Tag Archives: suicide

Anti-Suicide Fanaticism

Every once in a while, the subject of suicide comes up and it just leaves me shaking my head.  It was in response to someone who is a member of a gun club.  Some young woman went to the club, rented a gun for the range and promptly used it to kill herself.  And, of course, there was the typical cries of “tragic!” and, as usual, I was the only one to point out that people didn’t know the whole story, maybe the woman had a perfectly good reason for wanting to die.

And that’s where the crazies came out of the woodwork.

These people believe that, by definition, anyone who doesn’t want to live is insane.  And I don’t just mean people who want to kill themselves, I mean anyone who doesn’t cling to life desperately at every turn.  These people are fanatics.  They never want to die.  They want to live forever and they think that everyone else has to want that too and if you don’t, you’re nuts.

Well count me among the insane then because I have no interest in living beyond the time that I still enjoy life.

I honestly don’t know why I do this, but I started making a case that not wanting to live is not necessarily insanity.  Oh sure, there are people who are clinically depressed, there are people who are emotionally distraught and those people can be helped.  But what about people like Brittany Maynard, the woman in the news a couple of years ago with terminal brain cancer who moved to Oregon specifically so that she could undergo doctor-assisted suicide?  Was she insane?  Well, according to these fanatics, yes she was. Because even though she was in agony and faced a long, painful death, there could have been a cure right around the corner and by killing herself, she violated her “right to life.”  Well what about her quality of life?  What about her happiness at living?  Nope, none of that matters, just being alive.

You can’t bring up the topic of suicide without these people stampeding all over the place.  They don’t actually care about suicidal people, they are terrified of death and project that terror onto everyone else.  If anyone is allowed to die, if anyone has any control over their own death, then they feel that someone is coming to get them.  It’s a bizarre kind of paranoia that infects the majority of people to some degree, but some to an absurd degree, such that death becomes the ultimate fear if allowed to exist at all.  It’s not really worth talking to these people because they are incapable of having a rational discussion on the subject.  So once I identify the crazies, I just stop talking to them.  They don’t stop trying to talk to me, they don’t stop trying to force their fears on everyone else, but I simply cannot be bothered to try to hold an intellectual conversation with people whose intellect is completely offline in these discussions.  The same is true of the hyper-religious.  Emotions get in the way of rationality and without rationality, what’s the point?

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.13

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Oy Vey! It’s Mass Suicide Time!

An orthodox Jewish group hires Mexican migrant workers to hold signs at a gay pride parade, the religious head for the hills to avoid God’s wrath, a liberal professor tells white people to commit mass suicide over slavery and a teacher is fired while teaching about free speech for exercising his free speech.  Then we look at the Supreme Court decision over gerrymandering and the right of American voters to have control over their representatives.

We can’t make this stuff up!

The Fallacy of Fighting Suicide

cassandra-c-opedCassandra C., a 17-year old girl in Connecticut, is being forced by the courts to go through chemotherapy, even though she doesn’t want to go through chemotherapy, even if not doing so will kill her. Now some have argued that her reasons for rejecting treatment are irrational and suicidal, a sure sign that she’s got mental problems and she and her mother should not be allowed to pursue other options, but I’m not going to argue for this specific case, I’m going to use it as a means to examine, once again, the wholly irrational terror that suicide represents for most people in America.

I’m not going to say, in this specific case, that the girl ought to be helped to commit suicide, she isn’t an adult and legally, she doesn’t have the right to make those life decisions.  I do, however, object to the idea that she is being forced to go through uncomfortable chemo that she doesn’t want, just because people in the government, people who are terrified of death, think that keeping her alive at all costs is a good thing.  Even among liberals who typically argue for body autonomy, they’re still saying that anyone who ever says they want to die, or who follows another treatment option than the norm, they should be declared irrational, at least momentarily insane, and have their bodily autonomy removed until they adopt a more “mainstream” belief.

Doesn’t all of this just demonstrate the complete and utter fear that people have regarding death, to the point that they have to simply declare any desire to die, for any reason, to be irrational?  That’s really where the problem lies, not with the person who simply doesn’t wish to go on living, but with the majority of society who is terrified to let anyone die, simply because it might get in the way of their overwhelming fear of death.

Personally, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business if someone else chooses to live or die.  I don’t think there should be any psychological counseling to see if the person is really insane, as most people already assume beforehand.  The only person who is really affected here is the person who wants to die, and since they’re going to be dead, it isn’t like they can regret their decision later on.  Actions have consequences, people who want to die should be allowed to die.  Those that don’t like the idea shouldn’t do it.  It’s really that simple.  It all comes down to irrational fear and that’s nothing to be proud of.

