The Right to Die?

Do you believe that people have the Right to die?

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

I was just contemplating quickly the post about speciesism and I remembered one of the debates that came up in my moral issues class. Do humans have the right to die? I’ll give the argument against but then im off to bed.

The right to die is not the same as the right to life. There is an duty to insure that all people should have the right to live (people do this all the time by refraining from killing each other). Humans feel obligated to NOT destroy another human being. (speciesism??? maybe) BUT there is no prima facie duty to insure that someone should be killed in the case that they could not fufill their own wish (i.e. suicide that needs to be assisted)

I for one love hobbes. he is a bastard! lol I believe that he would say that the right to life is simply a collective weakening of the fear of death… people suck etc etc…

Please discuss!!!

You said that humans feel obligated not to destroy each other. I appear to disagree with you. There are wars, murders, jealousy, bitches… If there were no laws to prevent it, can you imagine how many people would kick and smack and kill other people and steal their stuff and sexually harrass them and…" Lots of people thus apparently do not feel obligated to not destroy each other, most of them are simply prevented from doing so by laws. And even laws can’t stop many of them.
Also remember that many people do not hurt other people simply because they do not want those people to take revenge and hurt them back. If you punch someone they usually punch back don’t they? So these people do not feel obligated they feel scared. So they don’t really leave other people alone for the people’s sake but for their own.
Of course there are people who just are not violent and not evil. But, if you look at world history, you are disgusted by just how little people actually care for each other. :cry:

I voted ‘no’ because I believe that ‘rights’ are invariably granted solely by authority (in our societies the legislative branch of government and the judiaciary) and are never innate or inherent. One can only approach such limits of ethical discourse on a case by case basis, we simply have no discourse in which to assess such things as abstract, metaphysical, matters of principle.

Do I personally believe that authorities should pretty much invariably grant someone who wants to die and needs assistance permission for such a thing to take place? Yes, but not as a matter of rights…

Sorry I didnt really explain myself clearly… that was just a part of the moral assumption of prima facie duty (the not killing of each other). When I said i loved hobbes i meant just what u detailed above…people are bastards which is why we need laws.

I find the concept of the right to die flawed. How do you deny someone their right to die? Death unlike many other things is, as far as I know, inevitable.

Futhermore, I view suicide as somewhat evolutionary: If someone feels the need or desires self-destruction they obviously don’t belong in the gene pool.

If you think about it we do have the right to die, because little effort has to be taken to kill yourself. I knew a guy that killed himself with his pants. He hung himself incase that puzzled you. If you want to do it then you certainly can. So, no one has to grant you the right, nor can they. That is unless you are incapacitated in some way and don’t have mobility.

While working in prison I knew a fairly large number of people that killed themselves. Every time that it happened I believe that it left a scar on me, but for those guys that had long sentences I could understand it. I even believe that there was a certain nobility to the act.

That being said, we all have long sentences and I can understand that some people after a lot of thought and time decide that they can’t take life anymore and decide to end it. I don’t like it, but I get it. The aspect that I don’t like is that many people might not have explored all of the things that life had to offer before they give up. A great book about this is Steppenwolf by Herman Hess.

One of the reasons that it has been made both illegal and immoral by community and religious leaders is the effect that it has on morale. I recall reading about several Indian tribes that got sick accidentally from European diseases, and everyone EVERYONE, killed themselves out of sadness. I’m sure that lots of incidents like that have happened throughout time. Also, during the Bosnian war there were reports of women killing themselves out of fear of getting sniped by the many snipers. On an individual basis suicide or the anticipation of it could make friends and family live in fear if it were a common social practice.

So, I conclude that although we can exercise the “right” to kill ourselves it is a right that a civilization has to quell, so that the civilization can pressure its citizens to maintain its functions and put up with its traumas.

“Futhermore, I view suicide as somewhat evolutionary: If someone feels the need or desires self-destruction they obviously don’t belong in the gene pool.”

That would only count if they never had children.

I didn’t vote.

Politically I would say a person does have the right to die. If you read enough on the topic, you will hear the word meta-right come up. Meta-rights are defined by Wikipedia as “the entitlements individuals have to give up the rights they have. They are usually associated with a person’s right to property because something cannot have monetary value if you can’t give it up (i.e. sell it).” So logically, if you have the right to live, you have the right to die.

