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Thread: suicides in novels

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    I'm not interested in censoring any story justifying suicide. I prefer to see the story on display so it can be examined. I would call any justification of suicide "delusional", to use your term. That's where I think I agree with what I hear cacian saying...........
    ............You mentioned stories about whether a girl is asking for it if she wears a short skirt. How do you compare stories justifying rape with stories justifying suicide? I would put them on the same level.
    You're seriously arguing that suicide is just as bad as rape?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    I'm not interested in censoring any story justifying suicide. I prefer to see the story on display so it can be examined. I would call any justification of suicide "delusional", to use your term. That's where I think I agree with what I hear cacian saying.
    Well, there goes Christianity and the God of the trinity. The way the New Testament is commonly interpreted, Jesus Christ engaged in behaviors he knew with certainty would result in his death, apparently in fulfillment of a divine mandate. Moreover, since it was God's (the Father's) intention that Christ die for the sins of humanity, God himself committed suicide with what he apparently thought was a reasonable justification. Another delusional story that should never have been written?

    The lesson here might be that suicide is justifiable if it serves a greater good and that writing such stories is worthwhile.
    Last edited by WyattGwyon; 04-27-2013 at 09:11 AM.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volya View Post
    You're seriously arguing that suicide is just as bad as rape?

    Yes. Perhaps more so, but no less so. I assume you think that suicide is an individual choice that involves no one but the person committing suicide and rape involves at least two people, but that is not how I see it. Consider the surviving relatives, the copy-cats, the people blown up in the bomb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon View Post
    Well, there goes Christianity and the God of the trinity. The way the New Testament is commonly interpreted, Jesus Christ engaged in behaviors he knew with certainty would result in his death, apparently in fulfillment of a divine mandate. Moreover, since it was God's (the Father's) intention that Christ die for the sins of humanity, God himself committed suicide with what he apparently thought was a reasonable justification. Another delusional story that should never have been written?

    The lesson here might be that suicide is justifiable if it serves a greater good and that writing such stories is worthwhile.
    I do have a problem with the Christian story. Some of it doesn't make sense to me, but perhaps I don't understand it. I suspect many of the early Christians who were sent to the lions actually wanted to be killed to imitate the crucifixion.

    I think one has to be careful about suicide justified to help others. This is especially the case when one is dealing with the elderly or those terminally ill. There might be cases where this is acceptable, but they would be the exception rather than a pattern to imitate.

    EDIT: This is how I see the story of the crucifixion. (I'm not a member of one of these religions, so no doubt this is heretical.) Jesus did not want to commit suicide. The Jews did not want to have him killed, let alone crucified. Pilate was a butcher. Jesus became visible to him the previous week. Pilate wanted to humiliate the Jewish population by killing one of their popular teachers on their feast of the Passover. So Jesus was murdered. He did not commit suicide. Christians later experienced shared-death experiences of Jesus which led to his resurrection.
    Last edited by YesNo; 04-27-2013 at 09:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    I do have a problem with the Christian story. Some of it doesn't make sense to me, but perhaps I don't understand it. I suspect many of the early Christians who were sent to the lions actually wanted to be killed to imitate the crucifixion.

    I think one has to be careful about suicide justified to help others. This is especially the case when one is dealing with the elderly or those terminally ill. There might be cases where this is acceptable, but they would be the exception rather than a pattern to imitate.
    So, it seems you are saying there are issues with respect to suicide and its justification that are highly debatable and of critical moral weight. Do you not believe that novelists who make the best possible case for controversial stances on this issue might be furthering the discussion by actually portraying suicides and suicidal characters? And wouldn't many writers consider it their duty—a matter of artistic integrity—to make the best possible case for their characters' actions, whether or not they ultimately endorsed their positions?
    Last edited by WyattGwyon; 04-27-2013 at 09:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Yes. Perhaps more so, but no less so. I assume you think that suicide is an individual choice that involves no one but the person committing suicide and rape involves at least two people, but that is not how I see it. Consider the surviving relatives, the copy-cats, the people blown up in the bomb.
    That may be true, but WHY is suicide wrong? If it is their own life, why should they not be able to choose to end it?