Suicide and the Art of Outrage

woman-yelling-at-laptopThe Atheist Revolution had an interesting article today about Robin Williams’ suicide and the subsequent uproar from the collective Internet over comments made by Shepard Smith.  I was totally unaware of any of this, of course, because I don’t pay attention to the constant whine coming from the online community.  I’m fine with suicide, as I’ve said before, the only one who has a valid opinion on life as an ongoing concern for Robin Williams is Robin Williams and if he chooses to kill himself, I’m entirely fine with that.  His life, his choice.  I’ve never met the guy, I’ve enjoyed some of his work, but I have no say in his life, his career or his choices.  My sole response upon hearing that he had died was “bye Robin”.

But that’s not true of a lot of people online and it’s not just Robin Williams, it’s every time anyone dies, every time anyone makes a bad choice, picks a show to be on, etc.  It’s rampant among the Hollywood zombies, the people who follow everything that happens in Tinseltown, where people get personally and fanatically involved in the minutia.  These people are idiots.

Now it doesn’t really matter what Shepard Smith might have said to spark all of this, he suggested that Williams took the cowardly way out and he’s welcome to his opinion.  Then again, Shepard Smith is writing online, which might be seen as being a cowardly way to avoid getting punched in the face, but I digress.

This doesn’t only apply to Hollywood though, this is the typical tactics of those Social Justice Wingnuts, Atheism+ as well.  They’re professional victims and imaginary victim advocates.  They get outraged online.  They yell at people for a living.  They don’t actually *DO* anything, they just yell about it.  It’s sort of like prayer, sitting around talking about a problem instead of getting off your ass and doing something to solve it. It’s just a means to stroke their own egos and feel good about themselves without inconveniencing themselves in the slightest way.  When was the last time Atheism+ organized a blood drive?  Or built anything for Habitat for Humanity?  Or organized their members to go out to homeless shelters or food banks to help?  They might have done so but I sure haven’t heard about it.  All they do, and someone please correct me if I’m wrong, is complain about things.  They’re outraged.  They’re just not outraged enough to actually do anything about it.  That would be too difficult!  This is all about expressing themselves to a world they think is hanging on their every word, dying to know what they think about every subject. As vjack says, it’s like the people who post pictures of every meal they eat, every outfit they wear and everywhere they  go. Sorry, you self-centered morons, your life just isn’t that important!

Unfortunately, while it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get these self-important gits to go away, it’s the rest of us who are the real problem because we give them exactly what they want, we give them attention, positive or negative. We stand by and comment on their nonsense, we fuel their whoredom and so long as that’s true, they’re not going to stop.  Why should they, we’re providing them with everything they want!  So long as we pay attention, so long as we play along with the fake outrage, we play right into their hands.

So please, stop.  Just stop.  Sure, it might be sad that Robin Williams killed himself, maybe we can learn something from it, maybe not.  Screw Shepard Smith.  He’s welcome to his opinions, I’m welcome to totally ignore them.  And beyond that, I wasn’t aware of the uproar because I don’t pay attention to the attention-whores.  I don’t listen. You shouldn’t either or you’re contributing to the mess.  What is it they say, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem?  I’m part of the solution.  Why doesn’t everyone else jump on that bandwagon?

What Ever Happened to Responsibility?

Matthew BurdetteStuff like this just bugs me.  In San Diego, a 14-year old boy committed suicide after a classmate took a video of him masturbating in the school bathroom and posted it online.  It wasn’t long before it went viral and everyone knew what he had done.  It also wasn’t long before Matthew Burdette killed himself because he couldn’t take the constant torment.  His parents are suing the school for not stopping a student from filming in the bathroom, although I can’t see how that’s even possible, much less expected.  In the day of ubiquitous cell phones, there is nowhere that you can be assured you’re not being filmed, even in the bathroom.  Of course, the student who made the film and posted it has been arrested, but there’s one thing in all of this that just isn’t being talked about at all.

Why was Matthew Burdette masturbating in his school bathroom in the first place?

Yes, I am sympathetic toward the family, it sucks when someone kills themselves, I understand the pain and the anger at what happened, but why is nobody pointing out Matthew’s part in this?  Who didn’t teach him that masturbating in a public place was inappropriate?  Why isn’t anyone recognizing that Matthew did something unacceptable and had he controlled himself and waited until he got home, this never would have happened?

Because I’ve heard tons of reports on this on the radio and online and I have yet to see anyone even dare to suggest that Matthew’s actions were ultimately to blame.  I’m not saying that those who took the video and ran with it aren’t guilty as well, but this has turned into a very one-sided affair, largely by parents who apparently didn’t teach their child what inappropriate behavior in inappropriate places happens to be, or at the very least, he didn’t listen.