Religiously though, if you believe that God created you and gave you life, you owe it to God to live a full life, and only God has the right to take back what He gave you.

But suicidal tendencies tend to be hereditary. I have known many people who have attempted suicide or admitted to contemplating suicide who have had family members who have themselves committed suicide or at least diagnosed with depression. There are of course subjective cases such as people who do it to escape a worse fate. However, if it is the ultimate goal of any species to ensure that species survival than self-extermination must mean something. I believe it points towards some flaw in the person whether physical or mental that drives them to eliminate themselves from the human gene pool.

“But suicidal tendencies tend to be hereditary.”

No they aren’t. People learn behaviors and attitudes from their family. Suicides are made of plans and decisions. There isn’t a gene that makes you buy a pistol, load it, and then blow your brains out.

I assume you are talking about euthanasia. Yes, people have the right to die through assistance. The state does not have the right to deny someone the ability to end their personal suffering, even if that person chooses to end their life through the assistance of someone else.

At the top of the food pyramids of rights would have to be your right to your own life. Logically if it’s yours, then it’s yours to live or end as you see fit. Provided, of course, that in the process of shuffling off the mortal coil you don’t take anyone else with you (eg committing suicide by crashing your car headlong into another car, killing the other driver, etc).

Yes, but what do you guys think of potencial mass suicides, as I mentioned. Doesn’t the state have a point to avoid this kind of behavior?

No… the only reason suicide is illeagal is because of religious views and because that would cause problems for consumerism.

I can see why the state would want to discourage it, and perhaps they should. But how can you ever enforce a ban on suicide? What punishment could truly deter someone who wants to end their own life? And how can you keep someone alive against their will for the long term?

What problem does suicide present to consumerism? :unamused: You mean the idea that there’ll be like 1 in 100,000 less consumers?

What if it catches on lol

I suggest that the ban on suicide works. It is frequently promoted as being unethical, cowardly, and there is always the hint in the back of the mind about an afterlife.

Really it is none of those things, exactly. It’s the case that you are dead after you kill yourself (I’m smart) and whatever you have done certainly won’t bother you. Even if you ruin your relatives lives, so what? You are in favor of death and know that oblivion is coming for all. Any suffering will be short lived. Almost no one thinks this way though.

Also, I can only imagine what teens and college age people would be doing. Twenty girls kill themselves in front of chicken factory!

On a real note, just before we got married my wife felt a little something in her breast and decided to get an x-ray. I have a history of cancer on my mom’s side of the family, and have seen them die painfully. I have always thought that it would be better to die than to fruitlessly suffer to death while taking poison medication. Anyway, about the wife, I started to wonder if I would have to kill her and then what, kill myself? Those are terrible thoughts, but having no belief in god I see suicide as something that may have to be planned for.

The auto-destruct sequence doesn’t turn on easily though :wink: .

If you think of suffering as leaving some type of residue or “kharmic stain” then suicidal people might consider the pain of their loved ones. But once you get to the point of suicide you’re often beyond caring about that- the potential pain to others is secondary to your own.

As a nihilist/existentialist, even though my concern for my family is paramount to me now, it can only concern me while I’m alive. Nothing exists after that. And if they linger on in suffering, well…that’s pretty temporary, really. They’ll all be dead, too, in a cosmic eyeblink.

Obviously many don’t really have anyone left behind to miss them, anyway. That’s one reason some want to die.

Brain chemistry I would imagine is hereditary, such as serotonin levels. To raise the nuture vs. nature debate, it is ignorant to assume that everything is enviromental just as it is ignorant to assume that everything is determined by chemicals in the brain. I would not presume to say that all suicide is situational. However there is also another thing to consider is that flaws in character and body tend to be rejected by society. Who’s to say that making fun of fat obnoxious kids in high school is some inherent way of forcing someone to remove themselves from the gene pool, particularily evidentdring adolescence which is conveniently before most kids are able to reproduce.

As for precations taken by the government to deter suicide, it isn’t so much that those who succeed that are punished, but those who attempt and fail. Which means being placed in a mental hospital under 72 hour survelience.

On another note, while suicide is deamed unethical by western culture what about civilizations that honor/honored it such as fuedel japan.