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    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon View Post
    Well, there goes Christianity and the God of the trinity. The way the New Testament is commonly interpreted, Jesus Christ engaged in behaviors he knew with certainty would result in his death, apparently in fulfillment of a divine mandate. Moreover, since it was God's (the Father's) intention that Christ die for the sins of humanity, God himself committed suicide with what he apparently thought was a reasonable justification. Another delusional story that should never have been written?
    It is a story indeed and that is what it is by no mean a true one if one does not wish to believe it or follow it because it lacks logic. If God could send someone to ensure he or she dies for humans sins he could also send someone to ensure that sin does no longer become a stigma a part of our lives. There is a paradox there. God power extends beyond human sacrifices surely that is the most credible way to any story. Why would God chose death over success? I am not sure I bite into this ambiguous rather conflicting reasoning.
    The lesson here might be that suicide is justifiable if it serves a greater good and that writing such stories is worthwhile.
    I am not sure I follow. How is someone killing themselves help me and you and the world in general? how does it stop someone from doing something? suicide sets the wrong example in that it sends the message that it is ok to kill oneself . It also says that we humans have given up on each other. Caring for each other's well being is telling someone to not take their lives away. That is a better more sensible if not the credible message.
    Last edited by cacian; 04-27-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volya View Post
    That may be true, but WHY is suicide wrong? If it is their own life, why should they not be able to choose to end it?
    It is not about wrong or right. It is about humans being seen to care for one another. It is logical and safer long term if we are seen to want to save people's live and not be passive about it as if it were a right of passage. It is important for humans to show that they are capable of feeling for one another and that hope is worthier then death. Being passive about a subject such as suicide is saying we humans give up and also give up on others. Existence is worth living and living is about wanting to be alive wanting to quit it is contrary to what life is about.
    it may never try
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    Registered User WyattGwyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    It is a story indeed and that is wht it is by no mean a true one if one does not wish to believe it or follow because it lacks logic. If God could send someone to ensure he or she dies for humans sins he could also send someone to ensure that sin does not longer become a stigma part of our lives. There is a paradox there. God power extends beyond human sacrifices surely that is the most credible way to any story. Why would God chose death over success? I am not sure I bite into this ambiguous rather conflicting reasoning.
    I don't believe in supernatural phenomena of any kind. Personally, I think the whole premise under Christian mythology is absurd since an omniscient, omnipotent supreme being in the Christian mold cannot be reconciled with free will. (Calvin, among many others, figured this out but made the mistake of doing away with free will rather than with God.) My point was that for anyone who believes it is wrong to write about and glorify suicide, the divine suicide underlying Christianity should be problematic at the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    I am not sure I follow. How is someone killing themselves help me and you and the world in general? how does it stop someone from doing something? suicide sets the wrong example in that it sends the message that it is ok to kill oneself . It also says that we humans have given it on each other. Caring for each other's well being is telling someone to not take their lives away. That is a better more sensible if not the credible message.
    In Christian mythology, God's suicide, enacted through Jesus Christ, atones for the sins of mankind, which, according to all Christian religions, is a great benefit to humankind. As I hinted, I am not a Christian.

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    "I don't believe in supernatural phenomena of any kind." ~ WyattGwyon

    Well, that's what's possible to believe in, not in what you know, which is incredible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    It is not about wrong or right. It is about humans being seen to care for one another. It is logical and safer long term if we are seen to want to save people's live and not be passive about it as if it were a right of passage. It is important for humans to show that they are capable of feeling for one another and that hope is worthier then death. Being passive about a subject such as suicide is saying we humans give up and also give up on others. Existence is worth living and living is about wanting to be alive wanting to quit it is contrary to what life is about.
    But if somebody wants to take their own life surely it is more compassionate to allow them to do so than to deny them that right.

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    I think cacian is getting confused between the morality (or otherwise) of committing suicide and the morality of writing about a fictional character who commits suicide. The point she raised in her OP was that suicide should not be written about in literature because it sets a bad example (lol!). I assume that writing about war or murder or deceit or grief or poverty is also to be avoided because they might also set a bad example. Oh what a wonderful planet she must live on.