Oh, I’m sure I’ll get a lot of “you’re blaming the victim!” nonsense, but in this case, the victim is, at least partially to blame.  He did something that is illegal and pretty damn stupid to begin with, and his age is no excuse or defense.  Yes, he was filmed (there was no film but damn, I hate “videoed”, what’s a better term?) and that was put up online and that is certainly wrong and needs to be punished and I can understand where the embarrassment must have been awful, but again, Matthew made a personal choice to kill himself instead of man up and deal with the situation that he helped to create.  Again, age is no excuse or defense.  Lots of people get embarrassed and don’t kill themselves and while I have no problem with suicide at all, pointing fingers at everyone except the one that metaphorically “pulled the trigger” is a bit silly too.

This is yet another case where nobody wants to expect responsibility and doesn’t want there to be any consequences whatsoever for wrongdoing.  There’s lots of blame being thrown around and none to the person whose actions started the whole mess.  Maybe we, as a society, need to rethink how we look at things, but first, we need to stop being so touchy-feely emotionally-coddling liberal.  That’s where this mess truly comes from.

Suicide Part Deux

SuicideA while back, I talked about suicide and why I think many people have a very bad view of it.  Well, maybe not a bad view but at least a very self-centered view.  Lots of people have an irrational fear of death and because they are afraid to die, they impose that on others and want to force everyone to live as long as they can conceivably be kept breathing, whether they want to do so or not.

Now, I’m seeing people who want to force anyone who wants to kill themselves to be considered flawed or broken because they have an emotional fear of death.  Even the thought of ending one’s own life means that they are mentally insane and somehow unable to make decisions for themselves, regardless of the circumstances.

I think that’s just dumb.  I can think of lots and lots of situations where I think suicide is not only a valid response, but maybe the most valid response one can give and there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with them when they make the decision.  Unfortunately, those people who are terrified of the concept of death can’t seem to wrap their heads around anyone, no matter how much pain they might  be in, no matter how much they might hate life, might just not want to go on.  In their minds, insanity or mental deficiency is the only possible explanation because, as far as they’re concerned, desperately clinging to life is the only possible rational reaction.

Whether people like it or not, human life is not magically and objectively precious.  We’re just animals on this planet, no different in any objective way from any other.  Sure, we have the ability to reason, but what if someone reasons to a conclusion that someone doesn’t like?  Does that give the person who has a negative emotional reaction to that decision the right to over-ride the individual’s choice?  It seems that a lot of people think that it does.  This is funny when you talk to people who would otherwise rule that people’s bodily autonomy gives them the right to do most things, but when it comes to suicide, they quickly reverse their decision.

Now I don’t want to commit suicide, I have a wonderful life with a fantastic family that loves me, but if I ever did make that decision, why shouldn’t I be permitted to exercise it?  Why shouldn’t I be allowed to do with my body what I want to do with my body?  After all, isn’t that the exact same argument made by feminists with regard to abortion?  It’s the woman’s body, she gets to decide?  Well, it’s my body, why don’t I get to decide?  Because it makes people uncomfortable?  So what?  Where do you think you get the authority to control what I do to my body, yet I don’t have the authority to control what you do with yours?  Hypocritical much?

I hate to keep harping on the absurd over-use of unrestrained emotion, but this seems like another case of people, uncomfortable with the idea of dying, forcing their vested emotional desires on everyone around them. How dare anyone’s actions make you feel bad!  That works right up until someone tries to do the same to you. Then you get to scream bloody murder, how dare someone step on your rights to self-determination.

Pot.  Kettle.  Black.

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #49

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It’s a non suicidal week mostly, we talk about goblin craziness in Zimbabwe, Ken Ham declaring victory before the debate, exactly as we predicted, a televangelist telling a caller to kill themselves and a satire piece that we take somewhat seriously because it’s not that far from the truth.  We also address listener Iamanatheist’s questions about higher education and teacher salaries. Come on, you know you want to listen!

Suicide is Painless

MASHOr so the old theme song from M.A.S.H. goes.  I honestly get really tired of people getting up in arms about suicide, like it’s the worst thing anyone could ever do.  Personally, I’m fine with people deciding to kill themselves, but then again, I’m an atheist and I don’t have to pretend that offing yourself sends you to eternal perdition.  That’s what the early Christian church had to do, after so many early believers were killing themselves to get to heaven with Jesus and the church was losing workers and income.  They decided to declare suicide a mortal sin, just to keep their cash flow positive.

This is just an issue that has come up several times of late, both in a discussion about the suicide of Lee Thompson Young and another discussion about bullying, both of which have produced people who have some really, really strong feelings about suicide.

Me, I don’t care about suicide.  I think that if a person wants to kill themselves, for whatever reason, we ought to let them.  I don’t find suicide a tragedy, I don’t think it’s even an issue.  I think people ought to have the right to decide when their life ends, be it to avoid painful, debilitating disease or simply because they’ve decided they’ve lived long enough.  It isn’t like we’re going to run out of people if a few, here and there, take themselves out.

