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Thread: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

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    Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    On the part of those who do it while in their "right" mind?

    Thoughts?
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
    Voltaire

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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    On the part of those who do it while in their "right" mind?

    Thoughts?
    How can you be in a "right" mind and commit suicide?

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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    If you know you're terminally ill or you're. Just about to slip into full time alzheimers, then I think you're in your right mind and suicide can indeed be altruistic
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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    Gah. Trying to post on my phone is a pain.

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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    That's an interesting possibility. Come to think of it, I don't hear of non-human animals killing themselves, intentional suicide seems to be unique to humans. The closest thing might be with a dog allowing itself to be killed to protect a pack, which is an altruistic action to promote group survival. With wild animals that are caged, sometimes they lose the "will to live", reject food, or refuse to reproduce. This might be because the flight instinct is turned on in full force, causing a lot of stress for the animal.

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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    I think as an expiation of shame, it might be altruistic - done to save others from suffering eg social disgrace. There might be good reasons for it such as hopeless pain or terminal and degrading illness, but generally I would say suicide is always selfish. It gets a person out of a situation, but leaves everyone else to deal with the mess.
    The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"
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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    How about suicide as a rational act when in good health and with the world apparently all before you?

    Brilliant pupil's 'logical' suicide - News - The Independent

    I find this quite disturbing. I wonder what the maths was he used?
    The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"
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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    I think as an expiation of shame, it might be altruistic - done to save others from suffering eg social disgrace. There might be good reasons for it such as hopeless pain or terminal and degrading illness, but generally I would say suicide is always selfish. It gets a person out of a situation, but leaves everyone else to deal with the mess.
    A quick, bloodless suicide is a lot less messy than years of taking care of an Alzheimer's patient.

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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

    Is the carer or the Alzheimer's sufferer suiciding in this case? The former is definitely selfish. The latter?

    Yeah - I think suicide can be justified in the case of eg Alzheimer's. It would still be a selfish act though, in the literal meaning of the word "selfish" as primarily concerned with self.

    It also occurred to me that in eg the Japanese culture, hara kiri can perhaps be an altruistic act. Don't really know enough about it, but I believe that people could suicide to protest against something and that could, I think, be altruistic...
    The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"
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    Re: Is Suicide An Altruistic Act?

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    How you you class the actions of a soldier or airman taking part in an action they know they will not survive. In some circumstances is is an altruistic act.

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