    H

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Yes. Perhaps more so, but no less so. I assume you think that suicide is an individual choice that involves no one but the person committing suicide and rape involves at least two people, but that is not how I see it. Consider the surviving relatives, the copy-cats, the people blown up in the bomb.
    I'm sorry but this is disgusting. To suggest suicide is as bad as (or possibly even worse than) rape, is appalling.

    Regardless of what you think, suicide is an individual choice. It involves others indirectly, not directly. And we're not talking about suicide bombings here, that is something entirely different; in a suicide bombing, the act of killing others takes precedence over the suicide, the willingness to sacrifice oneself in order to kill others just makes it an easier task to accomplish. It has a direct affect on its victims. A suicide where one is just ending one's life due to any number of factors only directly affects the actual suicide, sure there are others affected indirectly, but that is also their choice to allow this to affect them. It has been said that suicide is the most selfish of acts, but it has also been said that those who want someone who (is miserable) and wants to die to go on living are really the selfish ones.

    Rape has a direct victim; it is a violent act of aggression, generally against a weaker victim. It is a terrible, life-altering experience. I cannot believe you are suggesting that the victim of a rape, is affected less so than someone who has a family member or close friend commit suicide. Disgusting.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillwalker View Post
    I think cacian is getting confused between the morality (or otherwise) of committing suicide and the morality of writing about a fictional character who commits suicide. The point she raised in her OP was that suicide should not be written about in literature because it sets a bad example (lol!). I assume that writing about war or murder or deceit or grief or poverty is also to be avoided because they might also set a bad example. Oh what a wonderful planet she must live on.

    H
    H, I think you have this right. Maybe even more so than you realize. Cacian does think that writing about war, murder, deceit, grief, and poverty are to be avoided. In her words only "a literature that uplifts" is okay... So, a literature entirely devoid of all meaning, of the binary oppositions (and the grey areas between) that make up life, art, etc. Cacian seems to fail to comprehend that life is about contrast, without dark we cannot appreciate light (and vice versa), without sorrow we cannot appreciate joy.


    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    It is not about wrong or right. It is about humans being seen to care for one another. It is logical and safer long term if we are seen to want to save people's live and not be passive about it as if it were a right of passage. It is important for humans to show that they are capable of feeling for one another and that hope is worthier then death. Being passive about a subject such as suicide is saying we humans give up and also give up on others. Existence is worth living and living is about wanting to be alive wanting to quit it is contrary to what life is about.
    Wanting to quit life in moments of despair and even committing this act, this is not contrary to life at all. It is just another pathway to the one inevitability of life. Death. We all die. Of old age, disease, murder, suicide, accident. How is this contrary to life? And who are you to decide what life is about for others? Life is obviously not worth living for many people, hence the reason they kill themselves. They surely do not commit suicide because they read about it in a book and thought that they might as well give it a go. To suggest that an author who includes suicide (a very natural act) in his/her work is incapable of empathy, compassion, in general, caring about life and others, is ludicrous. I think it's quite obvious to just about everyone (but you) that good literature can and should explore all of life's many facets, both positive and negative.
    Last edited by islandclimber; 04-27-2013 at 01:28 PM.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volya View Post
    But if somebody wants to take their own life surely it is more compassionate to allow them to do so than to deny them that right.
    It depends how you understand compassion. By compassion I understand it is care and knowledge in the sense that I will partake in showing gratuity towards life by sharing it with others. For me to be able to fullfill life enjoyement and its meanings i therefore will must help someone else in need to overcome whatever it is that is leading to wanting to quit their lives. To prove to myself that I enjoy life to the full and that I think about the various meanings of life I shall therefore help someone else in needs to do the same. Compassion is about showing others what you know yourself is beneficial and good about life. To let someone take their lives means that we have not yet grasped the values of life and what it wants us to achieve.
    Think of it in a different contest. Would you let someone starve themselves or not wash ever ie hygiene because they think it is piety and that is good for them?
    The answer for me would be no because there is food and water and therefore there is no reason for wanting to deprive oneself when there is to be had. Life is about having what is on offer and not rejecting it. That for me is logic. Let's not take away life from life when it gives it to us for free.
    Last edited by cacian; 04-27-2013 at 03:18 PM.
    it may never try
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    it fly

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