the example of childbirth which can’t be reversed. Every choice we make is irreversible to some degree. Dying is the least harmful, since you don’t live to experience regret.
      #6 – Until there is a definitive, easy cure for Wanting to Die, I see no reason to keep assisted suicide away from people. We humans shouldn’t be enslaved to our biological needs. People deserve free choice, including going against their biology.
      #7 – How can you be sure everyone gets over a divorce? Or sexual frustration? Why do the feelings of the non-suicidal deserve higher priorities than the rights of a suicidal?
      #23 = Then it’s the suicidal person’s problem for going to hell, if hell exists and suicides go there. Personal responsibilities and all that.

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      1. #1 and #23: you can regret the process of having a child in the early stages of the pregnancy, you actually have a few months to think it thruogh. and as for not living to feel regret after you die, again if there are souls and all that comes with it, then it might be that people can regret killing themselves, and it’s not the suicidal person’s problem if you encoureged them to embrace that feeling and do it, what i’m saying is you can’t know for sure what happens after someone dies, so how can you tell them they’re not gonna regret it?

        #6: your approach is highly irrational, we shouldn’t be enslaved by our biological needs, but then again, it seems to me that in almost any other issue it’s very easy to break that hardwiring of ours (for example: eating, sex, sleeping), so i don’t see why the hardwiring to survive should be stronger than the others.

        #7: i said most people, not exeryone, and mostly people do get over it, especially becuase they meet new people to be with, and i did exclude people with mental problems. and i never said the feelings of non-suicidal people are more important, honestly i have no idea how you managed to get there from what i said.
        i said that the lives of many should matter more than the life of just one person, that includes rights.
        and you haven’t answered my question about hypothetically being able to choose the life of one person or the lives of 3000.

        i’ll point out one more thing, i’ll agree to assisted suicide under 3 conditions:
        1. there will be a certain, long enough, time period that the person will have to wait and be under psychological treatment in.
        2. that person can’t leave behind people close to them without at least explaining everything in person to them.
        3. people have to let that person reach a decision alone, and by that i mean there can’t be people that are for suicide or against it lecturing that person.

        my second condition is the most important one, i don’t know if you ever lost someone at all, but i have, and it wasn’t suicide. it’s really hard to deal with the death of a loved one, and making people deal with it and think it’s somewere their fault is simply not worth the right of a suicidal person to die, cause eventually you’ll have to choose between the life of 1 and the lives of many. so if human rights are so important to you, don’t wipe out the right of people to life (with all that comes with it) becuase of the right of 1 person to life, cause if the right to life of any person equals the one of another person, then the right of 2 people to life is already 2 times that of 1 person, which is why if i had to acknowledge someone close to me suicided, i’ll at least want to hear from them in person why they want to do it, and know i realy couldn’t do anything to prevent i, that way, at least giving them the right to die wouldn’t hurt mine and others’ right to live.

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      2. Do you have anything resembling evidence that there is something after death?
        If you don’t think fighting survival instinct is hard, then I’m living proof. I didn’t shoot myself or jump because these were difficult. I suggest reading Sanctioned Suicide for more stories about people who have a hard time overriding survival instincts.
        The lives of many may matter more than the lives of few, but it doesn’t go like this when it comes to rights or happiness. Would you let 1000 guys rape a girl? After all, it would make 1000 guys happy even if it will hurt the girl for life.
        Why should the suicidal people stay alive for other people?

        Now you’re talking about the practical application of assisted suicide. Yes, there should be a waiting period of about 3-6 months (That can be shortened). Yes, the suicidal person must leave a not or say their final goodbyes.

        When a person kills themselves, they don’t violate any right. Nobody owes you their life. Yes, it hurts and we must support those who are left behind. But if we force people to live so others will be happy, we must also force others to have sex so people won’t suffer form InCel. Yes, this is a serious problem. A primary reason why I want to die is because I’m not attractive enough.

        But I don’t think my sexual frustration make it so people owe me sex. Same goes for life – Nobody owes their life to anyone.

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  2. “Do you have anything resembling evidence that there is something after death?” – no.
    on the other hand, you don’t have any that say the opposite, that’s why i didn’t say you should try to keep people from commiting suicide, but instead i said you shouldn’t try to make people go through with it by saying it will end their pain, cause you can’t know that, so arguments to both sides of that reason are completly irrelevant.

    not letting a 1000 guys rape a girl isn’t gonna fuck up their lifes. and it’s not about happiness, it’s about leaving people with serious problems due to being left behind thinking they had a part in what happened.

    a note isn’t enough, it has to be face to face, the reason is this is the only way the family/friends of that person could ever have a chance to accept this death and be sort of peacefull about it. it’s the least the suicidal person owes them, after all, that person is a big part of their lifes, and as you said, we’re social creatures, so that has to be considered.

    as for sex, if it bothers someone that much, they can get a hooker. what you don’t seem to get is that a person’s life, while considering their body and mind, are theirs, but the higher level, that comes to social relations of love from other people, belongs to the other people as well, it will rip out a large peace of them to lose someone to suicide if they don’t get a proper goodbye (at least), consisted of what i already mentioned. you can’t say someone has the right to die even if they hurt people by doing it, and at the same time say these people aren’t entitled to have a normal life that isn’t consisted of complete misery, i mean, lets asume you feel that way, would you really want others to feel like that?
    i sure wouldn’t, and trust me, i’ve been in some emotionally difficult positions in my life, and i’ve never wanted anyone to feel like i did, even people who were the worst in their behaviour towards me.