Yet we still live in a death-adverse world, where people are terrified to die so they seek to keep everyone around them alive as long as they can, without regard for the other person’s wishes.  It’s part of the culture.  We insist on extraordinary measures to prolong the lives of everyone, sick or not, willing or not, and impugn their sanity if they ever suggest they don’t want to go on.

Of course, the real issue here is that people are terrified of death and they not only don’t want to die, they don’t want anyone around them to die.  They don’t want to see death, they don’t want to hear about death, they don’t want to be exposed to death.  Therefore, they do their damnedest to eliminate death from their vicinity and to declare death a bad thing across the board.

Sorry, but it’s just not.  Death is, in fact, a natural part of life.  Everything dies.  You die.  I die.  Everything I’ve ever known or loved is destined to die.  Accepting this is an essential part of the maturation process.  It’s also something that most people unfortunately never achieve.  Are we supposed to believe that people have a rational right to declare that everyone has to do things to make them emotionally comfortable?  Really?

In a Tizzy over Suicide

lee-thompson-youngI never troll discussions, but I know that when I post certain things, that the majority of posters are going to run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.  Such is the case in a recent discussion over the suicide death of former Jett Jackson TV series star Lee Thompson Young.  Immediately, there was much crying and gnashing of teeth, both over his death and especially because he killed himself.

My immediate question was… why?  After all, none of these people ever met the man, none of them had any personal connection to him, why was there such a brouhaha over his death, especially over his cause of death, from people who often hadn’t seen him on TV in years?

One guy was honest, apparently Young was on some TNT drama that was having it’s season finale preempted due to his death, but for the rest, they all tried desperately to rationalize their behavior.  These are the same people who, whenever anyone famous dies, whenever something bad happens to anyone in the media, they go on and on and on about how awful it was.  I personally don’t find it awful.  I accept that death is a natural part of life.  Everyone and everything dies.  Everyone I know, everyone I love, everyone I’ve ever met will eventually drop dead.  I will die.  This planet will die.  The universe will die.  That’s life.  I might think that if someone’s life is taken by another, we ought to pay attention to that, after all, I do that every week in the Religious Horror Show, but otherwise, we’re all dying a little every day and our feelings on the matter are entirely irrelevant.

Worse yet in this case, people were going on and on about how horrible suicide is and how nobody ought ever be allowed to take their own lives.  Why?  If Young decided that he wanted to kill himself, and I don’t pretend to have any idea what was going through his head and honestly, it doesn’t matter, why should he not be able to bring about the end of his own life if he finds a reason he thinks is valid and worthwhile?  But no, that’s not the position of the whiners.  There is no conceivable reason why anyone should ever be allowed to kill themselves, other than a few who acknowledged extreme, debilitating pain, so there!  But where do these people get the idea that they have any actual say in the matter, or that they ought to?

But that’s the thing, I don’t see suicide as a bad thing.  I see it as a choice.  It can be a good choice, it can be a bad choice, but it is a choice that one ought to be able to make for oneself.  Now sure, I think there are some really stupid reasons to kill yourself, like being dumped by your 16 year old boyfriend or girlfriend,  That’s pretty weak and that individual could probably be served by some counseling, not to talk them out of it, but to provide some perspective.  If they still want to throw themselves off a cliff, that’s fine with me.  It’s not my life, it’s not my place to make sure anyone lives by my standards.  After all, I don’t fear death a bit.

Ultimately, that’s what all of this comes down to, people’s fear of death and their desire to project it onto others. They don’t want to die so they don’t want anyone else to die.  They don’t want to see death.  They don’t want to hear about death and when death shows up in the media, especially when it’s someone they knew from their childhood, from the big or small screen or from music, they freak out and scream about how awful and horrible it is that someone dared to die!  Especially if it was by their own hand!  But why?  People have to die to make room for more people.  There has to be death in the world or we’d all starve.  It’s part of the life cycle.  We have to make our peace with death to have any hope of being truly alive and I think a lot of people never really do that.

So am I sorry that Young is dead?  I guess.  I never watched much that he was on and his character on FlashForward, coincidentally, committed suicide, but I have no real feelings about him one way or the other.  He’s no more than a face in a crowd to me, no more or less valuable as a human being than an aborigine in Australia or a rice farmer in China or some random person living in Germany or Argentina or Japan.  I don’t freak out when any of those people die, why should Young be any different?

I don’t wax philosophical much, but, to quote the great philosopher James T. Kirk, from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, “how we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.”  I’d argue that people need to actually deal with death, accept it, embrace it, acknowledge it’s universality, before that fear of dying ends up harming the only life that we actually have.  Wouldn’t that be a shame?