    this paragraph is gonna be about something you said about yourself that i just have to comment on.
    you say a primary reason you want to die is because you’re not attractive enough, but, in who’s eyes? how many people have you checked that with? have you tried finding someone who’d like you online?
    i’m 22 years old, i’m a guy, i’m not that attractive myself (i’m fat, i’m hairy…), i’ve never had a girlfriend, and i’ve had my share of rejection from girls, in fact, not one of the girls i’ve asked out said yes. that being said, why should that be such a big factor? sure it’s a bummer but i have family and friends that love me a lot, and if i ever realize i’m never gonna have a girlfriend, then i’d probably get hookers (or really desperate girls) for sex. but until then, i’ll just keep looking, every person has their own taste, as an example, i’ve seen a lot of girls that my friends thought weren’t so pretty and i thougt were gorgeous, and there were cases which were the other way around, so why would it be different from a girl’s point of view? beuty and attractiveness are perceived differently by different people, i had to learn that by seeing girls go out with guys that i think are much less than me in attractiveness and other stuff, or guys going out with girls that i’d never wanna go out with.
    i just remembered something, it seems that there were girls that did find me attractive (probably not because of my visual appearence or maybe yes) but i never noticed they did until it was too late for me to do anything about it.
    trust me, that bumms me more than a girl that doesn’t find me attractive at all, but that does mean that there are other girls out there that have a different opinion than most girls i’ve met in my life.
    correct me if i’m wrong but i think most girls you’ve asked out and said no were of the same type (probably a little full of themselves or snobs), that is without a doubt the worst statistic to relay on when deciding you’re not attractive, plus you say you’ve had a girlfriend, which means at least one girl found you attractive, so unless she specifically said she broke up with you because she found more attractive men, please do yourself a favor and don’t asume that, cause she probably has met more attractive men than you before you, or even around the time you asked her out, and yet, she chose you, you don’t really beleive that before you asked her out for the first time she’s never seen a more handsome guy, do you?

    that came out a bit longer than i thought it would, guess i have a lot to say on the subject, so i’ll say one more thing. you’re probably familiar with Tinder, i just wanted to say that my cousin (who’s a very beautiful girl) found a guy there that is very fat, bald, and long story short, much less attractive than most guys i know, they got married and they really love each other. so i guess what i’m saying is: never try to decide for other people how they see you, cause you might miss on some very good opportunities.

    that last point specifically about you, the reason i wrote it is i feel like you might not see yourself in a very good way, at least when it comes to looks, so i just wanted to point out some things that you should thimk about, sometimes we need others to make us see ourselves in a better way after we sink to a mode of low self esteem.

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  3. #2 was something I did. It didn’t work. In fact, it made my depression worse because I lost friends and felt even more alone. Sure, I abandoned all my problems but more problems came up just because I didn’t process it and denied them instead… It’s also not very feasible either for many. Financially, I’m in debt and trying to build a life in another country while sounds romantic is really not an easy thing to do.

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  4. Since I was asking you about your thoughts, it made sense to pop over here for a visit.

    So, seriously, my kids are extremely high risk, and this terrifies me. They went through hell before they were even 5 years old. There are already repercussions. Our son was 7 the first time he said he wished he’d never been born and the world would be better off without him.

    Are you saying that I should go along for the ride and wave as my dearest loves drive off a cliff?

    Side note: #16 actually made me laugh. Do people really say that???? They must be idiots. We’ve had friends who got pregnant to “save” their marriage. Babies only make a tough situation tougher.

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    1. I’ll start off with a warning: There are no easy answers for this.
      Assisting with a person’s suicide is considered a crime in many places. For your own good, don’t do it. As much as I would love for someone to help me build an exit bag, I don’t want them messing with the law.

      Second, I believe the right to die applies when the individual matures – around ages 16-18.

      I actually want to write a post about ‘the world is better off without’ sentiment, but it is clearly wrong. Suicide affects people negatively. Reddit has plenty of threads where people tell their stories of losing someone to suicide. If he wants to make the world a better place, he should read this and realize the harm suicide causes others.

      Yes, I believe people should be allowed to kill themselves. I don’t see the difference between rejecting your own life and rejecting a person or a job offer.

      Of course, I’m aware of what suicide leaves in its wake. What I ask is a whole cultural shift in our attitudes towards suicide. Suicide being accepted as a legitimate option also increases our understanding of it (since suicidal people are now free to speak up) and increases the support.

      When I read stories of suicide survivors, it’s not simply losing a person that harms them. It’s the unanswered questions and the loneliness.

      I want suicide to be well-known, accepted and familiar. I don’t think we can ever stop this harrowing event. Only by accepting it when we can deal with it.

      Currently, our culture is too afraid of it. So suicidal people only speak in message boards like Sanctioned Suicide, suicide survivors don’t know what fell upon them and the support is hard to find.

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